Sainsbury’s in supply chain technology initiative
Sainsbury’s and Unilever have joined a new international initiative that will test whether blockchain and other technologies can help reward sustainability in the supply chain. The new collaboration is made up of six international companies and banks – including Barclays and BNP Paribas – plus four FinTech startups. The project, which has secured private and public funding of more than £600,000, will trial the concept by using a shared data system for tea farmers in Malawi that supply Unilever and Sainsbury’s.
iZettle closes €40m funding round
Payments company iZettle has announced the closure of a €40 million funding round, which will be used to accelerate its growth strategy and product innovation. The Swedish firm has been expanding its original mobile card reader and payments proposition into a small business commerce platform – offering SMEs tools to take payments, register and track sales, and source funding. The firm is now present in 12 markets across Europe and Latin America, and has plans to expand further in the coming months.
Christmas TV ads boost social media engagement
Aldi’s Christmas TV ad has been ranked the most successful this year, after the retailer witnessed a 152 per cent increase in social media chatter and engagement in the five minutes following the start of each airing. Boots (141 per cent) and Tesco (120 per cent) completed the top three in a list compiled by 4C Insights, while traditional frontrunners M&S and John Lewis ranked 9th and 10th, with uplifts of 64 per cent and 54 per cent respectively.
L’Occitane signs personalisation tech deal
Cosmetics retailer L’Occitane has partnered with Salesforce for use of its Commerce Cloud platform, which will deliver highly personalised shopping experiences for customers and accelerate the brand’s global growth. The retailer will be replacing its in-house e-commerce system with Commerce Cloud’s multi-site, multi-language and multi-currency capabilities.
Consumers ‘want more enjoyable in-store experience’
More than three quarters of UK consumers believe that retailers are not doing enough to make shopping in-store enjoyable, new research has shown. Six in 10 respondents surveyed by Vista Retail Support wanted retailers to deploy new technologies such as kiosks, interactive screens, augmented reality (AR) and smart mirrors – enabling shoppers to explore products and how they might look or work.
American Express drops signature requirement
American Express has announced that from April 2018 it will be eliminating any remaining requirements for merchants to collect card holder signatures for purchase transactions at the point of sale. The move, which applies globally to all American Express-accepting merchants, is aimed at providing a more consistent and simplified checkout experience for merchants and card members in all regions around the world, speeding up the in-store payment process and helping to reduce merchants’ operating expenses associated with retaining signatures.
Tony Bianco benefits from merchandising tech
Shoe retailer Tony Bianco has reported a 24 per cent increase in average order value following the introduction of new on-site search and merchandising technology to its international and domestic websites. The retailer also saw a 20 per cent uplift in conversion rates globally, with the UK the fourth largest market for Tony Bianco outside of its native Australia.
Global card payments to hit nearly 500bn by 2022
The total number of card payments made worldwide increased by 14 per cent to 310 billion in 2016, and is forecast to rise by more than 50 per cent to 483 billion by 2022. This is according to the latest RBR Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2022 report, which found that while growth in the number of card payments outpaced growth in the number of cards in virtually all markets, local factors were key in boosting specific fast-growing markets.
Currys PC World signs On the dot partnership
Currys PC World has partnered with delivery brand On the dot to launch a same-day delivery service across its UK network. The new fulfilment option is designed to offer customers a more convenient and efficient delivery experience. Customers opting for same-day home deliveries will be able to select a two-hour delivery timeslot of their choice that day, between 12pm and 10pm. Same-day timeslots will automatically be displayed upon checkout to eligible customers – those placing an order for a small item before 4pm.
UK retailers ‘set for cross-border sales boost’
Cross-border trade will increase by 57 per cent for UK retailers this festive period, according to a new prediction from VoucherCodes. Foreign consumers purchasing from stores based in the UK are expected to generate £1.4 billion in retail sales this Christmas, up from £905 million in 2016. The forecast attributes this increase to a more established online sector in the UK, the widely-spoken English language and cheaper merchandise due to currency depreciation.
Augmented reality ‘could drive big-ticket sales’
A third of UK consumers would be more likely to buy a high-ticket product if they could use augmented reality (AR) to visualise how the item would look in their home. This is according to a new survey from DigitalBridge, which found that half of respondents believe that being able to plan, test and view multiple room designs and products before spending money would be the biggest benefit of AR.