Activ8 Acquisition, Gift Cards, GSA, Importance of Product Videos, and Looking Ahead

Activ8 Acquisition

Highlands Europe recently announced the acquisition of Activ8, a full-service UK-based eCommerce agency that partners with brands to create bespoke solutions that build and grow sales online.

This acquisition will help Highlands maximize sales and offer a greater depth and reach of services for clients in the US and Europe. Contact us to learn more about Activ8 and how this exciting acquisition can benefit your brand.

Holiday Gift Cards Sales And What It Means For Brands 

According to the BrandedPay post-holiday spending report from global branded payments provider Blackhawk Network, digital gift card (e-gift) sales rose 80% and overall eCommerce gift card sales increased nearly 40% during the 2020 holiday season. Analyzing consumer research and its own U.S. sales, Blackhawk found that surveyed consumers reported doing 68% of their holiday shopping online on average, higher than the anticipated 60% surveyed consumers reported before the holiday season. Following that trend, eCommerce gift card sales growth beat pre-holiday projections and more than tripled the 12% growth seen in 2019.

What does this mean for a brand and how does it impact strategy? As gift card sales increase the ripple effect happens which makes post-holiday purchases an average normal. This is extremely important for brands to consider from an operational and promotional standpoint when the “post-holiday” season occurs.

$12 Million in GSA Purchases

As previously announced, GSA has enhanced the ability to allow government purchasers to shop on Overstock, Amazon, and Fischer. This allows government agencies to make ‘micro’ purchases on these three platforms up to $10,000. GSA supplies include items like office furniture and equipment, along with a wide assortment of other products. 

 Year to date there has been over $12 million GSA purchases from these platforms. With that being said, here are some key points we are receiving from the government eTailors.  

 Interest continues to grow; order and user count has gone up dramatically in Q3. 

  • Thousands of Government buyers now have access to each platform. 
  • User satisfaction with the program is very high at over 90%. 
  • Each platform is onboarding brands and millions of SKUs at a record pace.  
  • The GSA expects this program to grow another 3-4x in 2022. 
  • All contracts have been renewed for another year, due to GSA’s satisfaction with our performance so far. 
  • Program and portal enhancements are constantly being released, improving buyer and seller experiences.   

Why All Your Products Need Video on Amazon

It’s no secret that videos can help you make a sale, especially on Amazon. But studies have found that customers who watch videos in the furniture category on your Amazon brand store are over 6x more likely to purchase the product, and ASINs with at least one video show a potential increase of over 3% in OPS (Operating Cash Flow Per Share).  

With numbers like that, it’s paramount that all products have at least one video containing product details, customer testimonials, product overviews, and more. The good news is that Vendor Central makes it easy. Here are just some of the capabilities that Vendor Central offers that make uploading videos to your Amazon store a breeze.  

  • Upload a video to your details page in just a few minutes 
  • Upload multiple videos for one product or one video for multiple products  Check out data analytics including how many times the video has been viewed and the average view percentage  

For help uploading videos, creating videos, and managing your Amazon store, contact us.  

Looking Ahead 

Scaling Your Business Online in 2022 Webinar coming next month. 

With a predicted $1 Trillion in US eCommerce sales next year, is your business prepared to reach the growing online marketplace? The experts at Highlands will help you examine buyer behavior, omnichannel strategy, emerging online selling platforms, and more in this webinar. 


  • Date: 12/9/21
  • Time: 11am EST