Update: House of Fraser cancels online orders
House of Fraser’s website has been taken offline due to a disagreement between its main warehouse and new owners Sports Direct. Yesterday it was reported that employees at House of Fraser’s distribution centre in Wellingborough have been ordered to stop accepting goods and processing deliveries by the site operator XPO Logistics due to a dispute over delivery payment terms.
Online shoppers open to AR and VR tech
Almost half of UK shoppers would be more likely to buy online if they could use technology such as augmented reality (AR) to test the product in a realistic way, according to research. A survey of 1,000 UK shoppers by e-commerce agency PushON found growing demand for new immersive technologies such as AR and VR (virtual reality), with 45 per cent of customers saying they would like the chance to “look around” and get a feel for products in 3D.
Fashion tech firm Threads bags $20 million funding
Threads, a fashion tech business that uses chat commerce to connect millennials with luxury brands, has landed $20million in a Series A funding round. The London-based company which helps Millennials and Generation Z shoppers find the right luxury outfit through a mobile-based app, has secured investment from C Ventures, a lead investor in Moda Operandi and Highland Europe, an investor in the MatchesFashion, a luxury fashion goods website.
Tech focus behind JD.com revenue growth
Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has published its second quarter results, revealing a 31.2 per cent increase in revenue to $18.5 billion. Services revenues for JD.com were also up 51 per cent from the second quarter of 2017, as the retailer continued to develop its ‘Retail as a Service’ strategy, providing retail partners with the latest innovations in technology to improve efficiency and support growth.
Online retail sales reach record proportion
Retail sales were up by 3.5 per cent in July, when compared with the slower growth of 1.1 per cent during the same month last year, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures. The data also showed that spending online increased to reach a new record proportion of all retailing at 18.2 per cent in July, with strong growth in department stores also reaching a record proportion at 18.2 per cent.
Fat Face boss warns of High Street woes
Fat Face saw overall sales increase 7.4 per cent over the full year to 2 June, driven by online sales - which make up 20 per cent of the retailer’s revenue - up 11.8 per cent year-on-year. Over the year, sales increased to £238.4 million, representing a like-for-like growth of 4.9 per cent across the fashion brand.
Shoppers ‘not understood’ by retailers: Salesforce
New research has revealed that 64 per cent of shoppers feel retailers do not understand them, suggesting there is room for improvement with personalisation and loyalty initiatives. Salesforce surveyed 6,000 consumers across six countries, along with mystery shopping assessments of 70 stores across London, New York and San Francisco, and analysis of digital shopping behaviour from 500 million shoppers and 1.4 billion e-commerce visits worldwide.
M&S partners with Twilio for call centre automation
Marks & Spencer has entered into partnership with Twilio, a cloud-based automated communications service, to help it handle more than 12 million customer calls annually. The High Street giant announced its link-up with the San Francisco-based internet firm as part of a £25 million technological transformation programme aimed at improving efficiencies and streamlining switchboard services.
Dubai mega-mall unveils omnichannel retail plan
Consumers at Dubai’s next mega-mall will be able to shop via mobile and try on the latest 3D-printed fashions in interactive mirrors as part of plans to build the world’s first omnichannel retail development. Emaar and Dubai Holding, the owners of the colossal Dubai Square retail and leisure development, have unveiled plans for a $2 billion tech-driven retail destination which aims to “blur the boundaries between online and in-mall shopping”.
India mulls e-commerce clampdown
India's lawmakers are weighing up measures to make its $32 billion e-commerce market more hostile to US tech giants. A draft of rules set to go before the Indian parliament would see a major clampdown on access to India’s e-commerce sector for companies including Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook, according to the Wall Street Journal, which has seen a version of the bill.
Bugs in MPoS devices could expose customers
Security flaws in a number of market-leading mobile point of sale (MPoS) devices could leave customers open to fraudulent charging and vulnerable payment methods, according to researchers. Leigh-Anne Galloway and Tim Yunusov, researchers from security firm Positive Technologies, looked at seven MPoS devices popular in the US and Europe, including devices sold by Square, iZettle, PayPal and SumUp.