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eBay crosses borders, Chinese singles spend big, and I go shopping


As anyone with a passing acquaintance with economics will know, elastic demand has very little to do with the demand for elastic. No, for elastic demand is that which is affected materially by increases in price. Changes to the prices of things you want – but perhaps don’t need – are where you’re most likely to see this play out.
Interesting then to see that the cost of delivery is listed by eBay Enterprise, in research conducted with Imperial College, as the single biggest factor determining whether or not UK shoppers will buy from overseas.

Presumably, by the point at which you’re adding items to your basket you’ve already been satisfied that you’re getting a good deal as far as the item-price is concerned. But the cost of delivery remains a sensitive issue. In fact, eight out 10 shoppers were likely to be put off by it, the eBay research found.

Those final touch points are undeniably important, as I reaffirmed for myself recently when paying closer attention to the delivery, return and collections processes I was experiencing myself. I can’t be sure, but think I probably make allowances for retailers and carriers when things don’t go according to plan, but for many shoppers those are the moments when the excitement of the purchase and the attendant anticipation can be ruined.

Speaking of excitement and anticipation, what are you up to on 11 November? It’s Singles Day, don’t you know; it’s big in China. And when I say big, I mean last year $9.3bn worth of sales were made on 11 November, as Chinese singletons collectively seized the day. $9.3bn… think about that next time someone tells you how big Black Friday is going to be. In fact, you’ll find some people talking about Black Friday here, in our second round-up of my rule of three for Black Friday would be advice.

There’s more to life than selling online, though. In fact it could be argued that the physical store is about to come into its own, allowing omnichannel operators the chance to really play to their strengths. You could even say stores are the new black, in fact that’s precisely what Lotte Weichenfeldt Schjøtt of delivery management software company EDI-Soft says.

Elsewhere on eDelivery you’ll find the next in our series of interviews with EDC2015 speakers… that’s the eDelivery Conference, taking place on 13 October. Justin Lodge is a keen cyclist, which is handy considering he works at Wiggle, and he’ll be participating in one of our panel events.

We’ve also recently announced a special invitation for smaller, startup businesses to get involved. If that sounds like you, or someone you know, please get in touch.

Tickets are still available for EDC2015 and I’m hoping to personally meet and chat to as many eDelivery readers as I possibly can. If that hasn’t put you off attending, you can find an overview of some of the speakers and themes you can look forward to here. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing interviews with some of them and we very much hope to see you there.

And if you haven’t subscribed to eDelivery yet why not..? You’ll get our weekly newsletter summarising the main stories we’ve covered, and we’ll keep you informed of other big announcements, but we won’t spam you – no one’s liked spam since the 1940s. You’ll find details on subscribing here.

You can also join our LinkedIn group for analysis and networking as it happens, or if you want your updates in real-time find us on Twitter @edeliverynet.

Header image copyright James Petts London, UK. (Old-fashioned shop) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
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