Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) up 563%

New research has indicated that Buy Online, Pickup In-Store orders were a critical service during the peak of the pandemic, with an analysis of 260 clients of an eCommerce provider showing a 563% year-on-year increase in April, and a 554% increase in May.

In May alone, almost half of the orders placed online (47.5%) were then picked up in-store. In comparison, BOPIS made up for 16.6% of orders in May 2019. As stores continue to re-open, these numbers are starting to slow down, however, BOPIS orders still remained much much higher in number than last year, with 374% growth occurring between June 1st – June 11th, compared to the same time the year before.

Looking at the entire period studied, from March 16th – June 11th, the study showed that BOPIS orders had risen 367.2%. This comes after a recent report which showed that many consumers plan to purchase online much more frequently as restrictions begin to lift. Coinciding with that, Swiss Tech firm Meepl recently published data to suggest that 20% of UK based shoppers will no longer buy clothes or accessories in Brick and Mortar stores, making the switch over to eCommerce full time.

 

TikTok Announces Advertising Platform

TikTok Ads

Chinese social media platform TikTok has announced that it will now offer brands a variety of advertising options on its increasingly popular app, with the launch of ‘TikTok For Business’.

This new addition will give brands a variety of ways in which they can now advertise products or services, as well as connecting them with the platform’s top influencers. These will include ‘TopView’ ads which emerge when the app is first opened, ‘Brand Takeovers’ which can be videos or images that last between 3-5 seconds, and a new AR function called ‘Brand Scan’. This appears to be TikTok’s answer to competitor Snapchat’s ‘Sponsored Lens’. This tool gives brands the ability to add interactive elements to their ads, making the function more engaging for TikTok’s young audience.

esw-post-covid-world

Longer form ads will be possible too, ‘In-Feed’ ads can be anywhere up to 60 seconds of video and audio. Brands can promote ‘Hashtag Challenges’ in these ads, aiming to create engagement with a certain hashtag. An aspect of this will be ‘Hashtag Plus’, a feature which will direct people to a place where they can buy an item or items featured in the ad.

Some of these features have already existed on the App, but this new TikTok for Business platform brings all advertising features new and old to one place.

This comes at a time when Social Commerce is reaching all new highs, thanks in part to the lockdown caused by Covid-19 across most countries.  Last week Instagram said that it would be opening social shopping to more businesses, including its own influencer community. Soon after, it was announced that the social media giant is working with beauty brand Sephora to build a new digital storefront, creating the ability for shoppers to go straight to checkout directly from the user’s feed or stories. This means users can shop for beauty products without actually leaving the App.

 

H&M, Zara and Others Focus on Digital Transformation

H&M eCommerce

After forced store closures resulted in a loss of sales for Swedish fashion brand H&M, the company has now revealed it’s digitisation plan, focusing much of its efforts on eCommerce.

This means that the brand will be closing stores, and greatly expanding its eCommerce presence.

According to CEO Helena Helmersson, “rapid changes in customer behaviour caused by the pandemic will further speed up the digitalisation of fashion retail.”

“During the pandemic it became clear how important it is that the digital and physical channels interact to meet customers’ needs. When the majority of the stores were temporarily closed in the second quarter, we focused on redirecting product flow to our digital channels, which remained open at all times in nearly all our online markets. Online sales increased by 36% in SEK during the quarter. The positive development of online sales has continued since we began reopening our stores.”

Zara owner Inditex is making similar plans, announcing recently that it will close up to 1200 smaller sized stores, as it unveils a new digital platform. The company, which owns brands like Pull & Bear and Bershka, has said that it will be accelerating its digital transformation by investing US$3 Billion in the project between 2020 and 2022.

“This strategy is a culmination of the project the company has been investing in steadily and significantly since 2012, a project that will transform its profile notably,” said the Group’s executive chairman Pablo Isla. “The overriding goal between now and 2022 is to speed up full implementation of our integrated store concept, driven by the notion of being able to offer our customers uninterrupted service no matter where they find themselves, on any device and at any time of the day.”

The company saw a 44% decline in year-on-year sales for the first quarter of 2020, with over 80% of its stores being forced to shut down during the pandemic. However, online sales for this period were up 95% compared to the same time last year. The company now expects that eCommerce will account for more than 25% of its sales by 2022.