July online retail sales up 11 per cent
UK online retail sales were up 11 per cent year-on-year in July, according to the latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. This was the lowest July growth rate for the Index in four years (since July 2013), although it was building on a high growth rate recorded in July last year (when it was 18.6 per cent). Growth for online sales so far in 2017 (Jan-Jul) is +12 per cent.
Carpetright adds online personalisation
Carpetright has partnered with marketing personalisation outfit Qubit in a bid to drive in-store sales through tailored online experiences. The flooring and beds retailer, which has more than 400 stores in the UK as well as 137 across Holland, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland, selected Qubit after seeing a marked increase in online sales.
Amazon to open Bristol fulfilment centre in 2018
Amazon has announced plans to open a new fulfilment centre in Bristol next year, in a move which is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs in the area. The fulfilment centre adds to the online retail giant’s £6.4 billion investment in the UK since 2010 and will be equipped with advanced Amazon Robotics technology.
UK mobile contactless payments skyrocket
Mobile contactless transactions in UK stores has skyrocketed to £370 million in the first six months of 2017, a 336 per cent rise on the previous year, the latest Worldpay data has shown. The use of mobile devices to make in-store payments has been growing steadily since the UK launch of Apple Pay in 2015, but according to Worldpay it is only in the past 12 months that the technology has begun to gain widespread acceptance beyond ‘early adopters,’ further fuelled by the launch of Android Pay in 2016 and Samsung Pay earlier this year.
Taskers improves efficiency with EPoS system
Home improvement chain Taskers has boosted its business efficiency and in-store customer experience through the implementation of a new electronic point of sale (EPoS) system. Taskers has five branches across the UK, employing more than 300 people and stocking around 60,000 products. The retailer struggled with the complexity of data generated daily within the company, including sales and stock control, as well as financial operations and customer care.
Amazon launches US Instant Pickup service
Amazon is this week launching its new Instant Pickup service at selected locations in the US, allowing its Prime customers to order and receive items in-store in less than two minutes. The free service, which is available for Prime and Prime Student members, includes a range of daily essentials which can be available for pickup in two minutes or less at five of Amazon’s locations in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Berkeley, Columbus, and College Park in Maryland.
Card acceptance ‘key for UK shoppers’
Almost half of all UK consumers would go elsewhere if a retailer only offered cash as a payment option. The study, from business technology provider First Data, revealed that UK businesses risk losing one in every two customers by not accepting non-cash payments. In a survey of 1,000 UK consumers conducted by OnePoll, card payments emerged as the preferred method of payment for 59 per cent of respondents. Rather than seek an ATM, 43 per cent said that they would either not make the purchase, or go elsewhere if they found themselves without cash, and no other payment option was offered.
Urban Outfitters to invest in digital as sales fall
Urban Outfitters is looking to invest further in its digital offering after the retailer posted a second quarter decline in sales. The firm’s like-for-like in-store sales dropped 4.9 per cent for the three months to the end of July. Total net sales during this period also fell, this time by two per cent compared to the same quarter last year, to $873 million.
intu to pilot new virtual reality ‘experiences’
Shopping centre group intu is piloting a new virtual reality scheme to test whether the technology could soon become commonplace at its 14 shopping centres across the UK. intu has launched its first paid-for virtual reality experience at three of the country's most popular shopping centres over August where customers can interact with characters and worlds from The Emoji Movie.