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  • Writer's pictureLaura Berni

Impulse-buying and CoviDistractions

Hello and Welcome Back to my bi-weekly blog.

What can I say, I really put the Bi in Bi-weekly. Very appropriate.

As you can see already, my puns are on fire. Lock me up already. Oh, wait…

It’s day N. 832934155 of lockdown and night and day have started being a social construct. I mean, we are approaching that time of the year in Scotland where it's brighter at 4 am than 2 pm. If you are wondering whether I’m enjoying it, the answer is no. I like darkness, especially since I go to bed at like 3-4 am every day, and I do not need the universe to remind me of how disrupted my schedule is.

I often find myself navigating through Amazon, EbeBayay, Wish, or GumTree (usually at the same time) just to pass the time, thinking about all the things I never really needed but that seem essential now. Somehow, even though I’ve tried to limit my spending…

I still manage to get deliveries all the time. My latest purchases included a package of 25 sponges and some fake lashes (I’m coming for you, Monet X Change). Am I watching too much DragRace (AGAIN)? Yes, most definitely.

This continuous impulse-buying has, however, got me thinking (Do not worry Dan, I won't rant about how capitalism glorifies consumerism. Not yet at least. Next time, maybe)

Is E-Commerce blooming under Lockdown?

I am not the only one to think so. Facebook has recently unveiled Facebook Shops, a new feature to help small businesses in the U.S. turn their social media profiles into digital storefronts. Facebook's introduction of Shops expands on past efforts to bolster mobile commerce, while the coronavirus pandemic has added urgency to helping small businesses whose brick-and-mortar stores were ordered to close during lockdowns.

In most cases, Facebook Shops will act like an online catalog for businesses, whose customers will have to leave Facebook and complete a purchase on a separate website. The company is currently testing Facebook Checkout among a limited number of businesses that were invited to participate in the pilot platform, which enables purchasing without leaving the Facebook app. Facebook charges a commission on those transactions, but hasn't disclosed its fee structure while the program is being tested. E-commerce is on the rise among us quarantined consumers who can't go to physical stores to buy goods. Shops could help Facebook capitalise on this opportunity and accelerate adoption for the shoppable features it's been steadily building out over the past.

Would people trust Facebook as a shopping platform? And would it really help small businesses? Truth be told, I do not like buying from a website I do not know. As horrible as Amazon is, I know I can always rely on their customer service if my items do not arrive or are damaged. Could Facebook provide the same safety net? And could that threaten the hegemony of Jeff Bezos?

But Facebook is not the only company taking advantage of the Covid-19 situation.

Pinterest is rolling out a new product recommendation tool called Shopping Spotlights, which will showcase selections of Pin products as chosen by fashion influencers and publishers. The listings will be curated by guest experts and fashion leaders, breathing new life into the influencer market. Tap through on any Spotlight to view themed collections, with products that could help to keep you up on the latest trends and styles. With more and more people turning to Pinterest during lockdown for inspiration on DIY projects and arts and crafts, the company is working hard to enhance its product discovery features.

I have to be honest, I am enjoying Pinterest more and more. I think it has improved massively over the last years and can really boost your creativity. But it has a lot of unexpressed marketing potential still. I was navigating through the website to find inspiration to decorate my bedroom, and ended up buying the stuff I needed from Wish (well, it still hasn't arrived). I hope the attention it has gained during lockdown will help them develop an even better platform and maybe even start commissioning art.

What is your take on new E-commerce mediums? Let me know what your latest impulse-buy was and we can decide who’s was the weirdest.

Till next time!


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