E-commerce growth ‘driving retail remodelling’
Rapid e-commerce growth in Western Europe is forcing retailers to reconfigure their physical store footprint as footfall continues to decline, new research from Forrester has suggested. The company’s Online Retail Forecast predicted that online retail sales will grow at an average of 11.9 per cent over the next five years in Western Europe, with Italy and Spain expected to see the fastest growth. Furthermore, the report forecasted that 21 per cent of non-grocery retail sales will be online by 2022, while e-commerce will account for 4.5 per cent of grocery sales.
intu online sales up 50 per cent
Shopping centre group intu has published its annual results for the year ended 31 December 2017, revealing a 50 per cent increase in sales through its online platform. The group has increased investment in its digital offering, with image recognition recently introduced to assist product search. The website’s premium section ‘Shop Insider’ saw traffic up almost 200 per cent in the year to 1.5 million visits – leading to a 50 per cent increase in the number of visits to the shopping pages.
Ecrebo names Kelvin Clibbon as CTO
Point of sale (POS) technology firm Ecrebo has appointed Kelvin Clibbon as chief technology officer (CTO), who will focus on enhancing the company’s POS platform. Clibbon brings more than 20 years’ experience to the role, joining from Lumeon where he worked as chief technology officer. Previously, he led a team of more than 250 engineers as chief technology officer for Powa Technologies, an e-commerce and mobile payments provider.
Retail shopping apps ‘driving mobile sales’
Dedicated shopping apps are driving widespread mobile success for European retailers, according to a new report from Criteo. The study found that the performance gains are substantial when a retailer prioritises app optimisation alongside its mobile web offering. Retailers with a shopping app see half on online transactions taking place through mobile, with 54 per cent of those taking place via their app – opposed to on mobile web.
NBrown switches to cloud solution
Retail group NBrown, whose brands include JD Williams, Simply Be and Jacamo, has adopted IBM Cloud to better serve customers across multiple digital channels and expand its reach into new marketplaces. With continued growth in online sales, the retailer required high performance connectivity and the ability to scale to keep pace with global demand. By choosing IBM Cloud, customers of NBrown will now be able to browse products across the retailer’s web and mobile sites with more flexible credit options.
Digital channels boost Hotel Chocolat revenues
Hotel Chocolat has published its half year results for the 26 weeks ended 31 December 2017, revealing 16 per cent growth in website sites – driven by an increase in traffic from mobile devices. Total revenues were up 15 per cent to £71.7 million, with profit before tax was also up 15 per cent to £12.9 million. The retailer opened 10 new stores over the period, contributing five per cent to group sales growth.
Google begins Android Pay transformation
Google is rolling out an update to its Android Pay mobile app, rebranding the payments service as Google Pay in order to unite all of its different payment tools under the Google Pay brand. The new payments app will also host some new features as the firm aims to make payments ubiquitous across online, in-app and in-store. The Google Pay homepage will now highlight nearby stores where you can pay through the service, based on previous purchases and stores you have visited.
175m Europeans ‘ready for wearable payments’
A quarter of Europeans expect to start using a wearable device, such as a smartwatch, bracelet or keyring, to complete contactless payments, according to new figures from Mastercard. Contactless spend on Mastercard and Maestro grew by 145 per cent in the last year, as the tap-and-go payment method continues to grow in popularity. Barriers to using contactless have also decreased, according to Mastercard, with concerns around fraud dropping 24 per cent across Europe, particularly in the Netherlands (-41 per cent), Spain (-33 per cent) and the UK (-31 per cent).
UK shoppers ‘want integrated loyalty programmes’
A lack of omnichannel integration between online and in-store loyalty programmes is leaving seven in 10 UK shoppers disappointed, new research has found. The survey from Vodat, which quizzed over 1,000 UK consumers, found that a lack of personalisation was the top frustration for shoppers when it came to retailers’ loyalty schemes, with 65 per cent of respondents stating that they do not get sufficiently targeted offers in-store.
Shop Direct automates cyber attack detection
UK digital retailer Shop Direct has selected Vectra to protect its e-commerce sites and enterprise operations, streamlining security operations. Shop Direct, whose brands include Very and Littlewoods, has four million active users across its sites and over £1.9 billion in annual sales. The new European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now requires firms to actively mitigate cyber risks, with stringent penalties should a retailer not be compliant.
Amsterdam airport trials Deliveroo gate deliveries
Amsterdam Schiphol airport has partnered with Deliveroo to launch a pilot in which passengers flying from Pier E can order food and drinks directly to their gate. Passengers can order their meals via the Deliveroo app or website, with meals prepared in the street food market and delivered by Schiphol’s food and beverage partner HMSHost. Orders are delivered by scooter to the gate or the Mercure Hotel for a delivery charge of €2.50.