Skip to content

eComm News from Unlikely Places

Caterpillar, Durex, DoorDash Update Digital Offerings

Read 'eComm News from Unlikely Places'

Table of Contents

Ever scanned a QR code to buy bulldozer parts? Bought a pack of condoms via livestream? Ordered mascara with your takeout?

All of these things are now reality.

Heavy Equipment Goes Digital

Caterpillar has rolled out a new Cat Central mobile app, hoping to expand their digital reach and keep hold of the 100,000 new members added to their digital platform last year.

A customer can use the app to scan the QR code on a Caterpillar machine and get information directly related to that piece of equipment, which the app identifies through the serial number embedded in the QR code.

That provides the customer with direct access to parts that fit that machine. While that makes it easier for customers to buy replacement parts, that’s not the app’s only function, Caterpillar says.

The app also provides each day personalized informational content and tips related to each customer’s equipment. The idea is to encourage customers — especially smaller customers who only buy parts occasionally — to use the app every day.

Caterpillar Inc. surpassed $2 billion in digital part sales in 2021, and in May 2022 set a goal of increasing online sales through its dealers by another 50% within three years. That goal was realized in less than half the planned time, according to Caterpillar.

The Illinois-based manufacturer makes a range of heavy equipment for industrial, development and agricultural use.

Final Mile Via DoorDash?

DoorDash is expanding delivery offerings, adding beauty products to their traditional food services.

More than 20 percent of DoorDash customers are multi-category consumers, and beauty products are a common last-minute request, executives told PYMNTS.

With an established network of 30-minute delivery channels, adding partnerships with Sally Beauty and MAC Cosmetics made sense, company leaders said. An existing partnership with Sephora is also being expanded.

The company is also leaning heavily into their DoubleDash feature, which allows food customers to add non-restaurant items to their orders.

Eventually, the company hopes to pick up a major share of last-minute purchases in multiple categories, and transition from a food-focused app to a broader local commerce delivery system.

DoorDash also announced that a ‘pilot-less pilot’ program debuted in Australia is being tested in Virginia. In partnership with a local Wendy’s outlet and drone operator Wing, the service is testing a drone delivery program for small orders with a limited area.

R-B Explores Condom Push in Sensitive Chinese Market

The British consumer goods company, which owns the Durex brand, is testing the waters of livestreaming as a sales channel for condoms in China, Reuters reported. This initiative is part of Reckitt’s strategy to expand its share of the $5 billion-plus condom market in China, but may struggle to get through government censors who flag sexual content on Chinese ecommerce and social platforms.

Reckitt has experienced success with livestreaming household products in China. However, selling condoms through this platform may prove more challenging due to the stringent regulation of sex-related content online.

Reckitt began live streaming select Durex products on Douyin, the local version of TikTok, last summer and plans to expand its offerings in the future.

Livestreaming has been a driving force behind the e-commerce boom in China, generating sales of $238 billion in 2022. This figure is expected to exceed $300 billion by 2025, according to research firm eMarketer.

Despite these challenges, the potential of the Chinese condom market is a compelling opportunity for Reckitt. The company currently holds a 40% market share as of 2020, according to Daxue Consulting.

Stay up to date on the latest Omnichannel news by Subscribing to Our Newsletter