Ecommerce Market Mood: Strategy, Tech & AI News, April 2024
Home » Podcast library » Monthly roundup » Ecommerce Market Mood: Strategy, Tech & AI News, April 2024

Ecommerce Market Mood: Strategy, Tech & AI News, April 2024

The latest from our monthly ecommerce mini-series, where experienced ecommerce consultants James Gurd and Paul Rogers step back to summarise what’s been happening in ecommerce in the last month.

Watch the video

Listen on your favourite player

Ecommerce is a fast-paced industry, with constant change, new market entrants and incumbents updating their products with new features and fixes. James & Paul spend a lot of time looking at ecommerce strategy and technology, talking to agencies and technology vendors, so this series is a digest of what they’ve found interesting, what ecommerce teams should be thinking about, as well as highlighting interesting stories and cool tools they come across in their day-to-day work.

Make sure you’re following Inside Commerce on LinkedIn and have subscribed to the Inside Commerce newsletter.

Key discussion points

  1. Market mood:
    1. ONS: UK retail sales were flat in March. Interestingly, the % of retail sales online is actually down YoY for Q1 at 25.9% (from 26.4% in Q1 2023)
    2. UK consumer confidence edged up in April, as better personal financial perceptions slightly lift the GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index (via Dan Conboy)
    3. UK good, US bad amongst our clients – March stronger than April, but overall still up YoY and fairly positive. April not as strong from a performance marketing perspective.
    4. Microsoft, Meta, and Google spent a combined $32B on data centres and other capital expenses in just the first three months of the year: AI is rapacious
  2. Performances:
    1. ASOS posted pre tax loss as adjusted H1 revenue fell
    2. Dunelm 3% growth to £435m despite tough market for homewares, digital sales now 37% up 1pp. Strong product availability key. Maintained focus on site speed, delivery and CX.
    3. Wayfair is opening its first brick-and-mortar store in Illinois.
    4. SEPHORA is further expanding its physical presence in the UK with the opening of not one, but two, new stores in Newcastle – one in the city and one at the Metro Centre
    5. Pre owned is blooming: Vinted in the news 🙂 Revenue growth of 61% in 2023, net profit €17.8 million, vs. a net loss in 2022 of €20.4 million.
  3. Tech news / investments:
    1. China’s ecom professionals now number 70m+ which is more than the 2025 target (The China International Electronic Commerce Center of the Ministry of Commerce)
    2. Klarna and Uber are partnering on a global deal that will add the Swedish fintech firm as a Pay Now payment option on the Uber and Uber Eats apps in the US, Germany, and Sweden (not BNPL)
    3. Stripe is planning to let customers accept cryptocurrency payments again starting with USDC stablecoins on Solana, Ethereum, and Polygon
    4. Swap landing $9m investment for Swap Global, its version of Global-e to help brands expand into new markets with delivery-duty-paid shipping, automated tax remittance, and express customs clearance
    5. Shopware has added open banking direct account to account payments for European merchants using Brite Instant Payments Network
    6. Otto is opening up its marketplace to non-German european customers,  to push cross border commerce
  4. Latest in AI:
    1. Concerns about the human impact still resonate: 36% of translators report losing gigs due to AI. Warren Buffett said AI has the potential for both enormous good and harm. Claude 3 Opus already outperforms Google Translate.
    2. Poll of 100+ founders on how AI is being used in their businesses:
      1. Productivity gains e.g. correcting spelling, grammar (Grammarly), meeting transcriptions (Fireflies)
      2. Creative & content: image generation, generation of video scripts (Riverside), design (Canva)
      3. Workflow automation (Zapier)
      4. Coding (Github Copilot)
      5. Customer Support (Siena)
  5. Search:
    1. Google’s SGE (search generative experience) will now be titled “AI Answer” – still only in US
    2. OpenAI due to launch its own search engine: deal with ChatGPT indicates soon ChatGPT will be able to show content and links in its responses, which will help publishers
  6. Interesting ecom stories:
    1. Psychology; In an online grocery store, customers bought more items when they felt vibrations on their device while adding items to their cart, or animations on desktop (Hampton & Hildebrand, 2021). Perceived Ownership. Vibrations mimic touch, as if you are physically touching an item on your device. And touch is key to ownership. Apparently not good to do during payment, best on add to cart.
    2. Alo released a VP app – Sanctuary

Want to suggest a topic or guest for a future episode? Contact us via the website or on LinkedIn.


Listen / Subscribe