“3 E-Commerce and Social Media Trends to Watch Through the Rest of 2022” by Jessica Hawthorne-Castro via Total Retail

“3 E-Commerce and Social Media Trends to Watch Through the Rest of 2022” by Jessica Hawthorne-Castro via Total Retail

E-commerce sales have been on the upswing as a share of total sales since before 2000, and in the last decade, social platforms have played an increasing role. Then 2020 happened, driving an unprecedented spike in online sales. This year so far, we’re seeing social media mature as a force that drives e-commerce, in addition to emerging technologies like the metaverse and 5G. Here’s a look at how e-commerce and social media will intersect across three major platforms through the rest of 2022. 1. Instagram Retains its Leadership Position in the Social Commerce Sphere This image-forward social platform is already a major player in e-commerce, with 72 percent of users reporting that they’ve made a purchase decision after seeing a post. Savvy brands have capitalized on Instagram’s visual-first design, placing content on the platform to keep consumers current on what’s new in stores or available online. With a successful suite of e-commerce features and the No. 1 rank among social platforms consumers use to follow brands, Instagram is still in a strong position in terms of e-commerce and brand communication, and that’s unlikely to change in the months ahead. Keep an eye on new features on Instagram like variable focus and augmented reality (AR) tools. Related story: Authenticity, Social Commerce Spur D-to-C Brand ZOX’s Growth 2. Snapchat Plays Catchup It may seem counterintuitive because Snapchat has a cutting-edge AR system, but the popular instant messaging app is losing ground in terms of active users relative to its competitors, and that makes it less of a player in e-commerce today. Instagram has well over twice as many active users, and TikTok has pulled far ahead,...
“Buy now, pay later players’ losses grow as costs soar” by Jonathon Berr via Retail Dive

“Buy now, pay later players’ losses grow as costs soar” by Jonathon Berr via Retail Dive

Don Arnold via Getty Images BNPL providers are paying a hefty price to keep up with surging consumer demand for their financing services, spending large sums to add new tech and more employees. The buy now, pay later boom had an inauspicious debut more than a decade ago. In 2005, three Swedish entrepreneurs, Sebastian Siemiatkowski, Niklas Adalberth and Victor Jacobsson, decided to see if their installment payment loan service, then called Kreditor Europe and now called Klarna, would attract the attention of investors attending a Shark Tank-like contest in Stockholm.   As Klarna’s website points out, Klarna came in last place. A person in the audience, which included Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf, came up to Siemiatkowski and told him he should pursue the idea because the banks would never do it. Klarna’s website asks for the man to come forward and identify himself because the founders have no idea who he is and presumably want to thank him.  BNPL has morphed from a shopping novelty to a multibillion industry on three continents in less than 20 years. Its explosive growth hasn’t been cheap. None of the major pure-play BNPL competitors, including Klarna, Affirm, Afterpay and Zip, currently is profitable. And some of their merchant clients are starting to wonder if they are paying hefty fees to the BNPL fintech companies for sales they would have gotten anyway. At the same time, regulators such as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra have raised concerns about whether consumers are becoming too indebted from using the installment payment services. Plus, industry competition and consolidation are mounting, as new entrants flock to the U.S., where penetration rates for the installment financing service are lower...
“PacSun opens metaverse store, auctions NFTs” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

“PacSun opens metaverse store, auctions NFTs” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

Courtesy of PacSun Dive Brief: Joining other brands in experimenting with the metaverse, Pacsun launched a three-level store in ComplexLand 3.0, a metaverse shopping festival taking place between May 25 and May 27, the youth clothing brand announced on Tuesday.Virtual shoppers with customizable avatars can browse curated products from Pacsun, and its resale arm, PS Reserve. Once consumers find an item they want to buy, they’ll be redirected from the virtual store to Pacsun’s website to make their purchase, the company said.The clothing brand is also auctioning off a non-fungible token of a Pacsun Mall Rat in ComplexLand’s virtual gallery. Buyers of the NFT will receive a sneaker from PS Reserve, per the announcement. Dive Insight: Pacsun’s entry into the ComplexLand 3.0 festival is part of its ongoing experimentation with the metaverse and blockchain technology. Last October, the apparel brand began accepting cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and Litecoin via Bitpay to appeal to Gen Z consumers interested in digital assets. “Being part of ComplexLand 3.0 is a big step for us in the metaverse, coming almost a year after we introduced our first offering of Pacsun branded items on Roblox,” Brie Olson, president of Pacsun, said in a statement. “It is undeniable that metaverse as a whole has an incredible network effort. Not only do consumers find community in the space, but we, as a brand, get to connect with them in an authentic way and ultimately grow our Pac Community in the both digital and physical worlds as well.” Multiple brands and retailers, as diverse as Forever 21, Crate and Barrel, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and Walmart, have turned their attention to the metaverse. However, a Gartner report noted that companies shouldn’t devote too many resources to one metaverse component,...
“7 Tips To Visually Optimize Your Website” by Krystina Morgan via Independent Retailer

“7 Tips To Visually Optimize Your Website” by Krystina Morgan via Independent Retailer

With retail ecommerce giants like Amazon and Walmart setting the bar extremely high for website design and experiences, smaller online stores are left behind to constantly make updates to ensure their websites are similarly easy to use. It is absolutely crucial to have a visually appealing website, seeing as 38% of consumers will leave if they find the layout unattractive.  In order to prevent future customers from abandoning your site, here are 7 tips to visually optimize your website:  Include the Most Important Information Above the Fold The content on your homepage that is “above-the-fold” is visible before any scrolling occurs and will be the basis of a user’s first impression, so it needs to be good. Putting the wrong content above the fold may result in a high bounce rate and a loss of customers and revenue.  Pro Tip: According to Wingify, brands should include their logo, contact information, navigation and search bar, current promotions, shopping cart, and calls-to-action above the fold.  Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly Mobile commerce makes up 30% of all U.S. ecommerce, and mobile traffic represents 53% of all ecommerce traffic. If your website does not conform to smartphone viewing, you can easily lose all of those shoppers. In order to make your site mobile-friendly, you will need to:  Choose a mobile-responsive theme or templateStrip back your contentMake images and CSS as light as possibleAvoid FlashChange button size and placementSpace out your linksUse a large and readable fontEliminate pop-upsTest regularly Include Images & Videos Images and videos are great for enhancing the user experience, especially when it comes to showing off your products. Clicking on a website, only to stumble upon...
“Audience Hijacking: How to Prevent Your Online Customers From Being Shoplifted” by Patrick Sullivan via Total Retail

“Audience Hijacking: How to Prevent Your Online Customers From Being Shoplifted” by Patrick Sullivan via Total Retail

Ensuring your website visitors have a positive experience is absolutely crucial for turning shoppers into buyers. But increasingly, the online customer journey is disrupted by pop-up ads, browser plug-ins and extensions designed to redirect shoppers away from your site. More than just distracting, “audience hijacking” can take a real bite out of sales, significantly impacting your bottom line. By some estimates, audience hijacking is costing retailers billions in revenue. Yet, because it’s occurring within the browser, retailers may not even be aware it’s occurring. A Common, Complex Problem How common is audience hijacking? One estimate suggests that between 10 percent and 20 percent of retailers’ shoppers are lured away by competitive offers — or, worse yet, by fraudulent offers. Audience hijacking can take several forms, most commonly injected ads or coupon codes. One concerning trend is the increase in affiliate fraud, where a third party “hijacks” credit for affiliate sales they didn’t make. In addition, there’s also the risk that your customers could be lured away to a phishing site designed to steal their credit card number or other personal financial data. And those attacks can go undetected for weeks or months. So why not simply block all third-party ads, extensions and scripts and eliminate the “threat surface”? The fact is not all third-party elements are problematic — and some may actually be beneficial. Customers are increasingly using third-party shopping apps and tools to find the products they want. You don’t want to miss out on those opportunities. In addition, allowing authorized affiliates to piggyback on your online presence may actually result in sales that you otherwise might not get. Therefore,...
“Report: 80% of US shoppers use buy now, pay later to avoid credit card debt” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

“Report: 80% of US shoppers use buy now, pay later to avoid credit card debt” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

Tero Vesalainen via Getty Images Dive Brief: Following previous reports of increased digital payment adoption, the Experian Global Insights Report found that 62% of respondents said they use mobile wallets, and 63% use traditional forms of payment, the credit reporting agency announced on Thursday.More than half of survey respondents (53%) said they have spent more online in the past three months, and half said they are likely to increase their spend online in the next three months.Fifty-seven percent of respondents said using buy now, pay later services could replace their credit card. But only 18% of respondents said they used by now, pay later services in the past six months. Eighty percent of U.S. consumers said they use digital installment payment services to avoid credit card debt. Dive Insight: Experian’s international survey of 6,000 consumers and 2,000 businesses suggests that offering a range of efficient payment options is critical for attracting customers. The report found that most respondents (81%) said a positive digital experience gives them a more favorable view of the brand than a physical store experience. However, 23% of respondents said their expectations for digital experiences were met only somewhat or not at all, down from 30% of consumers who said the same thing in 2021, per Experian’s research. “Results from our latest survey reveal that many consumers are more concerned now about the security of their online transactions and activities than they were a year ago, with regional differences in the nature of their primary concerns,” David Bernard, Experian’s executive vice president of strategy and operations for global decision analytics, said in a statement. “The past two years...