The eCommerce Catch-Up – Episode 6

The eCommerce Catch-Up – Episode 6

Published on 2019-12-11 by Brad Houldsworth

Are you interested to find out the latest news in retail? In December’s edition of our monthly retail news round-up, Ben Archer (Marketing Manager) and Heather Tomlinson (Business Development Executive) discuss this month’s outstanding topics including:

  • ‘Black Friday’

  • Nike cutting ties with Amazon

  • Instagram’s newest feature

  • And more!

Check out what they had to say by either clicking on the video or reading the full transcript below!

Why not get involved in the conversation? Subscribe to our  to keep up to date with all of our videos and let us know which retail topics you would like us to discuss in the future!


Ben: So, welcome to the sixth eCommerce catch-up. This month we are with Heather, our ‘Business Development Executive’, and myself Ben, the ‘Marketing Manager’. So Heather, what are we chatting about?

Heather: Yeah, we’ve got some, erm, interesting topics today to be chatting about, erm, the first one being ‘Black Friday’ of course, it’s just been ‘Black Friday’ weekend –

Ben: – Can’t get away from it at the moment –

Heather: – No, no, no. So, erm, be good to look at figures and how we’ve been doing with that, erm, also we’re talking about Nike cutting ties with Amazon which is quite a big move for them and, erm, we’re also gonna look at Instagram’s new future. So, we’ll look at that later on, too.

Ben: – So, ‘Black Friday’. I mean, it’s a fantastic marketing tool, we know that much –

Heather: – Yes –

Ben: – Erm, so I think our clients, erm, had a pretty good ‘Black Friday’ week to be honest with you. Erm, we almost hit 10 million pounds, so you know, you can’t deny that it’s a fantastic marketing tool –

Heather: – It works, yeah. Obviously there’s the argument, erm,  has the concept been lost because obviously, erm, it’s gone from just ‘Black Friday’ to ‘Black Week’, two weeks etc, but you’re right it works still, so –

Ben: – I mean people have to be careful I think because, you know, it is a marketing tool –

Heather: – Yeah –

Ben: – So, I think ‘Which?’ did a survey, erm, I think it was on the last ‘Black Friday’ but they found that only 5% of products were actually at their cheapest point during the ‘Black Friday’ weekend. So, whilst it, you know, it’s a fantastic marketing tool, it’s great for consumers as well –

Heather: – Yeah –

Ben: – Because it happens just before Christmas, erm, if you really are looking for deals, you know, you have to do your research. You have to make sure that you, erm, you know, you track the product over time and you’re not just buying it on impulse –

Heather: – Yeah, exactly that. To be honest, I have bought a product on ‘Black Friday’ which I have monitored from the start of the year that I considered buying at full price and I’ve tracked it and I did purchase it on ‘Black Friday’, so, I was one of them in the shops –

Ben: – But that’s the good way to do it, you know –

Heather: – Yes –

Ben: – You want something, you’re not, kind of, impulse purchasing it –

Heather: – No –

Ben: – You’re tracking it and you’re making sure you’re getting the best deal –

Heather: – Yeah –

Ben: – Erm, and I think from a consumer’s perspective, you know, that’s what people need to do. I think ‘Black Friday’ has turned into something which is almost impulse buying. I know, I myself have certainly done that before, you know, you’ve gone on, you’ve gone ‘ah, there’s a deal’, bought it and not particularly made use of the product –

Heather: – Did you do that this weekend?

Ben: No, I’ve been quite good this ‘Black Friday’, I didn’t buy anything [laughs] –

Heather: – Good [laughs]

Ben: Last Black Friday though [shakes head] –

Heather: – You’ve learnt your lesson, then? –

Ben: – I’ve still got one product that I’ve not used from last ‘Black Friday’ [laughs] –

Heather: – [Laughs] –

Ben: – I’ve definitely learnt my lesson.

Heather: Ah, yeah, so, moving on then, erm, Nike have cut ties with Amazon. Now, obviously they are quite, erm, new to joining up with them, it was only 2017, erm, that they partnered up with them. What do you think the reasons are for them suddenly cutting ties?

Ben: Well, Nike and Amazon are a very interesting, er, combination. Now, Nike are very different to the majority of consumers, or, sorry, to consuming, er, to the majority of retailers and that’s because they’re massive and they’ve got an absolutely huge penetration market, penetration already. So, whereas small retailers, you know, Amazon and eBay and the other marketplaces can almost be a ‘be all and end all’ for them, erm, you know, can make their year or break their year. However, Nike never really needed the additional penetration that Amazon gives because they’ve got such a large customer base already –

Heather: – They’re huge already –

Ben: – So, I think Nike didn’t really even look at starting on Amazon until, it was about 2017, I think –

Heather: – Yeah –

Ben: – Now, the reason they did it is very different to most retailers. So, they have the issue where they have an awful lot of counterfeit products being sold on Amazon and the reason they joined up initially was purely to try and counter erm, the counterfeiters [laughs] –

Heather: – The counterfeiters [laughs] –

Ben: – They wanted to beat them at their own game essentially –

Heather: – Yeah –

Ben: – And grab the revenue stream, but it wasn’t necessarily about revenue for them, it was about their product –

Heather: – Yeah –

Ben: – It was about, you know, you not having fake shoes out in the market –

Heather: – Yeah –

Ben: – So, erm, it was a very different reason that they joined Amazon to begin with and unfortunately, by what’s happened, it sounds like they’ve not been particularly successful. So, I think due to the reason of them signing up so late a lot of their, erm, the counterfeiters, had, you know, pretty historic Amazon accounts, a lot of orders, they’re spending a lot of money on the paid side of things and they out-rank Nike –

Heather: – Yeah –

Ben: – So, Nike just couldn’t –

Heather: – Hard to track them as well –

Ben: – Exactly, exactly –

Heather: – Because if one account closes, then they just open another one –

Ben: – Yeah and that’s the problem, you know, retailers, they have a level playing field whereas the counterfeiters, erm, they’re underhand, at the end of the day what they’re doing is illegal, so they have no qualms about crossing boundaries and they certainly do do that to keep themselves in a good place on Amazon. Erm, so it’s interesting, I mean, the fact that they’ve lost them is obviously, I mean, it’s probably bad for consumers because we’re gonna be more likely to be purchasing counterfeit products from them. But it is very interesting and it’s a very unique situation purely because of the size of Nike. There’s not many retailers that could afford to not, you know, have essentially one of the main marketing tools –

Heather: – Yeah. Like you say with Nike being so big I don’t think that’s gonna affect their revenue –

Ben: – Exactly, it’s not going to affect their revenue but it could affect, erm, how people perceive their products if they’re buying lower quality –

Heather: – mm-hmm –

Ben: – And at the end of the day that’s what they wanted to counter and –

Heather: – Try and fight –

Ben: – Yeah and they didn’t manage it. Which, you know, I guess, that’s just how it works –

Heather: – Yeah, definitely. Let’s see how they get on with that.

Ben: I mean, Amazon in whole is very interesting, I mean, going back to the ‘Black Friday’, erm, comparison, you know, they’ve got their own ‘Amazon Prime Day’, which is essentially, erm, I guess, it’s quite similar to ‘Black Friday’ in the sense that it’s a time sale, they only have it twice a year. It’s interesting in the fact that can only be accessed by a closed group of consumers that pay for Amazon Prime –

Heather: – mm-hmm –

Ben: – Erm, however, the deals they do are quite good. Erm, it may not be, you know, the cheapest point of the year but for the products that Amazon sell which tend to be just, you know, literally everything [laughs] they literally sell everything under the sun –

Heather: – Yeah [laughs]

Ben: – You can go on there and you can find a deal –

Heather: – Yeah and you can track as well throughout the year,  what the price has been –

Ben: – Yeah –

Heather: – So, it’s easier, er, for a customer to sort of see whether they are getting a genuine bargain –

Ben: – Sure, it’s a very good feature of Amazon that you can track, you know, products’ price throughout the year. Erm, I mean it’s a different way to ‘Black Friday’, but I mean, in my eyes, all the facts and figures I saw for ‘Prime Days’ they’ve done very well, so, erm, it’s worked. It’s a different marketing strategy but it’s very well for them.

Heather: So, the third topic, erm, that I, erm, wanted to talk about is Instagram. It’s got a cool new feature, erm, ‘Instagram Check Out’. So, basically, it’s only available in the US at the moment, it’s at beta stage, they’re obviously testing it out, seeing how it works but I definitely think that Instagram are investing a lot in this. Erm, obviously it allows the customer to purchase on the app, so they don’t have to go away to the website. What do you think to this? Is it, erm, obviously there’s positives and there’s negatives to this –

Ben: – Yeah, of course. So, I mean, I think, like you say, there’s positive and negatives both for consumers and retailers, mainly positives. I think it’s the logical next step for, you know, media to go essentially. So, you know, Instagram’s got over a billion users –

Heather: – Yeah, it’s a huge platform –

Ben: – Exactly –

Heather: – For the retailers to sort of join up with –

Ben: – Exactly. So, it’s essentially a big audience but also a very targeted demographic audience for a retailer to use to, I guess, make a new revenue stream. So, instead of just being more branding and content area, you know, you can make sales from it as well. So, erm, from a retailer’s perspective it’s great because it’s another opportunity for them to make money. Now, the down points come because, I guess, Instagram owns the check-out –

Heather: – Yes –

Ben: – And it owns the process, so, it takes that out of your hands which means you can’t deal with it –

Heather: – Yes –

Ben: – Which essentially is an online website’s bread and butter at the checkout and how they deal with users. It also means they won’t have the data from the users, erm, which might not be a bad thing for users but probably is for the retailer. Erm, but from a consumer perspective, you know, it’s pretty much only good –

Heather: – Yeah –

Ben: – Because it’s another way, er, and then an easier way for them –

Heather: – Easier way –

Ben: – Exactly, to buy a product. So, erm, I guess, maybe if you don’t know exactly what product you’re looking to buy and you’re looking generally for ideas, Instagram’s fantastic because it has so many of those different ideas –

Heather: – Yeah, I think it’s definitely gonna create a lot of impulse buying, erm, obviously, as we know social media’s just huge and it’s gonna grow –

Ben: – Yeah –

Heather: – And so it just allows that impulse buyer to, erm, purchase so much easier. So, I think, yeah, it’s definitely going to be the way forward –

Ben: – Yeah and like you say it’s in its first stages at the moment, you can only purchase one product, but you know, down the line I’m absolutely positive that you’re gonna be able to purchase whatever you want –

Heather: – Yeah exactly, I think, er, Instagram are looking at investing a lot into, sort of, joining up with these retailers making the customer experience better, being able to, like you say, at the moment, they can only purchase one, erm, but they’re looking at multi-cart and even from different retailers as well. So, it’s going to take quite a bit of logic, erm –

Ben: – It’s an interesting point you hit on there because at the moment, from a consumer perspective, there are a few websites that you can purchase an awful lot of products on such as Amazon, that we talked about –

Heather: – Yes –

Ben: – Now, most websites obviously you can only order that web retailer’s product, so, the fact that down the line we may have a system where you can purchase from many different websites and one basket is really interesting, again, from a consumer perspective it can only be a good thing because you know you can go on, you can do your shop in one area and that’s that. Erm, and it’s an area that you’re very familiar with, that you use and again from my perspective, erm, it will allow you to do a lot more research because on Instagram, you know, you can see what a product looks like in different environments, so, you might just be looking at their living room and go ‘ah, wow, that sofa or that stereo or light or whatever it is they look amazing, that would look great in my room’. Erm, so it helps them with the inspirational side of things, erm, and I think it can only be a good thing going forwards –

Heather: – Yeah, definitely more influencers are going to get on board with that, I think [laughs] –

Ben: – Yeah [laughs] that’s a different topic for another day, I think. Erm, but Instagram aren’t the only social network that are moving into this area. So, ‘Tick- Tock’ which is a pretty new video app, erm, slightly like ‘Vine’ are also doing the same thing. Now, erm, I guess it differs slightly because you might not be able to do quite so much research, but again, it’s an area where you can see a product in a video, go ‘wow, I really like that’ and then go through and buy it purely from that medium. It’s gonna be so much easier for the consumer perspective to buy a product that you like –

Heather: – Yeah definitely, it’s a whole new door in the eCommerce –

Ben: – Exactly, I mean, I don’t know about you, but how many times have you been online and you’ve seen a picture and gone ‘oh my god, I really like these sunglasses’ and then what are you gonna do? How are you gonna find those sunglasses and buy them? –

Heather: – Yeah, yeah exactly, or going back to, erm, Instagram, quite often I’ve pressed, you know, obviously, you can press on the item of clothing that somebody’s wearing and it’ll take you off but then it takes that long to get to the website –

Ben: – That’s it –

Heather: – I give up and I’m back on Instagram, but if it was available for me to purchase on Instagram, I would have done it –

Ben: – Exactly, it just makes it that much easier –

Heather: – Yeah, yeah exactly. So, that’s everything for, er, this eCommerce catch-up, er, so thank you for joining us and we hope to see you next month. Just so you know, we have a special guest with us next month as well from one of our clients –

Ben: – That’ll be fun –

Heather: – So, please tune in to that because it’s gonna be really, really good.

Ben: Sure, so if you have any insight in any of the topics we’ve covered today, make sure you comment below. If you liked the video, make sure you ‘like’ the video and we’ll see you next month

Heather: Yes, see you later, thank you!