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One of the first green shoots for ecommerce and covid was when Next reopened their website and had to close after an hour as they were overwhelmed by demand. Their Q2 results show this wasn't a freak occurrence- online sales were up 9% and store sales declined but by a lower amount than in Q1. But their CEO cautions;
Action? Do you need to rethink your customer experience? Are you leveraging the insights you have into your most valuable customers?
Time to pay
In the absence of a new strategy we see tactics getting adopted. In these tough times the option to pay in instalments makes sense to customers and the fintech firms providing this are doing well. Klarna out of Sweden popularised the concert in Europe but Affirm - ran by Paypal mafia - will be the first to IPO - with a valuation of as much as $10bn. A new deal with Shopify will help.
But so far none of the Western platforms has really championed it and I think we will see more experimentation. Snap have the Drop scheduled for later this year and Facebook bought Packgd to play in this space.
The main challenge seems to be aggregating the audience at a specific time - similar to how HQ Trivia worked - and I think the platforms can resolve this.
That potential makes the space attractive to others and Big Commerce is a key competitor that plans to IPO. Analysis of their IPO documentation highlights a different approach. BI is more about Enterprise and seems to be focused on non US markets. The Spotify deck shows they are attracting big brands as well as start ups and this may become the area where they compete with BI. Does their more malleable platform give them an advantage over Spotify?
Action? Modern shopper marketing is needed to ensure all your products are optimised for each retailers online service. What works on Tesco may not be right for Ocado. Or Amazon.
Burberry is experimenting with Social retail in its new Shenzhen store, developed in partnership with Tencent. They use Wechat to better connect online with offline and have a Mini programme to reward interactions with the brand -