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The weekly dispatch: Twitter looks to online payments, Victoria’s Secret embraces D2C

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So, what’s coming up on the weekly dispatch? 

UPS is taking its shipping and fulfillment services to the next level. Elon Musk has major plans for Twitter. Victoria’s Secret makes a new acquisition, and a survey reveals which categories are in high demand for holiday spending. Read on for an analysis of these trending headliners in retail, ecommerce, technology, and logistics:

Holiday spending set to decline in 2022

A holiday-themed shopping cart.

A holiday spending survey conducted by The Conference Board reveals a slight decline in what consumers are planning to spend during the holiday season this year. 

The survey found that on average, consumers plan to spend $613 this year on gifts, compared to $648 last year.1

But as economic worry continues to loom in the U.S., consumers are not only changing the way they shop for the holidays but also what they’re buying. Preparations for the holidays are revealed to be top priorities, rather than actual gift purchases, with $393 to be spent on average for holiday prep items in contrast to $374 spent last year. This includes food, decorations, wrapping paper, and the like.

Gift cards took out the top spot for highest potential spend, with Toys & Games and Vacation & Travel rounding out the top of the list. Categories including home décor, furniture and appliances, jewelry and accessories, and tools & hardware are projected to not fare as well.

Brick and mortar will be the primary choice for holiday spending, with 39% of consumers planning on shopping online, down from 52% in 2020, at the height of the pandemic.                             

Victoria’s Secret to acquire DTC brand Adore Me

Lingerie models with varied body types.

Victoria’s Secret has announced the acquisition of digitally-native lingerie brand Adore Me for $400 million, the next step in its repositioning as a modern, inclusive retailer.2

This deal comes as Victoria’s Secret, who once defined the standard for what was considered “sexy” in the Western world, has struggled to stay relevant within the competitive industry it once dominated.

Emerging lingerie brands such as ThirdLove, Aerie, Fenty, and Adore Me have pioneered an inclusive and progressive marketing approach, which has made Victoria’s Secret’s rampant sex appeal appear increasingly out of date to younger audiences.

As a result, the lingerie giant has been making deliberate strides to transform its brand image as more inclusive and culturally aware. Their most recent acquest of Adore Me, as well as their investment into Frankies Bikinis earlier this year, are all a part of this new growth plan to reverse their current standing in the marketplace.

Elon Musk intends to make Twitter a major player in online payments

A phone showing the Twitter logo next to physical Bitcoins.

As the new owner of Twitter, billionaire Elon Musk is setting his sights on making the social media platform a rival to PayPal by facilitating purchases online.3

Inspiration comes from China’s WeChat platform, the mobile payment giant which carries major similarities to Twitter. According to numerous media outlets like Fortune and New York Times, Musk intends to quintuple Twitter’s revenue by 2028, to the tune of $26.4 billion. 

The payments industry is not a new area for Musk, who co-founded a company that would eventually partner with another to create PayPal. Musk is rumored to also be interested in accepting cryptocurrencies within the app, with Twitter already having this capability after signing a deal with Stripe back in April to be a crypto payment processor.4

No matter the route, Elon Musk is determined to make Twitter a viable revenue generator.

UPS to add ‘logistic as a service’ to their list of offerings

A UPS deliveryman unloading boxes from a truck.

UPS plans to add ‘logistics as a service’ as an additional revenue source as part of its new “better and bolder” business strategy.5

The parcel company has been experiencing a decline in revenue, as small parcel volumes are dropping back to pre-pandemic levels with the reopening of brick-and-mortar retail.

The plan is intended to fill this financial gap and will include five key features:

  • Delivery density – create more efficiency in package delivery.
  • End-to-end visibility – improved visibility from the manufacturer to final distribution points.
  • Financial solutions – to add more financial features to the current UPS Capital services.
  • Advanced capabilities – enhance warehousing, fulfillment and shipping services.
  •  Robust reversed logistics – create an internal returns workflow separate from its returns partnership with Amazon.6

Carol Tomé, UPS CEO describes the strategy in a statement, “Bolder is about moving faster to grow in our targeted market segment. It’s also about combining digital solutions with our global integrated network to create more value for our customers and new revenue opportunities for UPS.”

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