Amazon is now trialling QVC-style shopping channels.
The eCommerce weekly top 3
As part of our ecommerce influencer series, we ask leading UK ecommerce and shipping leaders to share their top three news items of the week. This week is Ciaran Bollard, the CEO of Kooomo.
The three news stories that really grabbed my attention this week were:
- Footfall at UK retail stores was down by 0.7% in January. It’s the fourteenth consecutive month of downward figures for high-street activity, according to the British Retail Consortium. While the decline has been attributed to school holidays spilling into the first week of January, the overarching theme remains the same as always – the rise of online retail has changed the way we shop.
To me, this is actually a huge opportunity for retailers. In our experience, many retailers have been responding to the shift in consumer behaviour by reducing their overall bricks and mortar presence and investing in new sales opportunities online, for example, B2B, online marketplaces, etc.
- Facebook has bought AI & visual search shopping app, GrokStyle. Most well-known for its integration into Ikea’s mobile app, GrokStyle has just been acquired by Facebook, adding to its growing portfolio of AI-based startups. So does this mean that Facebook users will soon be able to point their phone at an item that catches their eye, e.g. a coffee table in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, and be able to find and buy the same item online? Very possible. It also begs the question – is Facebook becoming less relevant to millennials and more appealing to an older demographic through its marketplace? Remember, they control the data, so it’ll be interesting to see how much of the eCommerce pie they’ll bite off in 2019.
- Stream before you buy – Amazon is now trialling QVC-style shopping channels. The new feature, which is currently being used in the US, enables shoppers to view video demos of products, as well as a carousel of links to purchase them. This move clearly demonstrates the appetite of customers for richer product information, and it’s something that retailers should certainly be looking at replicating on their online stores. In our experience, luxury brands, in particular, have a tough time converting online sales, due to the ‘browse online, buy offline’ nature of shopping. Could video demonstrations of products potentially unlock this puzzle?
Ciaran Bollard is the CEO of Kooomo Digital Commerce Platform. With his first-hand experience as an entrepreneur in the digital space mixed with his commercial and technical background, Ciaran is focused on taking the complexity out of digital commerce to help brands extend their reach to a global audience. Since taking the helm in 2016, Kooomo has powered over 1 billion transactions through the platform, and been recognised by Gartner every year since then. Kooomo facilitates clients in the B2C market as well as caters to the explosive growth in the B2B eCommerce space, working with world-renowned businesses to increase revenue by an average of 20%.
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