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E-commerce

Week in review: 2 June edition

Welcome to our weekly wrap-up, where editor Heather McIlvaine reviews the week’s top stories to help you get all the news fast.

The online wine business got a major boost this week, with Just Wines announcing that it has received $6 million in funding for website and tech upgrades. The pureplay retailer said it will also roll out a marketing strategy on the back of the 3100 per cent growth – nope, that’s not a typo – it has seen over the past three years.

They’re not the only e-commerce company raising the bar in their category. Online-only book retailer Booktopia was named National Book Retailer of the Year this week, beating out bricks-and-mortar competitors for the annual honour bestowed by the Australian Publishers Association. Booktopia CEO Tony Nash also revealed the company will surpass $100 million in sales by the end of the 2017 financial year, up from $80 million last year.

Meanwhile, cult US speaker brand Sonos has launched its own e-commerce site Down Under. Customers could already get the wireless speakers at Myer, David Jones, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and speciality audio retailers, but Sonos said it’s looking to improve the customer experience by establishing a direct relationship. Is this a sign of things to come?

Retailers have other things to worry about. New research from SAP Hybris ANZ revealed 92 per cent of customers expect businesses to answer their questions within 24 hours, and 72 per cent won’t use a brand again if customer service is unresponsive. They’re happy to receive surprise discounts and freebies, but beware the retailer that sends too many marketing and sales emails, which 56 per cent of customers dislike.

How to cut through the digital  noise without turning off consumers, you ask? Perhaps take your cue from Myer, which launched a new campaign on YouTube that turns the channel’s 6-second ads into micro-flash sales.

Ebay has taken the opposite approach with the launch of its Hump Month this week, a site-wide sale for the entire month of June. The marketplace said it’s benefiting from ‘buy-bernation’, that time of year when the temperature drops, people do everything – order food, stream films and go shopping – without having to leave the house. Thank you, Netflix!

And the infrastructure making it all possible? Logistics. Arguably, not the most exciting side of e-commerce, logistics and delivery are now in the spotlight.

Apurva Chiranewala, formerly of Ebay and now of Sendle, described delivery as the point where the rubber meets the road in online retail, while new research from JDA showed that 62 per cent of Aussies still have a poor delivery experience. Meanwhile, delivery startup Zoom2U announced two major partnerships as it looks to expand its reach in the space.

And Kelly Jamieson, founder of Edible Blooms, talked about how she’s using UBEReats to get products to customers in one hour for just $5. The entrepreneur opened up about her start in e-commerce and how she thinks the industry has changed over the past 12 years.

Lastly, Morgan Stanley now thinks Wesfarmers is the company that could be most vulnerable to Amazon.

That’s all for this week. Have a good weekend!

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