Ecommerce moments of the week: WeChat goes global, Delta goes BNPL, and NFTs hit the runway 

fashion models

The world of ecommerce is truly thriving at the moment. This week features two runways (fashion and airport) and one social giant. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite. 

WeChat’s foray into ecommerce

We know that when it comes to the future of ecommerce, China has long been leading the way. From influencers whose sole purpose is to host longform shopping livestreams, to hosting the highest-grossing shopping event in the world, there are certain forward-thinking shopping trends that have not yet gone global.

This is exactly what makes the latest Chinese ecommerce development so interesting. WeChat – the multi-purpose social media app that has over a billion monthly active users – has taken a bold step into cross-border ecommerce. WeChat has launched a mini-program which would enable cross-border transactions from within the app. 

For global brands, the potential is clear. It’s a chance to introduce themselves to WeChat’s highly engaged app user base – and break into the Chinese market. Social commerce is already a huge part of the Chinese shopping experience, and with two years of internal testing under their belts, WeChat is more than likely to see global interest from brands. 

NFT dress hits London Fashion Week

The world of high fashion has often been dubbed an inaccessible one. But UK fashion giant ROKSANDA has taken this one step further – by launching a dress that can never actually be worn, even by those who own it. 

Premiering at the Tate Britain in London Fashion Week, the dress was digitally rendered and is now available to “buy” in limited batches. But there are no plans to put the garment into production – instead, it will exist digitally, and can only be purchased as an NFT. 

It’s a move that forces us to redefine what we imagine when we think of fashion. Owners of the ROKSANDA NFT will be able to “wear” the dress only via Augmented Reality, and even the context of this is restricted based on which “tier” of NFT they buy. The most expensive tier will enable owners to float about various metaverses whilst wearing the dress. 

From a brand with a large Millennial audience, this is an interesting move for ROKSANDA – and it’s one they’ve deliberately made with Gen Z in mind. At present, 83% of Gen Zs don’t know what an NFT is, and just 1% actually own one. But as always, there will be early adopters of trends that later become set in stone – and ROKSANDA could be one of them. 

Delta launches a BNPL option for young fliers 

We know that a huge contingent of US Gen Zs are frequent fliers. 41% go to college out of state or country, so they rely on air travel to get to and from their hometowns in between terms. 

Major US airline, Delta, is directly targeting this demographic with a new Buy Now, Pay Later offering. Delta has teamed up with American Express to launch its Plan It tool, which empowers travelers to pay in installments over a period of time ranging from 3 to 24 months. 

Buy Now, Pay Later is a hot topic for Gen Zs – they are often a primary target for these services, and as our Future of Ecommerce report shows, their opinion on BNPL is divided. 

However, BNPL could realistically thrive in a travel setting, where it’s genuinely preferable to split high payments out over several months or years. Let’s see if it takes off. 

Which ecommerce moment is most appealing to you? Which do you think will have the biggest impact on Gen Z? Vote now in our LinkedIn poll. 

Gen Z and the Future of Ecommerce

Access the interactive report