Welcome back to another helping of Talking Shop – if you want to know what’s happening in the world of online retail, you’ve come to the right place! We’re breaking down the biggest eCommerce stories to keep you on top of the latest news trends (because let’s face it – sometimes it’s hard to keep up!)

So what’s been happening? Here’s what you need to know:

Ice Ice Baby: UK Supermarket giant, Iceland launches on JD.com

The lowdown: Get ready, China – Iceland is en-route! The popular supermarket chain has just partnered with JD.com to launch their first online flagship store in China.  Speaking about the move, Iceland founder, Sir Malcolm Walker said – “Iceland never stands still. The rapid growth and opportunities the market in China offers were significant, and we decided it was time to act. JD.com is a magnificent partner for us and we are excited to see the response of customers in China to our product range.”

Iceland aren’t the only major UK brand to be utilising online marketplaces in recent times – in 2017 alone sales of UK products on JD.com grew by a staggering 100%. If you’re interested in opening up your products to the Chinese market, check out our recent webinar where Kooomo CEO, Ciaran Bollard, and Jim Baillie, Founder and CEO of JetStream Online (the Kooomo-integrated marketplace engine that supports over 60 global marketplaces) share their insights on how brands can expand into online new markets.

Double Tap: Instagram shoppable posts now available in New Zealand

The lowdown: Great news for New Zealand retailers – now they can sell their products in perfectly formed squares! Instagram has just enabled shoppable posts in New Zealand, 6 weeks after it the feature first went live in Australia.  

New Zealand now joins a growing list of countries that can utilise Instagram shoppable posts including Sweden, Netherlands, Argentina, Mexico, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, Ireland, South Africa, Belgium, Austria, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay, Malta, Ecuador, Panama, Portugal, Poland, Greece, Cyprus, Denmark, Czech Republic, Romania, Norway, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Dominican Republic and Belize. 

Reports show that more than 200 million Instagram users visit one or more business profiles daily. Therefore, it seems like a no-brainer for brands to take advantage of this new sales channel to showcase their products and increase conversions, all while creating a more frictionless experience for their customers.

Have you started using Instagram shoppable posts yet? Tweet us and let us know if they’ve had an impact on your conversion rate!

March Madness: UK online sales increase by nearly 19%

The lowdown: It seems that March was a VERY good month for online retail in the UK. According to figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Indexes, which collects sales data from over 170 retailers monthly, online sales grew by 18.9% when compared with 2017. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that the ‘Beast from the East’ left people housebound for the guts of a week. More likely though, it’s down to the fact that Easter fell early this year, with growth shooting up from 13% to 27% in the last week of March, mainly attributed to the Home and Garden market.

So could this mean that online retail isn’t actually spiking, it just so happens that people like to spend around the holidays? It’ll be interesting to see if figures drop in March 2019, considering that Easter won’t fall until April 21st next year. Certainly one to keep an eye on!

Quite a package: Logistics are costing US retailers a fortune

The lowdown: Logistics are accounting for 6.9% of eCommerce costs for US retailers, according to a report from logistics consulting and market research firm, Armstrong & Associates. Between transportation, warehousing, and fulfilment, the cost of logistics reached a monstrous $117.2 billion last year.

With customer expectations rising, especially when it comes to delivery, it’s clear that retailers need to synchronise and optimise stock to reduce costs. One way to achieve this is by adopting an omnichannel strategy, which in essence turns bricks and mortar stores into mini-warehouses and has a knock on effect on logistics costs. Find out more about going omnichannel here.  

And that’s you’re eCommerce news in a nutshell! Remember, if you have any thoughts on the latest stories that are making waves in the industry, we’d love to hear from you – post your comments on any of our social media channels, TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.