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E-Commerce here to stay, despite continued lockdowns

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With much of the world still in partial lockdown, E-Commerce is here to stay. So where does that leave bricks-and-mortar retail?

Not necessarily in the dust, according to Reuben Mallalieu, Head of Ecom World 2021 and our guest on Ticker Green

Reuben Mallalieu runs the biggest e-commerce conference in the world, Ecom World 2021. A digital event, run over two days in late June with over 15,000 attendees. The event garners speakers from big tech, e-commerce and media such as Gary Vaynerchuk and other high profile names from Facebook, Snapchat, Spotify and Shopify. It also provides a platform for lesser-known brands making a splash. 

In a post-pandemic world, it would be easy to think traditional retail will be dead. Not according to Mallalieu, who believes that a bricks-and-mortar flagship store will still be an aspirational destination for digitally native brands. In Mallalieu’s view, consumers will always want to understand the look and feel of a product in-store. However it’s not a luxury all brands can afford. 

That’s where e-commerce comes in. Once upon a time, a business would open its shop doors and wait to receive its first customer. Now, it launches a website. Platforms like Shopify have enabled an explosion of direct-to-consumer e-commerce brands to launch. “It’s easier than ever to build and scale a business just with the tools we have available in the world of e-commerce”, Mallalieu says.  

Mallalieu gave us more than just predictions about the future of retail. He let us in on what he believes is the secret sauce to successfully running an e-commerce business in 2021:

“You need to have three key areas in place to be able to build and scale a business to over $1 million.”

  1. Product & Operations – Good margins, a quality product and operations to scale.
  2. Brand – The coolest brand possible with amazing product shots and a great online storefront.
  3. Growth – A robust growth marketing plan based on paid ads or other organic strategies to reach your audience.

So what does this mean for direct-to-consumer brands with a sustainability focus? Well it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that Mallalieu is optimistic.“I am a massive fanboy of Allbirds…they are now a billion-dollar shoe brand focused on sustainability,” Mallalieu says.

For newer sustainability players like my business Single Use Ain’t Sexy, Ecom World 2021 is a place for us to share ideas and talk shop! Our first-to-market dissolvable hand soap tablets & reusable glass bottles have already sold out twice & attracted thousands of eco-friendly customers.

If you’re keen to stay ahead of the curve, drop into some of the online events at Ecom World 2021 on 28 and 29 June 2021.

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Business

Management shake up at under fire Qantas

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There’s been a management shake up at Australia’s flag carrier airline Qantas, which has come under fire for cancellations and delays

Jetstar CEO and longtime Qantas executive Gareth Evans has resigned.

He was touted as a potential replacement for controversial Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.

Gareth Evans has been with Qantas for 23 years.

He has been chief of Jetstar since 2017, but has worked across the group and has now “decided this is the right moment to move on”.

This comes as the aviation grapples with the higher fuel prices and staffing issues at airports that are affecting much of the industry globally.

Strong demand

Qantas has also updated the market, saying it’s on track to record second half earnings of just over 500 million dollars.

Underlying profit is set to return in FY23, while debt levels are now well below pre-pandemic levels.

Qantas says this is due to continued strong domestic and international travel demand.

Qantas has come under fire for long delays and cancellations
Qantas has come under fire for long delays and cancellations

After peaking at more than $6.4bn at the height of the pandemic, net debt is expected to fall to around $4bn by June 30, an improvement of around $1.5bn in the past six months.

The airline has come under sustained pressure, with many passengers complaining about long queues, cancellations and delays.

Qantas is calling for patience ahead of the winter school break rush as it hires more staff to manage increased demand at airports.

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Business

Nike to fully exit Russia

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U.S. sportswear maker Nike is making a full exit from Russia, three months after suspending its operations there, the company said in an emailed statement Thursday

The sportswear giant had said back in March that it would suspend operations at all the stores it owns or operates there.

On Thursday (June 23) the firm said it would leave the country altogether.

In a statement, Nike said it would scale down over the coming months.

The move is largely symbolic for the company, which gets less than 1% of its revenue from Russia and Ukraine combined.

It says any stores that are still open there are run by independent partners.

In May, Russian media reported that Nike had not renewed agreements with Inventive Retail Group, its largest franchisee there.

Now the full exit lputs Nike in line with other major western brands such as McDonald’s and Google.

Foreign companies seeking to leave face the prospect of new laws being passed that will allow Moscow to seize assets and impose criminal penalties.

That has prompted some businesses to accelerate their departure plans.

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Business

U.S. orders vape company Juul to cease sales

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Juul has been an industry leader in the vaping sphere since its establishment in 2015, controlling 75 per cent of America’s market by its third year of operations.

This is just the latest crackdown on the Tabacco industry by the Biden administration, all part of a sweeping effort to regulate the sector after years of delay.

The White House has also announced a rule to establish a maximum level of nicotine in tobacco products in an attempt to make them less addictive.

After a nearly two-year-long review, the FDA said Juul submitted insufficient and conflicting data to show that its e-cigarettes met public health standards.

The regulator also said the findings raised “significant questions,” including whether potentially harmful chemicals could leach out of Juul pods.

The decision potentially deals a fatal blow to the once high-flying San Francisco company.

Juul did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The FDA had to judge whether Juul’s products, which have been sold for years without being officially authorized by the agency, were effective in getting smokers to quit and, if so, whether the benefits to smokers outweighed the potential health risks to new e-cigarette users, including teenagers.

“They prey on children.”

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin hailed the decision by the FDA on Thursday, but said “they’re in for a legal battle for sure.”

Earlier this week, the Biden administration said it also plans to propose a rule establishing a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes and other tobacco products to make them less addictive.

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