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Welcome to the first edition of Ecommerce Marketing Overheard — I’m Chelsea, AdRoll’s Sr. Product Marketing Manager. 👋 Consider me the ecommerce world’s Gossip Girl — I’ll give you the monthly lowdown on what marketers are talking about, updates on how the ecommerce landscape is changing, and the market data that matters. 

In this edition:
Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)
Health & Wellness: Consumerization and Personalization
Fashion: Comfort, Inclusivity, and Sustainability 

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)

What’s going on with finance in ecommerce? As a shopper, you may have seen a dress priced at $148 but then a small block of text underneath “or four payments of $37.” 

“Pay Later,” sometimes called “Buy Now, Pay Later,” is a solution for point-of-sale financing. Retailers offering a BNPL solution enable customers to choose a financing plan and pay in installments instead of paying the entire cost up-front. These solutions are often provided to customers with no (or extremely low) interest at no additional cost.

Image: Reformation

Why BNPL Is On My Radar: 

  • Growth isn’t stopping anytime soon. 📈 A recent report from Bank of America said that it expected BNPL services to grow 10-15x by 2025 and process between $650 billion and $1 trillion in transactions annually.
  • Consumers are increasingly relying on them as a payment option. 💳 As of the end of 2020, 44% of consumers said the option to use a BNPL service is somewhat or very important in determining how much they spend during the holidays.
  • It’s moving beyond ecommerce. 🏬 Last fall, Afterpay began rolling out its services at fashion retailers’ brick and mortar locations, including Aritzia and Forever 21. Affirm has run in-store marketing campaigns with partners like Audi and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Most recently, Macy’s announced an in-store partnership with Klarna. “In the next four to eight months, you’re not going to find a major retailer in the US that’s not offering some sort of a flexible payment option online and in-store,” says David Sykes, Head of Klarna US

This Matters to Ecommerce Marketers Because…

BNPL is a safe payment solution

BNPL suppliers offer protection for the retailer and consumer by assuming credit risk for both. A BNPL service like Klarna makes sure that retailers get paid immediately, even if the customer defaults. 

It can help combat abandoned carts

According to The Baymard Institute, high costs are the second most commonly cited reason for abandoned carts. Installment options can help ease shoppers’ budget fears and encourage them to complete their purchase. In fact, BNPL can even increase average basket sizes by 20–30%.

Learn more about BNPL:

3 Reasons BNPL Is the Credit Card of the 21st Century

Health & Wellness: Consumerization and Personalization 

Health & wellness mean different things to each of us, and the term “self-care” has become pervasive in pop culture. In fact, between 2019 and 2020, Google Search Trends shows a 250% increase in self-care-related searches. 

Regardless of your interpretation, the resounding evidence is that wellness has become a focal point in our lives — the global wellness market at more than $1.5 trillion, with annual growth expected to climb by 5-10%. 

Top Two Health & Wellness Trends

1. Consumerization of health 👩‍⚕️

Digital health companies have followed a consumer playbook — specifically, stigmatized areas are now being addressed. From hims and their cheeky ads for their ED solutions offering to Modern Fertility’s democratization of fertility hormone testing at home, consumers have never had so much access in an aesthetically pleasing and story-driven way.

Example: Love Wellness is a one-stop shop for women’s wellness, providing them with natural, organic, doctor-recommended solutions for vaginal and personal care. Their catalog is filled with eye-catching visuals, bright colors, and chic packaging. 

Image: Love Wellness

2. Personalization 👫

In the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany, more than 88% of consumers report prioritizing personalization in their products and marketing as much as or more than they did two or three years ago.

Example: Care/of offers a personalized quiz that asks new users for demographic information, like their age and gender, and information on their lifestyle habits to recommend which vitamins and supplements users take. They’ve done an excellent job building an ecosystem around their quizzes by building an app that users can download to record when they’ve taken their vitamins, receive messages of encouragement, and read articles on wellness and nutrition. (Note: Quizzes are also a great tactic to help prepare you to make the shift from third-party data to first-party data!)

Image: care/of

For more on how hims is transforming the health and wellness industry: 

Unrolling: The LOLA and Hims Brands

Fashion: Comfort, Inclusivity, and Sustainability

While 60% of customers have reduced their fashion spend during the pandemic, ecommerce fashion brands with the right mix of digital strategies have scored huge. Case in point: ecommerce fashion sales nearly doubled from 16 to 30% of total global revenue in the past year.

Top Three Fashion Trends 

1. Loungewear and comfort are here to stay 🛌

The global sleepwear and loungewear market is poised to grow by about 20 billion in 3 years, partially driven by designer options. 

2. Diversity in size and marketing matters 🙌 

In the past, beauty was defined by being tall, thin, white, but that’s no longer the case. Now, brands are embracing authentic, diverse, non-photoshopped bodies that reflect what the consumer base looks like. 

3. Sustainability is a must ♻️

Not-so-fun fact: the fashion industry emits more carbon than the airline and maritime industries combined. Brands are rethinking their strategies to be more environmentally and socially responsible because 63-67% of consumers consider a brand stance on sustainability as a critical factor in purchasing decisions.  

For our full report on 2021 fashion trends: 

The 2021 Fashion Ecommerce Trends Report

I hope you enjoyed this first edition of Ecommerce Marketing Overheard — until next time! XOXO, Chelsea


Chelsea is the Sr. Product Marketing Manager focusing on Voice of Customer at AdRoll. She uncovers customer insights and stories and shares them across the company. Chelsea started an ecommerce accessories business in her teens which sparked a love of helping other merchants grow their businesses. Outside of work, she loves Ikea hacking, making Italian cocktails and meals, and hiking.