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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Luxury fashion retailer Matchesfashion.com has announced that it will open a photography and video production studio in an effort to “accelerate the business’s innovative digital ambitions and substantially increase its visual content output”. The 22,000 square foot facility will be located at Here East, in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Initially 75 people will be employed in the new space with the capacity to grow the team by 150 jobs over four years.
Aldi has announced a partnership with Instacart which will allow the supermarket chain’s US customers to get groceries delivered direct to their door. The service, which will be trialled in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas later this month, enables users to order items to be delivered in as little as one hour.
The number of UK retailers who have fallen victim to cyber attacks has doubled in the past year, new figures have shown. According to data from law firm RPC, the number of retail businesses reporting data breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office jumped from 19 in 2015/16 to 38 in 2016/17. RPC says that the risks involved in data breaches are increasing in the retail industry, as retailers accumulate more and more personal information on their customers as part of their Big Data initiatives.
PayPal has launched two new innovation labs in India to support projects in the field of machine learning, artificial intelligence, data science, IoT, AR, VR and basic robotics. The new labs, which are located at the Chennai and Bangalore tech centres, are PayPal’s first in India and its third overall after the US and Singapore.
Sainsbury’s has begun trialling a 30-minute Click and Collect grocery service, making it the first supermarket to offer sub one-hour collection options. The pilot, which is taking place from the supermarket giant’s Pimlico store, will allow customers to order their shopping via the Chop Chop app and pick it up from store just 30 minutes later, for no fee.
The Hut Group, one of the world’s largest online health and beauty retailers has announced the acquisition of lifestyle brand Glossybox. The Hut Group acquired the firm from majority shareholders Rocket Internet and Kinnevik Online for an unspecified amount. Founded in 2011 in Berlin, Glossybox provides beauty box subscription services and operates in ten markets with offices in the UK, Germany, France, Sweden and the USA.
Footfall in July fell 1.1 per cent on the previous year, despite an increase in visitor numbers at retail parks, the latest BRC-Springboard figures show. The decline was also below the three month three month rolling average of -0.4 per cent and the 12 month of -0.2 per cent. However, there were four positive months within the past 12 against an average of two within the previous three years.
Brand loyalty is declining as consumers prioritise speed, innovation and convenience when they shop, new research has found. The international study from e-commerce consultancy Salmon, which surveyed over 6,000 consumers across the UK, US and Benelux, showed that almost nine in ten (88 per cent) consumers believe speed of delivery is more important to them than the brand being ordered (78 per cent).
Dixons Travel has unveiled a new digital concept store within the departure lounge at London’s Heathrow airport. The new concept store, located in the airport’s Terminal Three lounge, includes dedicated space to demonstrate the latest technologies live on the shop floor. Passengers can also try out the latest technology whilst keeping an eye on their flights through departure screens, and 50 plus metres of digital signage line the entire internal store perimeter, highlighting tailored offers and explaining the latest tech benefits to improve the shopping experience.
UK home interiors retailer, Thomas Sanderson, has launched a new digital marketing strategy which will be powered by Force24. The brand has invested in new marketing automation technology in order to deliver a better quality retail experience for its customers. The aim is to develop a greater understanding of customers’ positioning within the buying cycle, and roll out relevant communications throughout the design consultation, survey, manufacture, installation and after care stages.
Singapore’s DBS Bank has taken advantage of the relaxing of regulatory restrictions as it moves into the e-commerce market with the launch of an online car selling marketplace. With some 3,500 direct-owner car listings, DBS Car Marketplace’s official launch makes it Singapore’s first online consumer marketplace helmed by a bank.
The number of cash payments decreased by 11 per cent between 2015 and 2016, but physical currency remains the most frequently used payment method in the UK, according to new UK Finance data. Consumers and businesses made 15.4 billion cash payments in 2016 – down from 17.2 billion in 2015. But despite the decline, cash was still used 25 per cent more often than the second most frequently used method, debit cards, at 11.6 billion payments.
ASOS has announced that visual search on the ASOS iOS mobile app is now available to all its UK customers and will be coming soon to the ASOS Android app. From this week, users of the online fashion retailer’s app can instantly search through 85,000 products using just a photo. Customers will be able to ﬁnd just what they’re looking for – whether starting with a screenshot from Instagram, a picture of their friend or a photo taken of a magazine page.
UK classifieds website Gumtree has teamed up with AnyVan in a move which, for the first time, will allow its users to take advantage of a range of delivery options. The partnership gives users who are looking to buy or sell second hand goods the option to use AnyVan when completing a transaction to arrange delivery.
Online fashion retailer Zalando has seen revenues rise almost a quarter in H1 2017, as the firm looks to further expand its European fulfilment network. Zalando’s half-year revenues increased 21.5 per cent to €2.08 billion. For the full year, the Berlin-based retailer expects revenue growth in the upper half of its guided range of 20-25 per cent. As part of its continued growth initiatives, Zalando plans to expand its European fulfillment network with two large centres in Poland and Italy. The firm already operates sites of a similar size in Erfurt, Mönchengladbach and Lahr (Germany), and is preparing to launch initial operations in Gryfino (Poland) in the third quarter of 2017.
The shortlist has been announced for this year’s Retail Systems Awards, which recognise technology excellence and innovation across the retail sector. Winning entries come from retailers and technology suppliers who are leading the way in areas such as mobile, online, payments, in-store technology, loyalty, marketing and personalisation.
Russian e-commerce technology firm Yandex has signed a deal with Sberbank to combine the technologies and infrastructures of both organisations in order to developing a new e-commerce platform. The agreement states that Sberbank will invest 30 billion rubles ($500 million) into Yandex.Market, with the two partners owning equal stakes in the venture. Up to 10 per cent of the company’s shares will be allocated for an equity incentive pool for Yandex.Market management and employees.
New Look has seen underlying profits plunge more than 60 per cent in the first quarter of the new financial year, despite double-digit growth in third party e-commerce sales. Underlying profits fell to £12.1 million for the 13 weeks to 24 June, down from £30.5 million in the same period last year.
Online fashion retailer ASOS has announced that it is to open a new $40 million e-commerce fulfilment centre in North America. The new hub will be located in Union City, Georgia and operations are expected to start in autumn 2018. The fulfilment centre aims to significantly enhance the retailer’s US customer proposition by providing more cost effective, faster and more flexible delivery options.
US e-commerce retailer Overstock.com has partnered with digital asset exchange firm ShapeShift in a move which will allow its customers to use all the major cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Monero, and the new Bitcoin Cash, to purchase goods online. ShapeShift allows digital currencies to be converted between different coin types in a matter of seconds, all without any account setup or personal data required. Instead, the funds are sent to a specific address, with the blockchain record of the transaction acting as both the order and the receipt.
Total card spending in the UK reached £57.1 billion in June, up by 0.3 per cent on May and seven per cent on June 2016, the latest UK Finance figures show. There were just under 1.4 billion card payments in June, a monthly record and a 12 per cent rise in the last 12 months. This is the highest annual rate of growth in the number of payments since June 2008, driven by a robust rise in online (20 per cent) and contactless (143 per cent) purchases.
Supermarket giant Tesco is to replace its 5p single use carrier bags with a new ‘Bag for Life’ made from 94 per cent recycled plastic. The new bag, which will be introduced on August 28, will be priced at 10p and sales of the bag will fund community projects across Britain. The 5p bags will henceforth no longer be available to customers.
A third of retailers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland already have a presence in more than one shopping channel, while half of those with only one physical store are planning to expand their business to e-commerce. This is according to a SIX Payment Services survey of 300 merchants, which found that four in 10 retailers have indicated that they already use omnichannel practices. Some 11 per cent said they are focusing on developing an omnichannel experience for their customers, and 32 per cent are planning to invest in this area in the next three years.
River Island has reported a reduction in retail theft of 60 per cent on garments at its flagship store on Oxford Street following the introduction of new security tag technology. The fashion retailer achieved the result after their profit protection team made the switch to Agon Systems’ device the Concept Tag.
US supermarket chain Schnucks has partnered with Simbe Robotics to test an aisle-roving robot named Tally in three of its stores. The six week pilot programme, which began at the end of July, will see Tally charged with scanning store aisles three times a day to help keep Schnucks stores stay fully stocked.
The sale of food helped to drive total retail sales in July in the UK, while online sales continued its steady growth, according to the latest BRC-KPMG figures. The Retail Sales Monitor for July found that online sales of non-food products grew 8.3 per cent year-on-year, compared with 11.2 per cent in July 2016. Over the three months to July, online sales of non-food products grew 7.8 per cent while the 12-month average stands at 8.4 per cent.
Global mobile traffic share of e-commerce sites has jumped to 57 per cent, marking a 23 per cent increase year-on-year. This is according to Salesforce’s Q2 2017 Shopping Index, which analyses the online activities of more than 500 million worldwide shoppers. It found that mobile now accounts for 60 per cent of total e-commerce in the UK, an increase of nine per cent year-on-year.
US fashion retailer American Apparel, which filed for bankruptcy last year, is set to start selling goods online again as it gets set to relaunch its website next week. Since purchasing the struggling brand for $88 million earlier this year, Canadian brand Glidan Activewear has taken over the production of clothing and increased the number of shipments to wholesalers. Coupled with the website relaunch, the company is also targeting a boost in exports and retail partnerships.
US retailer City Furniture has selected Ingenico Group to upgrade its point of sale (PoS) systems across its 15 City Furniture and 12 Ashley Furniture HomeStore showrooms. All of City Furniture’s stores have now implemented Ingenico Group’s mobile point of sale (mPoS) card reader, which is paired with an iPad Pro via Bluetooth to run additional applications. The solution also leverages Ingenico’s EMV Software Development Kit and Ingenico Decryption Web Service (DWS).
Consumer spending in the UK fell for the third month in a row in July, according to the latest Visa figures, despite a small rise in online spending. The Visa data revealed that consumer spending dropped 0.8 per cent on an annual basis, following declines in both May and June. Transport and communication (- 6.1 per cent) and clothing and footwear (-5.2 per cent) saw the biggest falls in spending.
More than three quarters (77 per cent) of UK adults bought goods or services online in the last 12 months which, although unchanged from 2016, still marks a rise of 24 per cent since 2008. This is according to the latest ONS figures, which found that the largest rise in adults buying online was from those aged 55 to 64 years, where there has been a rise of 30 percentage points since 2008, to 75 per cent in 2017. The age group with the smallest rise in online shopping was those aged 25 to 34 years, with growth of 17 percentage points, to 89 per cent in 2017.
Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo has begun introducing vending machines that dispense items of clothing in airports and malls across the US. The first machine has been installed at Oakland Airport in California, with additional machines to be installed at nine other airports and malls at sites including Los Angeles, Houston and New York over the course of the next two months.
Cloud IQ, a UK startup which provides e-commerce conversion rate technology, has secured £4 million in a funding round led by PayPal and including previous investors. The latest capital investment follows a previous £4 million Series A funding round in March this year, with investments from Nauta Capital, Finance Wales and Juno Capital.
UK retail search volumes on smartphones increased 26 per cent in the second quarter of 2017, compared to the previous year, the latest BRC-Google data has revealed. The figures also revealed that for all devices across the UK, search volumes maintained year-on-year growth of seven per cent in Q2 2017.
Jiffy, the service developed by SIA to send and receive money in real time via smartphone using just a user’s mobile number, has launched in more than 150 retail outlets in Milan, Rome and Turin. The new service enables users to pay via app instantly and securely with those outlets that have signed up with Intesa Sanpaolo bank. The payment is made at the store by scanning the QR Code created by the merchant at the time of purchase.
Bread, a US consumer purchasing startup that builds ‘pay over time’solutions for online merchants, has announced the completion of a $126 million equity and debt financing round. Menlo Ventures led the equity round, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, RRE Ventures, and others. As part of the round, Mark Siegel, Menlo’s managing partner, will be joining Bread’s board of directors. The debt facility was provided by Victory Park Capital.
Online fashion retailer Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP) has published its half year report to 30 June 2017, revealing revenue growth of 20.2 per cent to reach €519 million. The retailer recorded 394.1 million visits to its websites, up from 342.7 million in the first half of 2016. These visits resulted in 4.5 million orders, up from 3.9 million year-on-year. The average order value also increased €10 year-on-year to reach €345.
Nearly half of British consumers believe all payments will be made in-app by 2022, a new study has revealed. The research by Ubamarket, which surveyed more than 2,000 UK adults, found that currently 20 per cent of British shoppers say in-app payments are their favourite method of paying for items. This rises to 34 per cent among 18-34 year olds.
Singapore department chain BHG has completed the initial roll-out of Eurostop’s EPoS systems in the newest of its seven outlets, before a further roll-out to its remaining locations across the country. The outlet is located at Jurong Point, Singapore’s largest suburban mall and a major shopping attraction in the area. From sign up to go-live, Eurostop successfully completed the rapid rollout of its systems, including integration to existing architecture in just over three months.
The majority of sales for multi-channel retailers in the UK still come from in-store transactions, according to new research from Qmatic UK. The report highlighted the continued importance of the bricks and mortar store, and how retailers must master a channel agnostic approach to meet the shifting expectations of today’s consumer.
More than half of consumers say that a retailer’s returns policy directly impacts their decision to buy a product, new research has found. The KPS report also found that over half (51 per cent) of shoppers said that will not order from a company that does not have a free returns policy. Meanwhile, two thirds (63 per cent) expressed that they want the option to return a purchase via any channel if they decide not to keep it, with 41 per cent less likely to order a product online if they cannot take it back directly to a store.
New research from customer insights firm Feefo has found that UK consumers are more likely to post a positive online review than a negative one. The survey found that 71 per cent of UK shoppers will go online to leave a review if they have had a good experience of a product or service, compared with 52 per cent who go online after a bad experience.
UK brands are collecting less than a third of relevant personal data on their customers, and only 25 per cent of that data set is being used in segmentation for real-time customer engagement, a new study has found. The report from analytics firm SAS found that nearly 60 per cent of UK organisations believe that real-time customer engagement can deliver a 10 to 40 per cent increase in revenue, yet many are failing to implement such systems.
Nearly three quarters of British consumers have abandoned their shopping baskets on retailer websites and apps due to finding the payment process tedious or because of concerns over online security, new research suggests. The study from Visa, which looked at the spending habits of 1,000 UK online shoppers, found that, of those who have abandoned their basket mid-purchase, more than three-quarters (76 per cent) cited concerns over sharing personal information with unfamiliar sites as a key reason.
Contactless spending is expected to soar by more than 300 per cent over the next four years as seven in 10 Brits use the technology to pay more frequently than 12 months ago, new Barclaycard data suggests. The study, which has been conducted ahead of the 10th anniversary of contactless next month, also indicates that the continued surge of ‘touch and go’ payments is set to save UK shoppers 141 million hours, worth almost £1 billion pounds in time, by 2021.
John Lewis has selected five new retail technology startups for its JLAB accelerator programme, including a smart grocery shopping app, a new addressing system and a platform which uses AI to predict footfall. Now in its fourth year, JLAB has become the UK's largest retail technology accelerators, with Waitrose joining John Lewis for the first time this year, in a move designed to broaden access and opportunities for UK and international startups.
Payments firm Wordline has announced a three year multi-million pound contract extension with Whitbread to continue providing business account card services at its Premier Inn hotels and restaurants. The contract extension, which is valued at £16.7 million, means Wordline will continue providing card services which aim to make it easy for business travelers to pay for meals and accommodation. The scheme also looks to ensure greater efficiency and transparent cost controls.
Small businesses and entrepreneurs on Amazon Marketplace sold more than two billion items worldwide, in a record breaking first half of 2017. The online retail giant’s figures also reveal that sales grew by 60 per cent for small businesses and entrepreneurs on Prime Day this year. With more than 300 million active customers, Amazon offers small businesses the opportunity to reach shoppers in more than 180 countries around the world. Amazon has 11 marketplaces around the world for small businesses and entrepreneurs to reach customers.
JD.com and the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) are launching a new pop-up store on JD.com to showcase some of the best known and up-and-coming British brands to Chinese consumers. The pop-up store was launched on JD Worldwide, JD.com’s cross-border e-commerce platform in mid-July to introduce dozens of high-end British brands to Chinese consumers for the first time.
Volkswagen has opened its inaugural concept store in Birmingham with a host of digital features, including one which allows users to customise car designs using iPads. Located in the city’s Bullring shopping centre, which has an annual footfall of 36 million, the concept store aims to respond to shifting consumer attitudes and the demand for new shopping experiences. Customers can conduct everything from initial enquiries to the purchase of a new or pre-owned Volkswagen car in the interactive space.
Premier League club West Ham United has partnered with cyber security firm Foregenix in an effort to safeguard its data in preparation for the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR rules come into force in May next year and require firms to adhere to strict data protection regulations or face substantial fines if they fail to do so. West Ham will look to include a number of new cyber security initiatives as part of the deal with Foregenix and build on the work carried out as part of the club’s move to their new London Stadium home.
Shoeaholics, part of the Kurt Geiger group, is driving customer acquisition with shoppable social content on and off its website. The online designer retailer for shoes and accessories is working with marketing technology company Curalate to increase brand engagement and revenue potential of visual content, including user generated content (UGC), posted on social channels.
British fashion retailer Joules has seen profits jump in its first year as a listed company on the back of a strong online performance. Joules saw its group revenue rise 19.6 per cent to £157 million for the 52 weeks ending 28 May 2017 and its underlying pre-tax profits jumped 34 per cent to £10.1 million.
Cards have overtaken cash for the very first time as the top payment method for Australian consumers, according to the latest report from the country’s central bank. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s Consumer Payments Survey 2016 found that Australian consumers continued to switch from paper-based ways of making payments such as cash and cheques, towards digital payment methods, particularly debit and credit cards.
Bank of America and PayPal have joined forces to enable in-store payments and account linking, offering joint customers a new way to pay online, in apps and in-store. Under the strategic partnership Bank of America customers will soon be able to transact with PayPal in stores and link their Bank of America cards into PayPal. The new service will be available to customers in the first half of 2018.
Online retail giant Amazon has announced the launch of its Prime Now service in Singapore, offering customers free two-hour delivery on a variety of items. Users can shop for tens of thousands of products on the Prime Now app from their phone and have them delivered direct to their door. For a limited time, Prime Now will be available in Singapore to try without a Prime membership.
Women’s clothing retailer Bonmarché has posted sales growth of 7.6 per cent in the first quarter of the new financial year, largely driven by a sharp rise in online sales. For the 13 week period ending Saturday 1 July, the retailer saw online sales figures increase 39 per cent on the same period last year. Store like-for-like sales also rose during this period, this time by a more conservative 4.2 per cent.
Visa has partnered with open API payment card issuing platform, Marqeta, in an effort to drive further innovations in commercial and consumer payments. In addition, Visa has made a strategic investment in Marqeta in order to support the latter’s domestic and international growth. The initial efforts of the partnership will involve growing opportunities for virtual, physical and tokenised payments across a number of commercial markets and use cases that can benefit from Marqeta’s platform.
There is a disparity between the views of cost-sensitive online shoppers in the UK and retailers when it comes to delivery preferences, a new report has found. The Temando research, which collected survey data from 275 retailers and 1,300 online shoppers in the UK, revealed that 86 per cent of shoppers prefer free delivery over fast delivery, yet retailers assume the preference is more evenly split at 43 per cent and 57 per cent respectively.
Online shoppers follow the herd even when it’s a rip off – that’s according to a new study from InterContinental Hotels Group. The research found that, when it comes to booking holidays, Brits are more persuaded by the behaviour of other travellers than lower prices. The study of more than 1,200 UK consumers, found holidaymakers were 10 per cent more likely to book if they saw the message ‘12 other people have booked’ and 14 per cent more likely to hit the ‘book’ button when the message shot up to ‘40 other people have booked’.
Online action sports Freestyle Xtreme, has implemented the Snapfulfil cloud warehouse management system (WMS) in order to drive efficiencies in its global fulfilment operation. Freestyle Xtreme operates 20 multi-country, multi-lingual websites, and ships to more than 60 countries worldwide. Having grown in size considerably over the last 12 months, Freestyle Xtreme found that the warehouse management module of its ERP system lacked both the functionality and flexibility it needed to manage its fulfilment operations.
Global consumer goods company Unilever has signed a deal with Accenture to create a single system for its trade and marketing operations. Unilever will implement Accenture Cloud Trade Promotion Management (TPM) and Accenture Cloud Retail Execution (RE) solutions, which are built on the Salesforce platform, to achieve this goal.
Visa has announced the opening of two new state-of-the-art data centers in the UK and Singapore, in an effort to expand its global transaction processing capabilities. The new processing centres are designed to meet the growing demand for digital payments around the world. The two hubs will increase the speed, resilience and geo-diversity of Visa’s infrastructure, while looking to strengthen the company’s ability to deliver new and more sophisticated ways to pay.
Amazon has announced plans to double the number of research and development (R&D) roles in London as it opens a new UK head office in the capital. The online retailer has announced it will take all 15 storeys and 600,000 square feet of the Principal Place building in Shoreditch, so it can double the capacity of its London Development Centre from 450 to 900 high tech staff.
UK online retailer Buy It Direct has rolled out a new mobile workforce management platform across its nationwide delivery fleet. The Yorkshire based company, whose brands include Laptops Direct and Appliances Direct, delivers thousands of electrical appliances directly to consumers daily and manages end-to-end product fulfilment for national retailers including Debenhams.
Fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch is expanding further into China after announcing the launch of its store on Alibaba Group’s Tmall – the country’s largest consumer platform for brands and retailers. Tmall has carried the Hollister brand since 2014 and starting on July 26, it will also include a full offering of Abercrombie & Fitch and Abercrombie kids products.
The deadline for this year’s Payments Awards has been extended to 4 August, so there is still time to submit your organisation’s entries. Now in their fifth year and hosted by Retail Systems and sister title FStech, there are 27 categories to choose from, with five new trophies up for grabs including the Customer Focus Award and Payments Infrastructure Award.
The vast majority of consumers who have experienced Augmented Reality (AR) in a retail store say they found it helpful and report that it has improved their shopping experience, a new survey has found. According to research from Vista Retail Support, of the respondents who have experienced AR in a store, 96 percent say they have used an AR headset that allows users to view 3D computer-generated images of products as if they are in front of them. 92 percent of those respondents say they found the headset experience helpful.
Tesco has announced its decision to offer same-day grocery deliveries nationwide, becoming the first UK supermarket to do so. Tesco launched same-day grocery delivery in London and the southeast in 2014 and is now extending the service to over 300 stores across the UK, covering 99 per cent of UK households. According to the supermarket giant, it represents the biggest reach of any retailer in the UK, stretching from the Shetland Islands in Scotland to Cornwall in southwest England.
Smashbox Cosmetics has implemented new eye-tracking technology onto its iOS app, which tracks the location on the screen that the user is looking at and provides insights into ‘gaze actions’, in a move designed to boost conversion rates. The solution from ModiFace highlights the location which users were looking at to create a heat map of the areas on the screen that receive more attention. This heat map can provide insights into what user experiences work best, and what features users are most interested in.
A £14 billion lawsuit filed against Mastercard claiming it collectively overcharged more than 45 million UK consumers over a 16-year period has been rejected by a judge. The judge and the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) agreed with the global payments firm that the claims were not suitable under the current collective actions regime, meaning that the case will not go to trial.
Retail technology firm Aptos has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire TXT Retail, a provider of end-to-end merchandise lifecycle management solutions for retailers. The acquisition is expected to close September 2017 subject to customary closing conditions, combining Aptos’ customer engagement and inventory management solutions with TXT’s merchandise lifestyle management suite.
Retailers are set to accelerate spending on next-generation technologies over the next few years, according to a new report. The research, from internet service provider Claranet, which surveyed hundreds of firms across Europe, revealed that while many retailers are already using next-generation technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), spend on these technologies is expected to rocket in the coming years.
Retailers in the UK value the future of physical stores in omnichannel strategies yet lack drive to innovate the in-store experience as much as online, new research from Qmatic suggests. The research found that on average, retailers spend £1 million a year on improving the customer experience within physical stores, but half admitted that they are investing considerably more in their e-commerce offering, with only a quarter (25 per cent) injecting comparatively more budget into bricks and mortar.
Sharps Bedrooms has announced the successful implementation of new delivery route planning and scheduling software. The UK fitted bedrooms retailer is using the cloud-based software from Maxoptra to support a nationwide team of installers with the rapid manufacture, dispatch and delivery of any missing or replacement components.
PayPal has expanded its relationship with JPMorgan Chase to drive more choice, flexibility and value in the payments space for joint customers of the two firms. The new terms enable PayPal to further expand its reach in-store, enable Chase-issued cards to be easily added to newly created or existing PayPal accounts and will allow joint customers to use their Chase Ultimate Rewards Points anywhere PayPal is accepted online and in-app.
Arcadia Group has partnered with technology provider Red Ant to develop an online ordering in-store service for seven of the group’s brands — Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Evans, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Wallis. Developed to improve in-store sales, efficiencies and customer service, the assisted sales application connects online with offline in a move designed to bring all the benefits of the website to the physical store.
Two in five retailers across the globe have experienced a data breach in the past year, according to the 2017 Thales Data Threat Report. The report revealed that a staggering 43 per cent of retailers had experienced a data breach in the last year, with a third (32 per cent) claiming more than one. With six in 10 retailers claiming that they had been breached in the past, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that the majority (88 per cent) of retailers consider themselves to be ‘vulnerable’ to data threats,
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published the UK retail sales figures for June, revealing that online spending was up 15.9 per cent year-on-year. The average weekly spending online reached £1.1 billion, a 15.9 per cent increase when compared with June 2016 and a 1.8 per cent month-on-month. The amount spent online accounted for 16.2 per cent of all retail spending, compared with 16 per cent in May 2017.
Only a third (34 per cent) of retailers claim that their current IT infrastructure supports their efforts to deliver an end-to-end omnichannel experience for their customers, new research suggests. The research, from IT software provider Zynstra, also revealed that fewer than half of retailers feel their current demands are being effectively met by their IT infrastructure, let alone provide a platform for innovative new customer applications.
The Open, which begins today, will be accepting mobile payments for the first time, allowing golf fans to order food and drinks directly from their phones. As the patrons of the championship, Mastercard will enable spectators to order and pay for their food and drinks through the Qkr! with Masterpass app while on the course.
A third of all UK card payments are now contactless, a sharp rise from the 18 per cent figure posted in May 2016, the latest UK Finance statistics show. A total of £4.5 billion was spent via contactless in May 2017, compared to £3.9 billion in April 2017. The number of card payments in total continued to grow to 1.4 billion, an increase of 12 per cent over the past year.
The health of UK retail dropped one point to 82 in the first quarter of 2017, breaking the trend of three consecutive flat quarters. This is according to the latest KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank (RTT) figures, which also predicted that cost pressures would become the key drivers of the further deterioration of health in the second quarter. The RTT agreed that of the main drivers of retail health – demand, margin and cost – all factors conspired to work against retailers in Q1.
A group of 12 major UK grocery retailers and brands have outlined their commitment to move to a single industry solution which will transform the way they manage and exchange product data. GS1 UK, a global supply chain standards organisation, has issued an industry charter signed by 12 firms – which include Co-op, Itsu, L’Oréal, Mondelēz, Nestlé, Ocado, PepsiCo, P&G, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Unilever and Waitrose.
The government has unveiled new rules outlawing additional card charges in the UK, which it says regularly see people charged 20 per cent extra for purchases when paying with a credit or debit card. Global airlines and food takeaway apps are common offenders of adding surcharge costs for customers to make card payments or use other services such as PayPal. While many industries have acted to absorb the cost and not pass these on to consumers, these rules will bring an end to the practice entirely.
Bank of England governor Mark Carney has unveiled the forthcoming polymer £10 note, which will depict author Jane Austen and include a host of new design and security features. The banknote was revealed yesterday – on the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death – in an event at Westminster Cathedral, the final resting place of the world-renowned author. It will be printed on polymer and is the first Bank of England banknote with a tactile feature to help blind and partially sighted users.
TGI Fridays has become the first UK bar to implement Mastercard’s new Qkr! payment app function ‘Bar Tab’ which allows customers to set up, manage and pay bar tabs using their smartphones. The new Qkr! function was unveiled at an event attended by Retail Systems at TGI Fridays in Leicester Square. The application will be integrated into Oracle Hospitality’s restaurant management platform and Masterpass, the digital payment service. After the initial debut, TGI Fridays plans to deploy the app to 80 additional locations in the UK by the end of 2017.
To create an enhanced customer experience for airport goers and to further track footfall, Heathrow has introduced augmented reality (AR) across the airport. Working with AR firm Ads Reality, the airport has unveiled a new Mr Men and Little Miss character called Little Miss Explorer. Children and parents can pose to take pictures with the characters, by scanning markers that are placed in each terminal, on their smartphones.
Consumers who are looking to buy more ‘complex’ items will use a variety of channels as they research and validate their decision across multiple touchpoints, a new report suggests. Research from Black Pepper Software found that consumers preferred to buy everyday items in one channel; over half (51 per cent) always buy groceries in-store, while fashion purchases are split between the store (29 per cent) and online (24 per cent). However, when it came to ‘big ticket’ items, such as buying a car, a quarter (23 per cent) said that they research options in both physical and online channels.
Visa and PayPal have today announced an extension of their strategic partnership to Europe, having previously collaborated in the US and Asia Pacific to accelerate the adoption of secure and convenient online, in-app and in-store payments. Additionally, PayPal - under its banking licence in Europe, is joining the Visa network of client financial institutions and will be able to offer Visa accounts in Europe, enabling consumers and businesses to use their PayPal funds to spend wherever Visa is accepted worldwide.
UK home improvement retailer Travis Perkins has improved its relationship with its customers following the implementation of an analytics platform from SAS.
The retailer is now able to manage its extensive product range, through identifying and stocking those products most important to customers across its 2,000 branches in the UK.
Online fashion platform Zalando has published its half year trading update, revealing increased revenues of 22 per cent to reach €1.7 billion. In the second quarter of 2017, the company achieved revenues of €1.1 billion, up from €916 million in Q2 of 2016. The adjusted EBIT for the first half-year 2017 is expected to be €100-106 million, representing a margin of around 4.8-5.1 per cent.
European payments outfit Worldline has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the share capital of Digital River World Payments (DRWP). Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Stockholm, DRWP is a subsidiary of Digital River and employs approximately 120 employees worldwide. With global payment gateway, multi-acquiring and collecting services under one roof and having generated yearly gross revenue of approximately €37 million in 2016, DRWP delivers online payment acceptance and optimisation solutions for enterprise brands in 175 countries.
The global payment cards market has grown by eight per cent to reach 14 billion cards currently in use worldwide, with UnionPay consolidating its position as the largest scheme, according to new research from RBR. With a billion new cards issued in the space of a year, the global market remains buoyant. The fastest growth is in Asia-Pacific, driven by financial inclusion initiatives, with China contributing by far the most to the rise in card numbers. By 2022, the number of cards worldwide is forecast to rise to 17 billion as many people, particularly in parts of Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa, still do not hold a payment card.
The rapid increase in the popularity of contactless and mobile payments presents retailers with an opportunity to optimise their in-store environment, significantly reducing friction in the customer journey. This is according to a new study from Qmatic UK, which highlighted that contactless purchases now account for over 30 per cent of card transactions, up from 10 per cent in October 2015.
UK High Street footfall saw a welcome boost in June as the beginning of summer brought with it increasingly warmer weather, the latest BRC-Springboard figures show. Footfall on the High Street rose 0.9 per cent in June, reversing the previous year’s 3.7 per cent decline. This is five basis points above the three month average of 0.4 per cent.
Half of UK consumers would donate more to charity if they did not have to rely on having cash, new research reveals. The poll, commissioned by Nationwide Current Accounts, shows that charity collectors and street artists could boost their takings by going contactless with Brits more likely to give twice as much if they use their phones or cards to pay.
Quarter-to-quarter, online searches for groceries have increased by 108 per cent (2.7 million between January to March to 5.7 million between April and June) and now represent 12 of the top 50 most popular search terms , new research has revealed. The research also found that everyday essentials now account for 20 per cent of all online shopping searches.
Amazon Prime Day surpassed both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, making it the single biggest day of sales in the online retail giant’s history. The third annual Prime Day offered a host of online deals which were available to Prime customers for a total of 30 hours and across 13 countries. The event kicked off at 6pm (BST) on Monday 10 July and finished at midnight on Tuesday 11.
Pets at Home has announced the unveiling of a new IBM-powered iPad app which will be used across 434 of the retailer’s stores nationwide in an effort to make it easier and simpler for customers to purchase products. Previously, customers who were unable to secure the right products and services for their pets had to either go online or visit another store, however, the introduction of IBM’s Sales Assist app into Pets at Home stores means that employees now have a fast way to access a wider range of insights and products.
Online fashion retailer ASOS has seen sales increase by almost a third (32 per cent) to just over £660 million in the four months to June 2017. International retail sales grew 44 per cent, with the UK posting a 16 per cent rise in sales to £235 million. EU retail sales grew 41 per cent, with the strong overseas figures likely due, in part at least, to the decline of the pound.
Retail app commerce firm Poq has secured £3.5 million in a new funding round led by growth capital investor Beringea with additional funding from Meyer Bergman and Barclays. This round brings the total amount raised by Poq so far to £7 million. Poq provides a Software-as-a-Service platformfor iOS and Android that enables retailers to build shopping apps for their customers.
Visa has launched a major initiative to help US restaurants and other food outlets go entirely cashless, by offering a $500,000 prize to 50 eligible companies who stop taking cash payments. The Visa Cashless Challenge aims to create a culture where cash is no longer king, by giving merchants increased ability to accept all forms of global digital payments.
Retailers must develop emotional intelligence and alter their customer journey accordingly, according to new research from Klarna, which found that 16-34 year olds are more likely than older generations to be influenced by ‘emotional factors’ when shopping online. The study found that Millennials experience higher levels of anxiety, impulsiveness and impatience than the older generation, with 68 per cent of Millennials reporting feelings of excitement when adding items to their basket, compared to 24 per cent of people over 55.
Tesco has signed a deal with Thames Card Technology to launch what is said to be the UK’s first contactless loyalty card programme, designed to increase security and value for customers. Thames has now completed the personalisation, processing and issuance of 750,000 card packs per week over the course of the project for Tesco. It also manufactures, personalises and encapsulates the companion keyfob. Thames’ investment in state of the art equipment enables it to personalise the magnetic stripe, contactless chip and barcode in one pass. This maximises efficiency and allows Thames to react quickly to Tesco’s needs.
Retailers are ready for AI marketing but 70 per cent regard technical skills as a barrier to mainstream adoption, a new study has revealed. The research from Emarsys, and conducted by Forrester Consulting, found that nearly one in two retailers are missing out on leveraging AI marketing to personalise the customer journey and better understand customer behaviours.
Amazon has filed a patent for an adjustable robotic mannequin that will allow customers to check how a prospective item would fit on them. The patent describes a sensor-equipped mannequin that can adjust between different sizes so a customer can assess how the item would look. Pressure readings from the mannequin can also determine whether the garment is too loose or too tight.
Debit cards have overtaken cash to become the number one payment method in the UK, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC). The annual Payments Survey reveals that, for the first time, retail purchases made by card account for more than 50 per cent of all customer transactions by volume. According to BRC, this has partly been driven by UK customers increasingly using cards for lower value payments and retailers’ investment in payment technology facilitating greater customer choice over how they pay for their goods both in store and online.
Fashion retailer Missguided has partnered with Doddle to use its Click and Collect technology solution in their flagship stores at Westfield Stratford and Bluewater Kent. The Powered by Doddle solution, which has been deployed to handheld Android devices, includes all the software, training, communications and analytics modules that retailers need to enhance their Click and Collect service.
Today marks the third annual Amazon Prime Day, where online deals are available to Prime customers for a total of 30 hours and across 13 countries. The event kicked off six hours earlier this year at 2am (BST). In addition to shopping deals, Prime members can stream live deal reveals at the top of every hour during peak shopping times – and buy the featured products right there, as they’re watching.
Some 20 per cent of Irish consumers experience problems with their online shopping deliveries, new research has found. With online Irish consumer spending reaching a record €7.5 billion annually, The PCA Predict data found that there there is still a way to go for retailers when it comes to meeting their customers’ delivery needs. The 20 per cent who experience issues with delivery equates to 920,000 people across Ireland that regularly face delivery issues with their online purchases. Additionally, one in 10 (12 per cent) Irish people said they have experienced issues in the last year with up to 10 of their online deliveries.
Nando’s UK and Ireland has selected Ingenico to provide its payments infrastructure and deliver a better omnichannel experience for its customers. Ingenico will provide a payment framework to complement Nando’s digital commerce transformation in order to better appeal to its Millennial and Gen Z customers. The solution, which will be deployed in Nando’s 350 plus restaurants across the UK and Ireland, includes the latest payment devices, as well as an omnichannel payment processing platform. In addition, the French payments outfit will bring Nando’s in line with the latest PCI compliance regulations through its PCI certified point-to-point encryption, keeping sensitive customer data secure whilst routing millions of transactions safely.
As Amazon Prime Day begins, the latest BRC-KPMG UK figures show that there was a “welcome pick-up to sales growth in June”, driven largely by a double digit rise in online sales. Online sales of non-food products grew 10.1 per cent in June, compared to nine per cent a year earlier. Over the three-months to June, online sales of non-food products grew 8.4 per cent while in-store sales declined 0.7 per cent on a total basis and 1.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis, a better performance than the like-for-like 12-month average decline of two per cent.
Wirecard has partnered with Tencent to enable European retailers to accept WeChat Pay, a mobile payment solution popular in China. WeChat Pay has more than 600 million active users - equivalent to almost 40 per cent of the Chinese mobile payments market. Chinese tourism plays an integral role to European retailers, with the average Chinese tourist spending €3,000.
Consumers value security above speed when shopping online, with many ‘very concerned’ about data breaches and online fraud, a new survey has revealed. Research from technology provider MYPINPAD, found that only two per cent of consumers believe speed is more important than security when completing an online transaction.
Sales via self-checkout jumped by 67 per cent globally in 2016, with US retailers in particular investing heavily in the technology, according to new data from RBR. The research found that a record 49,000 self-checkout (SCO) units were delivered to retailers worldwide in 2016, with several top 10 retailers witnessing a 155 per cent increase in shipments to the US.
Almost 40 per cent of global online spending goes through Amazon, e-commerce consultancy firm Salmon has revealed. Amazon Prime Day begins this evening and Salmon believes this figure is set to rise as 73 per cent of consumers say they will increase their use of digital shopping channels in the future. Over half (53 per cent) of all international consumers surveyed said that they are more likely to buy from Prime than a retailer’s online store.
The head of Swedish payments firm iZettle has announced that it is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) following a 60 per cent leap in revenues. The company, which allows small businesses to take payments using mini chip card readers that turn smartphones into cash registers, reported 2016 revenues of SEK 643 million (£59.1 million) against SEK 402 million (£36.9 million) the previous year. Meanwhile losses decreased by 23 per cent to SEK 228 million (£20.9 million).
Homewares retailer Dunelm has published its year-end trading update, revealing an increase in total revenues of 17.7 per cent to £240 million, driven largely by an upsurge in online sales. Reveunes were boosted by a strong online sales performance, with around 20 per cent of total sales now generated through e-commerce. This, along with the launch of Worldstores’ (which Dunelm acquired last year) products on the Dunelm website, has also resulted in the firm’s strong home delivery sales growth of 32.1 per cent.
Consumer spending via smartphones will outperform that of tablets for the first time in 2018, with mobiles accounting for 51.5 per cent of the UK mobile and tablet market, according to research firm GlobalData. The study found that sales of tablet devices are declining as consumers choose to spend more time on smartphones. Consequently, spend via these devices is set to grow 112 per cent in the next five years.
UK High Street sales saw a resurgence last month, with the warm weather contributing to the best June results in six years, new figures reveal. According to business advisory firm BDO’s High Street Sales Tracker, UK retailers saw June like-for-like sales rise 1.3 per cent. The growth comes of a 3.6 per cent drop in sales for the same month last year, but after four months with no growth, this might offer a ray of sunshine to UK retailers.
Artificial intelligence is helping to drive innovation across the retail industry, according to new research. Retail Insider’s Digital Retail Innovations Report highlighted the top 50 retail technology initiatives of the past year, with AI in customer communication and supply chain operations dominating the list. Amazon regained the top spot as the UK’s number one digital innovator, while also taking second and third place too.
Bricks and mortar stores remain a key factor for consumers when purchasing goods, as they provide a different experience to their online, a new study from Mood Media has found. The ability to touch, feel and try products is the primary reason for shoppers going off- rather than online, with the trend even more pronounced in women (80 per cent) than men (73 per cent).This is followed by the convenience of getting your product instantly (69 per cent), and the ability to browse and discover new things (55 per cent).
Leading UK brands are the first globally to reach the ‘digital tipping point’, with smartphones accounting for 50 per cent of traffic, a new study has found. The Adobe Digital Insights report leveraged Adobe Analytics Cloud data to analyse the online performance of the top 20 per cent of companies using Adobe Experience Cloud, plus a survey of over 5,000 consumers across Europe about their online habits.
More than one billion contactless payments have now been made on London’s transport network with ‘tap and go’ payments made via mobile devices becoming increasingly popular. The landmark figures, published today by TfL, show that, on average, two million journeys are now made using contactless every day. In total, 40 per cent of all pay as you go journeys are now made using contactless, up from 25 per cent in early 2016.
More than half of UK consumers say they will go elsewhere if a food outlet it unable to offer delivery options, rising to 61 per cent for Millennials, a new survey has shown. The Attest research, which polled more than 1,000 UK consumers, showed that, nationwide, 56 per cent will go elsewhere if a takeaway is unable to deliver.
Tesco has announced a number of changes to its Clubcard and the accompanying app, in a move designed to improve the experience for its customers and colleagues. New customers can now sign up to Clubcard immediately while shopping in store, while existing customers can access their vouchers at the checkout directly through the app.
Online supermarket Ocado has gained market share but seen pre-tax profits decline and debts spike as the retailer continues to invest heavily in digital channels. Ocado saw its half- year (for the 26 weeks to 28 May 2017) pre-tax profits decline 9.4 per cent from £8.5 million to £7.7 million. Retail revenue increased 22 per cent to £659.6 million with total revenues also up 22 per cent to £713.8 million. However debt jumped massively from 14.6 million to 102.4 million.
Landsec, the UK’s largest commercial real estate company, has partnered with British telecommunications outfit Arqiva, to deliver indoor 4G connectivity to the Bluewater shopping centre. The arrangement means both retailers and guests will benefit from enhanced mobile coverage and capacity at the Kent shopping centre, which is co-owned and managed by Landsec.
French retailer Carrefour is renewing its partnership with US firm Checkpoint Systems for the implementation of smart anti-theft technology. Already 92 Carrefour hypermarkets are installed and connected with Checkpoint’s Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) 2.0 monitoring solution, which processes and retrieves sensitive information from the store in real time, enabling retailers to act efficiently and quickly.
Helsinki fashion store Björkqvist has completed the installation of an electronic pricing solution from local technology company MariElla Labels Oy.
The digital price tags, which are built using e-paper technology, display prices electronically and can be altered remotely with the click of a button.
US drug store chain Discount Drug Mart has signed a multi-year partnership agreement with Provision Interactive Technologies to install 3D ‘savings centre’ kiosks inside the retailer’s stores. The kiosks feature 3D holograph graphics, as well as in-store advertising, including Discount Drug Mart promotions, to provide customers with sales offers at the point of sale.
Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group has enhanced its customer service with an upgrade to its point of sale (PoS) systems. The Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, which comprises of London restaurants, Fifteen, Barbecoa, Jamie Oliver’s Diner and Jamie’s Italian, selected a new PoS solution from Box Technologies which will provide quicker service for customers and support the restaurant group as it moves towards mobile.
Sainsbury’s has posted strong retail sales in Q1 2017, boosted by the recent warm weather and near double-digit online growth. The supermarket giant saw retail sales grow 2.7 per cent in the 16 weeks to 1 July 2017. Retail like-for-like sales were up 2.3 per cent compared with the same period last year and online grocery sales rose eight per cent.
The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) has partnered with Zapper in move which will give NRFN’s 15,000 members access to the tech firm’s all-in-one mobile payments and loyalty platform. Zapper launched its mobile payment and loyalty solution into convenience retail stores in December 2016.
Next has extended its partnership with DHL Supply Chain in a new three-year deal for ‘two-man’ delivery services. DHL will continue to deliver big ticket furniture items to Next customers from its UK out-base network. The firm will also continue to support the Next customer services proposition with flexible delivery options, including timed delivery slots and in-home product assembly services.
Three quarters of UK consumers have admitted that the right reward or incentive could shift their final purchasing decision to a competing brand, a new study has shown. The independent survey of 1,000 British adults by 360insights found that appealing incentives or rewards have driven 30 per cent of consumers to buy a product of lower quality, and 33 per cent to buy a more expensive product.
Fashion retailer Coast says it has successfully launched a new responsive website that offers a more seamless experience for customers. Using technology from Aptos, the new website is aimed at enhancing the experience for consumers and driving conversion rates through new and modern features, such as large retina display product images and micro-interactions. Users are also now able to save their baskets and retrieve them across multiple devices, and can benefit from enhanced payment services including Apple Pay and Amazon Checkout.
Theatres in the UK will now be offering an enhanced, digitally-enabled ticketing promotion scheme through a partnership between the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and Eagle Eye. The new digital AIR platform will replace SOLT’s previous paper-centric system, where customers could buy ‘theatre tokens’ in denominations of £5, £10 and £20, which would then be posted out as paper vouchers.
Debenhams has published its trading updates for the 15 weeks and 41 weeks to 17 June 2017, revealing a 47 per cent year-on-year uplift in mobile sales. Mobile demand continues to be the driving force for the department store chain’s digital growth, improving conversion rates by 12 per cent alongside the sales uplift.
Visitors to Gloucester will now be able to benefit from the same ‘digital High Street’ offers and promotions that have been available to local residents since April. The mobile app, which is accompanied by a GL Card, provides users with exclusive offers to over 100 of the city’s businesses. More than 3,500 vouchers have been created at eight voucher-printing ‘Touchpoint’ kiosks since the card’s launch, with redemption rates for vouchers between 60 and 70 per cent.
The UK recorded the highest card fraud losses in Europe in 2016 at £618 million, with 50 per cent of that coming through e-commerce channels. This is according to research from analytics software firm FICO, which found that total card fraud losses for 19 European countries hit €1.8 billion in 2016. Card not present (CNP) fraud has gone from 50 per cent of gross fraud loss in 2008 to 70 per cent in 2016.
Amazon has published the details of its third annual Prime Day, revealing that the bumper shopping deal event will last for 30 hours from 6pm on Monday 10 July. The event has this year been expanded to 13 countries, with offers available in the US, UK, Spain, Mexico, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium and Austria.
Online fashion retailer Yoox Net-A-Porter has opened a state-of-the-art technology hub in White City, West London, designed to be a new centre for digital expertise. Built to accelerate innovation and develop new technologies, the firm wants to use the centre to strengthen its partnerships with leading fashion and luxury brands. The space was designed by British architects Grimshaw, who focused on creating an office that will facilitate a mobile working culture for staff.
BBVA has signed an agreement with mobile payments platform Alipay, enabling Chinese tourists to pay using their mobile wallet in Spanish stores. The Spanish banking group will integrate Alipay – which is operated by Ant Financial Services, a sister company of Alibaba – into the bank’s Smartpay service, turning a mobile phone into a means of payment.
British homeware retailer The Range has teamed up with DHL Supply Chain to open a new £100 million distribution centre in Bristol. The distribution hub, which is in Avonmouth, Bristol, is expected to create 1,000 jobs in the region, and is designed to support the retailer’s European expansion plans. It will support the ongoing store growth and the expansion of The Range’s multi-channel operations.
UK online grocery retailer Ocado has begun trialling a new self-driving delivery truck in Woolwich, south-east London, delivering online orders to customers in the area. The trial comes as part of the retailer’s Smart Platform vision of becoming an online shopping business that sells to grocery retailers around the world in order to compete with the likes of Amazon and Walmart.
Mobile phones will shape the future of consumer payments rather than technologies such as blockchain, Mastercard’s president of the UK and Ireland told the Money 20/20 Europe conference. Outlining his predications, Mark Barnett said: “It’s all going to be about the phone. Often people say they are fine with their plastic, and what’s the difference between tapping plastic and tapping a phone? Which is true; it’s not going to be on the phone because it’s a better payment experience, but because it’s going to be wrapped up with other products and services that a phone can offer.”
Mastercard has announced the latest wave of startups to join its Start Path 2017 accelerator programme, focused on the use of beacon technology, contactless solutions and artificial intelligence to drive payments innovation in retail. The new startups, including a number of retail focused firms, are as follows:
Calendar Club UK has reported a conversion rate increase of eight per cent during its latest peak trading period following the introduction of personalisation technology to its online shop. The High Street calendar retailer saw the rise between October and December 2016, and is working with ATTRAQT, the online merchandising company to enhance customer experience and tailor visits.
Non-cash payments in the UK will near the £1.5 trillion mark by 2026 but the death of cash will be a ‘slow process’, new research suggests. Law firm Paul Hastings forecast that the value of non-cash payments in the UK will reach £1.44 trillion by 2026, a 26 per cent increase on 2016’s figure of £1.14 trillion. The firm also predicted that there will be 19.1 billion contactless transactions per year within a decade.
The majority of UK consumers (80 per cent) are happy to share more data with retailers in order to improve their shopping experience, a new report has found. The annual ‘Creepy or Cool?’ study from omnichannel personalisation outfit RichRelevance – which surveyed more than 3,500 consumers in the UK, US, France and Germany – gauged consumer opinion on the impact of technology to the in-store shopping experience.
Online action sports retailer FreestyleXtreme has seen web revenues increase by eight per cent since implementing an AI-enabled cloud marketing platform from Emarsys. The platform has helped the retailer to engage more effectively with its customers, and significantly reduced the time taken to email its database from two days to two hours. The increased agility and time savings achieved has allowed the marketing team to focus on developing more creative, personalised content to optimise campaigns.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the world’s first ATM, and despite a rise in contactless payments and new technologies cash looks set to remain “a crucial part of people’s day-to-day lives”. The first ATM was unveiled by Barclays at its Enfield branch on 27 June 1967 and as a tribute to this golden anniversary, Barclays has transformed the modern-day Enfield cash machine by giving it a lick of gold paint.
The run-up to the recent general election saw the lowest level of online purchases over the course of the past year– with just over 1.5 million purchases, a drop of 59 per cent against the daily average. This is according to new research from PCA Predict, which analysed 10 key moments over the past year for levels of online shopping among British consumers. From 2016-2017, UK consumers made close to four million purchases online on a daily average.
Tesco has announced that it will offer a new one hour delivery service to customers in central London as the supermarket giant looks to challenge Amazon’s new online grocery service. As of yesterday, Tesco customers will be available to order, via the new Tesco Now app, up to 20 items from a range of 1,000 products such as fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, bakery goods and dairy, as well as pet, baby, health and beauty products.
UK kitchenware retailer Lakeland has successful implemented a new omnichannel solution as it looks to focus more on its mobile offering. The next-generation VISION Commerce Suite from PCMS has helped Lakeland transition away from an end-of-life product to a unified commerce solution. The new system will enable the kitchenware retailer to implement new services that further enhance its customer experience. In addition, it will also provide the ability to add in-store purchases to Click & Collect orders within a single transaction.
Yoyo Wallet, the mobile payments platform used by retailers including Caffe Nero and Planet Organic, has raised £12 million in a Series B funding round. The funding round was led by Wholesale & Food Specialist Company, the digitalisation and investment arm of Metro Group, with additional investment from Woodford Investment Management and Touchstone Innovations.
House of Fraser has announced a £15 million agreement with Capgemini to support the retailer’s ongoing IT simplification strategy. The three-year deal, which builds on a seven-year relationship between the two firms, means Capgemini will continue to provide IT infrastructure and application support, while providing additional new services.
More than a quarter of all shoppers are open to ‘conversational commerce’ when completing their grocery orders online, new research has found. The report, from global grocery research outfit IGD, indicates that shoppers are showing an increasing interest in voice-activated technology to make their food and grocery purchases from home. Three in 10 of the shoppers surveyed claim to be interested in using a voice-activated device at home to add food or grocery items to their online basket in the future.
Independent fashion retailer Robert Goddard has signed an agreement with Eurostop to expand its business operations and optimise its warehouse efficiencies. The Eurostop retail management solution has delivered warehouse efficiency gains that have enabled Robert Goddard to expand capacity without increasing headcount costs, improve stock rotation and reduce the quantity of stock discounted in out of season sales.
Home flooring retailer Carpetright has selected a Microsoft cloud platform in order to “transform the efficiency of its end to end product journey”. Carpetright will implement Microsoft Dynamics 365 across its more than 420 store estate in the UK. The move comes as the retailer looks to transform its digital operations, enhance operational efficiency, and deliver “cutting-edge” customer service in line with its modernisation programme.
The majority of shoppers trust data science more than the retailer to provide fair prices, a new study has found. The research from retail software outfit Revionics, which surveyed consumers from the US, UK, France, Germany and Brazil, found that 78 per cent of shoppers think it is fair to use data science to increase and decrease prices as long as they are presented with prices they’re willing to pay.
The Dansk Supermarket Group is trialling a new biometric app feature which allows shoppers to make payments directly from the lock-screen of their mobile devices. Nordic payments provider Nets has updated its Dankort mobile app with new functionalities, which allow iPhone users to make payments from their lock-screen and validate purchases over DKK 200 (£24) simply by using Touch ID.
Amazon has unveiled its new Prime Wardrobe service, where customers can try on items of delivered clothing before purchasing them. The new service, which is available to Prime members, allows users to order three or more items of clothing, shoes or accessories and have them delivered direct to their door free of charge.
Despite 69 per cent of Brits saying they shop online to avoid queues, only three per cent say they no longer shop in-store, according to new research from payments provider Adyen. The prevalence of online shopping is clear, with 95 per cent of people using it to shop in the UK, yet other digital channels are still lagging behind expectations. Specifically, 40 per cent of people have never shopped via an app and 75 per cent have never purchased an item through social media.
Boohoo has signed an agreement with InPost UK which will allow the online fashion retailer to offer its customers 24/7 parcel collection from InPost lockers. The new service will cater to the demand from younger shoppers who want a speedy and convenient shopping experience. Customers will now not have to wait for their deliveries at home but instead can collect their purchases any time, 24/7 from an InPost locker location.
UK online retail sales growth slowed in May with the snap general election and rising inflation likely to have been key influencing factors, according to the latest IMRG-Capgemini figures. The e-retail sales index shows that online sales were up 10.2 per cent year-on-year in May. However this was the lowest growth rate since October 2015.
Swedish flat-pack giant Ikea has collaborated with Apple to unveil a new app which uses augmented reality (AR) technology that allows customers to visualise what IKEA products will look like in their own homes, before buying the products. Once Apple’s iOS 11 operating system becomes available later this year, IKEA customers will be able to download the app via an iPhone or iPad, allowing them to try before they buy.
Online card spending is expected to double by 2021, reaching $6 trillion globally, new RBR Research has found. The ‘Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2021’ has revealed that the value of e-commerce card payments made worldwide grew by 26 per cent during 2015 to reach $2.7 trillion, and represented 12 per cent of all card expenditure.
N Brown, the parent company of fashion retailers Simply Be, JD Williams and Jacamo, has seen double-digit online sales growth in Q1 2017, while at the same time announcing the closure of five bricks and mortar stores. For the 13-week period to 3 June 2017, online revenue rose 16 per cent, meaning that 71 per cent of its total revenue is now generated online – up four percentage points on last year.
Better stock availability and quicker speed of service are the top omnichannel expectations for UK consumers over the next five years, a new report has found. The research from commerce solutions provider PCMS, which polled 2,000 UK consumers, revealed that almost a quarter of UK shoppers (24 per cent) said that product availability was a key consideration in deciding whether to shop with a retailer again.
Retailers are set to lose $71 billion globally from fraudulent card-not-present (CNP) transactions over the next five years, Juniper Research has forecast. The research found that a number of factors, such as the US’ shift to EMV cards, delays in the introduction of a new 3D-Secure protocol and Click and Collect fraud were key drivers behind the rise.
Seven in 10 retail employees feel that the gap between online and in-store technology means that customers can access more information than shop staff, new research from Fujitsu has found. The Forgotten Shop Floor report, which surveyed 2,000 consumers and employees, suggests that retailers are at risk of not only missing out on potential revenue, but even losing customers as a result of poor in-store technology. A total of 61 per cent of consumers say the quality of in-store technology impacts their loyalty, while 79 per cent say a positive experience would make them likely to spend more in-store.
Marks and Spencer is set to start labelling its avocados with lasers, in a move that it says will help the environment by saving 10 tonnes of paper and five tonnes of glue each year. Available from Thursday, the new laser system works by shining a concentrated light onto the avocado’s skin to discolour the top layer, keeping the edible inside completely intact. The markings will include the shop logo, best before date, country of origin and product code for entering at the till.
UK consumers are becoming increasingly conformable using their smartphone to make purchases, new research suggests. According to eMarketer’s latest UK retail e-commerce forecast, 59 per cent of the country's digital buyers aged 14 and older will make online retail purchases via smartphone this year.
Worldpay has launched the first UK technology app that enables micro-businesses to take physical card payments using smartphones without any additional hardware. My Business Mobile will enable businesses to download an app and accept face-to-face contactless card transactions on their smartphone. The app will also accept payments via Apple Pay and Android Pay. Although some mobile device payment solutions do exist that allow card payments, they still need a piece of hardware to make the payment – usually for the shopper to enter their PIN.
Women’s fashion brand Bonmarché has published its preliminary results for the 53-week period to 1 April 2017, revealing an increase of 2.2 per cent in online sales but a drop in overall profits. Total revenue reached £190.1 million in the year, up from £188 million in 2016. However, store like-for-like sales were down 4.3 per cent, while total sales decreased by 0.5 per cent year-on-year.
Contactless payments continue to surge in popularity with ‘tap and go’ spending up by more than a third (34 per cent) since the start of the year, according to Barclaycard. Barclaycard’s quarterly Contactless Spending Index found that touch and go payments are now the preferred way to pay among British shoppers, with more than half (51 per cent) of all transactions – up to the eligible spending limit of £30 – now made using contactless.
US beauty retailer Colourpop has partnered with Qubit in order to provide a more personalised digital experience for its customers. ColourPop will use Qubit to understand their customers based on the data they are collecting. From that point, ColourPop will then identify different groups based on trends, behaviours and customer lifecycle stage. This will be done leveraging the artificial intelligence capabilities of the Qubit platform.
Business is booming for e-commerce retailers, but there remains room for improvement when considering delivery, a new survey has found. The Peoplevox study found that 82 per cent of e-commerce and multichannel businesses had reported an increase in orders from 2016, while only six per cent reported a decline. Despite many voicing concerns over increasing competition, Brexit and currency fluctuations, 88 per cent expected a further increase in orders during 2017.
Amazon has filed a patent in the US that will prevent in-store shoppers from checking the prices from rival retailers. The announcement follows the news that the online giant is set to purchase grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, taking control of more than 460 supermarket stores in the US, Canada and the UK. Named ‘Physical Store Online Shopping Control’, the patent describes a system which allows Amazon to intercept network requests like URLs and search terms that occur on its in-store Wi-Fi network
The number of purchases using debit and credit cards has more than doubled in the past 10 years, as contactless payments and online retail have driven a change in the way consumers pay, a new report from The UK Cards Association has shown. Debit and credit cards were used to make 16.4 billion purchases in 2016, up 146 per cent from 6.7 billion in 2006. It means that 518 card payments were made every second last year by cardholders both in the UK and travelling overseas.
E-commerce giant Amazon is taking its biggest step yet into the grocery market, purchasing Whole Foods in a $13.7 billion deal. The proposed acquisition would be Amazon’s biggest investment to date. The deal, which values the supermarket at $42 a share, is expected to be completed in the second half of the year, pending approval from shareholders and anti-trust regulators.
Tesco has published its trading update for the first quarter of 2017, revealing steady online growth and UK like-for-like sales growth of one per cent. Online grocery sales saw strong growth of 4.8 per cent, while the retail giant also recently introduced a monthly Delivery Saver subscription option to offer greater flexibility to its customers. Total group like-for-like sales were up one per cent,
US grocery retailer Supervalu has selected IT services outfit Sungard AS to replace its mainframe technology infrastructure. Supervalu will upgrade its legacy mainframe IT environment as part of a transformation programme aimed at reducing costs, improving flexibility, and supporting the retailer’s strengths as a service provider to its network of more than 2,000 grocery stores.
A new mobile convenience store has launched in China that is completely staffless, “turning every parking space in the world into a potential new 24-hour store”. Named Moby Mart, the store offers products for immediate consumption, such as milk, lunch, or medicine over the counter, around the clock. Customers simply enter the store, take what they need. Items such as computers, light bulbs can be ordered in advance and picked up at the nearest Moby Mart.
Amazon is set to move into online car sales in the UK, with the retail giant eyeing up partnerships with vehicle manufacturers to offer promotions to customers. This is according to the Press Association, which reported that Amazon already has similar deals in France and Italy with Seat and Fiat respectively. Amazon has also reportedly begun hiring senior executives from across the automotive industry, with Christoph Moeller, a partner in charge of automotive industry operations at the Oliver Wyman management consultancy, already hired.
UK’s largest bakery chain Greggs has signed a deal with enterprise technology firm Keytree as part of a multi-year business transformation programme. The new solution aims to maximise the efficiency and profitability of the Greggs shop network in order to reduce wastage and improve product availability. In 2015, the retailer began implementing a new stock forecasting and replenishment solution, including a new shop user interface.
Almost three quarters of brands have seen their online sales negatively affected as a result of counterfeit goods, a new survey has found. The study, from e-commerce firm MarkMonitor, found that 42 per cent of 150 respondents from global brands had lost up to 10 per cent of their sales, while more than one in five believed the impact to be somewhere between 11 and 50 per cent.
Online retail sales in the UK reached totalled £1.1 billion in May; an increase of 14.4 per cent compared with May 2016, according to the latest ONS figures. The amount spent online accounted for 15.9 per cent as a proportion of all retail spending, excluding automotive fuel, compared with 14.3 per cent in the previous year. In total, the quantity bought in the retail industry was estimated to have increased by 0.9 per cent
Adventure clothing retailer Cotswold Outdoor has invested in new marketing technology to support its growth strategy. The brand has also recently implanted an omnichannel solution Call Intelligence from ResponseTap to manage its 80 stores throughout the UK and its e-commerce proposition. James Schlesinger, digital marketing executive at Cotswold Outdoor, said
Icelandic long-haul airline WOW air has selected Ingenico ePayments to support the next phase of its global expansion by enabling consumers anywhere to buy online tickets and services using their preferred payment methods. In addition to global credit card transactions, WOW air is now also able to let its customers pay with locally popular payment methods such as iDEAL in the Netherlands and SOFORT in Germany. By implementing a localised payment strategy, WOW air can provide a more frictionless checkout experience for its customers.
November will see a record £20 billion spent online in the UK and will overtake December as the year’s peak trading month, e-commerce consultancy firm Salmon has predicted. A total of £7 billion is expected to be spent over the Black Friday week (Monday 20 November – Monday 27 November), averaging at £1 billion per day. The figures show a shift in buying behaviours as consumers now look to November sales as the best time to bag a bargain.
More than half of European omnichannel shoppers consider free fulfilment a key factor in their buying decision, according to a new survey from KPS. The report found that 35 per cent of consumers said that they are not prepared to pay for deliveries under any circumstance, while 27 per cent tactically hold off ordering a product until they receive a free delivery offer or coupon before they make a purchase to avoid paying fees.
Biometric payments are the future according to more than half of UK consumers, while the inventor of text messaging claims people will soon transact with simple words and gestures, according to research from Nationwide Payments. According to the Nationwide poll, which surveyed 2,000 UK adults, almost six in ten (58 per cent) Brits believe that by 2037 they will be able pay for items in shops using just their thumbprint, and around a quarter (23 per cent) think they will be paying using a microchip implanted in their hand.
Gatwick has joined six other European airports for the first ever international airport ‘hackathon’, designed to challenge programmers to improve passengers’ travel experience by using the latest technologies to develop innovative ideas over a 48 hour period. Gatwick joins Amsterdam Schiphol, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Geneva, Munich and Copenhagen for the event, which will take place in Berlin from 16-18 June.
British supermarket chain Iceland has announced a three year deal with loyalty app Bink. The partnership, which will be live at the end of this year, will see Iceland join a host of other retailers including Morrisons, River Island, Virgin Atlantic, Topman, Topshop, Pizza Express and more, who have all adopted Bink’s ‘Payment Linked Loyalty’ (PLL) technology platform.
The number of Brits shopping for groceries online has risen dramatically over the past year, with online grocery sales set to surpass £10 billion in 2017, according to new research. The research, from market insights firm Mintel, forecasts online grocery sales to reach £11.1 billion in 2017, up from an estimated £9.9 billion in 2016.
The vast majority of consumers (93 per cent) prefer biometrics over passwords for authenticating payments or other financial services, a new joint study between Mastercard and the University of Oxford has found. This comes as no surprise, according to the research, as using biometrics is more secure and eliminates the hassle of having to recall a password.
Menswear fashion retailer Ted Baker has published a trading update for the 19 weeks to 10 June 2017, revealing an increase in e-commerce sales of 35.9 per cent year-on-year. The retailer also posted an increase in total retail sales of 14.3 per cent, “despite external factors continuing to impact trading conditions” across some of its global markets.
Zalando has announced the roll-out of a new retail merchandise financial planning solution, which will manage all merchandise planning and open-to-buy processes for all the retailer’s products. The TXT Retail solution will help Zalando across the planning process, from analysis of past performance to the optimisation of margin and inventory targets. More than 150 employees at Zalando now use the TXT retail solution, including the entire merchandising planning and category management team.
Mobile drove 53 per cent of global online retail traffic in Q1, and accounted for 32 per cent of orders, according to the latest Salesforce shopping index. Australia and New Zealand lead the way in terms of mobile shopping – accounting for 55 per cent of retail traffic and 41 per cent of order share, closing in on desktop orders (49 per cent). In the UK, desktop accounted for 48 per cent of orders, ahead of mobile (31 per cent) and tablet (22 per cent).
Consumer spending has fallen for the first time in four years, despite a surge in online sales, according to the latest figures released by Visa. Compiled by Markit, the Consumer Spending Index is distinct from Visa’s business performance and reflects overall consumer spending, not just that on cards. The index showed a first fall in household expenditure since 2013 – a decline of 0.8 per cent on the year.
Dune London has seen an uplift in sales since introducing user generated content (UGC) on its product detail pages, which was installed to “inspire customers during the shopping journey”. Since partnering with marketing technology firm Curalate, Dune has reported an 82 per cent increase in sales where UGC played a part in the transaction over a two week period since the feature went live.
More than three quarters (80 per cent) of UK consumers claim that receiving a personal service is important when purchasing goods online, a new survey has found. The research from conversational commerce platform, iAdvize, highlights the need for human interaction to be available in real time through customer service channels.
Menswear retailer T.M. Lewin has signed a partnership with e-commerce firm Tryzens to enhance its online customer experience and develop a website that can support its domestic and international growth plans. The retailer wanted to enhance its e-commerce platform to serve its growing global customer base and adapt to the changing ways its customers shop in the digital age.
Total retail footfall in the UK dropped by one per cent in May largely due to “poor weather”, marking the first monthly decline since February, according to the latest BRC-Springboard figures. This is below the three-month average of 0.7 per cent. This month’s positive three-month average makes two consecutive months of three-month average growth, the first time this has occurred since June to August 2013.
Missouri Topco, Matalan’s group owner, has posted its trading update for the 52 weeks to 25 February 2017, revealing revenues of £1,037.3 million. The report attributed the strong performance to a significant increase in the full-priced sales mix, a robust supply chain performance, and improved ranging and online growth. Annual revenue in the group’s online channel increased by over 60 per cent.
Six in 10 US Millennials are interested in payment methods beyond a traditional credit card to finance large purchases online, according to a new study from Vyze. By comparison, only 42 per cent of overall respondents favour alternative finance, found the survey, which questioned 2,000 American adults over the age of 18. Interested consumers are looking to other methods including monthly payment plans (17 per cent), store cards (13 per cent), layaway deposits (four per cent), and lease to own (two per cent).
Swedish furniture retailer IKEA has revealed plans to start selling its products through third party websites, in a move designed to reach more online customers. In an interview with Reuters, Torbjorn Loof, head of brand and strategy of the IKEA Group, said: “On digital platforms we only sell our products through our own website, and there we also see that the competitive landscape is changing.”
Amazon has lent more than $3 billion to small businesses on its Marketplace platform since launching the programme in 2011. Loaning more than $1 billion to over 20,000 companies in the last 12 months, Amazon Lending offers business loans for up to 12 months to micro, small and medium businesses selling on Amazon, to help them grow their operations.
Mobile wallets are continuing to gain popularity in the US, where mobile bill payments and peer-to-peer (P2P) payments are also on the rise. This is according to a new survey of more than 3,000 American consumers by Fiserv, which found that digital wallet adoption continued to grow at a steady pace, with 13 per cent of respondents indicating that they had used a digital wallet in the last 30 days (up from 11 per cent in 2015 and eight per cent in 2014).
Europe’s 40 largest acquirers of Visa, Mastercard and Maestro bank card transactions handled 57.24 billion transactions, valued at $2.524 trillion from 9.4 million active merchant outlets in 2016. Acquirers in the top 40 handled 7.27 billion web-based and mobile transactions valued at $473.77 billion. Sberbank increased the percentage of merchant transactions it handled by 41 per cent in 2016, moving ahead of Worldpay to become Europe’s largest acquirer with 7.5 billion transactions
Payment service provider Concardis is bringing Chinese mobile payments solution Alipay to Austria and Switzerland, following its successful roll-out in Germany. Gössl has been the first merchant in Austria to enable the payment method, initially in 20 Austrian stores, while the roll-out to the Swiss market is planned for October this year. According to the German Federal Statistical Office
E-retailing company the boohoo group has released a trading update for the three months to 31 May 2017, revealing a 106 per cent sales increase year-on-year to reach £120.1 million. Revenue for the boohoo brand was up 48 per cent to £86.4 million, helped by a 97 per cent increase in sales in the US. UK sales were up 41 per cent and the rest of Europe was up 44 per cent, while the rest of the world also saw an increase of 50 per cent. The online retailer now has 5.2 million active customers, up 24 per cent year-on-year.
New Look has published its results for the 52 weeks ended 25 March 2017, revealing a 2.4 per cent drop in revenue despite a strong e-commerce performance. The High Street retailer posted an increase of 14.3 per cent in website sales year-on-year, while third party e-commerce sales were up 30.9 per cent over the same period. Despite these increases, UK total like-for-like sales were down 6.8 per cent, while New Look brand sales were also down 6.6 per cent.
Amazon Japan has partnered with mobile payments firm Bango to enable customers to pay for goods by charging the cost to their mobile phone bill. The new payment method has increased the choice for Japanese customers, enabling instant purchase completion without the need to register card details online. Charging online payments to mobile phone bills is a widely-adopted payment method in Japan, where mobile usage is embedded into the country’s business ethos and wider culture.
Shopping centre chain intu has introduced a new network of big screens that revolve between portrait and landscape to engage with customers and keep them entertained. It will be the first time that the screens, developed by ADI, have been used within the retail market and builds upon intu’s existing digital shopper TV strategy, which sees it broadcast both its own and brand-led content to shopping centre visitors.
French lingerie retailer Undiz has signed a partnership with Zebra Technologies to equip stores with devices that will provide real-time visibility of their inventory and sales merchandise. With the new RFD8500 handheld readers, customer stock queries can be satisfied almost instantly, while staff can complete inventories within 45 minutes, instead of the two hours taken with the previous equipment.
Money 20/20 Europe is set to return to Copenhagen at the end of this month, featuring more than 380 industry speakers across 100 conference sessions. Twenty top keynote speakers have also been confirmed, including Jack Dorsey, CEO and founder of Square, Rita Liu, head of EMEA at Alipay, Lex Bayer, group head of business development and payments at Airbnb, and Gerardo Capiel, director of product management and consumer payments for Google.
Online electrical retailer AO has published its annual report for the year ended 31 March 2017, revealing a rise of 17 per cent in total group revenue to £701.2 million. This increase was largely due to a strong performance in the UK market, where sales increased 12.7 per cent to £629.7 million. Sales in Europe also saw growth, with revenues up by 52 per cent to €85 million.
Apple has announced its move into the peer-to-peer payments space with news that it will be integrating a P2P payments service with Apple Pay. The new money transfer service, which puts the technology giant in direct competition with the likes of PayPal and Venmo, allows users to send payments through iMessage or ask Siri to send someone money using a card stored in their Apple mobile wallet.
Online sales in the UK rose just 4.3 per cent in May, according to the latest BRC-KPMG figures, marking the lowest level of growth since December 2012. Overall retail sales in the UK dropped 0.4 per cent on a like-for-like basis from May 2016, when they had increased 0.5 per cent from the year before. Total sales were up 0.2 per cent, however, but this was the slowest annual growth since January and below the three-month and 12-month averages of 1.9 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.
Parcelly has announced a new Click and Collect partnership with children’s charity Barnardo’s, which will see the delivery firm’s service available in 90 Barnardo’s stores in Birmingham and Liverpool, before a nationwide roll-out in the coming months. The deal provides Parcelly customers with a greater level of convenience through Barnardo’s hyper-local network of charity shops, while online customers can trigger charitable benefits with their purchases.
High Street beauty retailer L’Occitane says it has witnessed a 10 per cent uplift in sales since implementing a new proximity-based targeting system for customer engagement. The new solution, from retail technology firm xAd and digital agency Threepipe, centres on a mobile location audience strategy, which identifies specific outlets as high foot traffic stores across the brand’s UK retail estate. Through proximity-based targeting at these stores, L’Occitane has been able to drive visits, sales and brand engagement.
Grocery delivery firm Ocado has signed its first international agreement, which will see a regional European retailer use its Ocado Smart Platform (OSP). The retailer, which currently remains unnamed, will benefit from a full software platform and the expertise and support services required to create an online grocery business, with orders initially fulfilled from Ocado’s manually operated centralised warehouse.
Growth of the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) e-commerce market reached 26 per cent globally in 2016, contributing to 35 per cent of total FMCG market growth, according to Kantar Worldpanel’s latest figures. The quarterly FMCG E-commerce Index found that online sales continued to rise last year, particularly in the world’s most advanced e-commerce markets. In Europe, the countries with major increases were Spain and Portugal, at 29 per cent and 24 per cent respectively, and representing the biggest FMCG e-commerce markets. The UK and France, meanwhile, grew at a rate of eight per cent.
US retailer Kmart has fallen victim to a new data breach involving unauthorised credit card activity following certain customer purchases at some stores, just three years after being hit by a similar scam. Sears Holdings, the group that owns Kmart, has released a statement saying that it has launched a “thorough investigation” and engaged leading third party forensic experts to review its systems and secure the affected part of the network.
Tesco has announced a new partnership with Dixons Carphone, which will see the supermarket giant open Currys PC World concessions in two of its stores this summer. The first outlet is scheduled to open in July at Tesco’s Milton Keynes Extra store, followed by a second concession at the Weston Favell Extra store in Northampton in August.
Nine in 10 UK consumers have unsubscribed from communications from retailers in the past 12 months, with 46 per cent saying this was because they received too many messages. The new survey from Engage Hub found that a third of respondents were unhappy with the frequency of updates and offers from retailers. A quarter said that they received communications at least once a day, while 15 per cent said that they were sent offers even more frequently than that.
McDonald’s has announced that it has extended its McDelivery service to an additional 1,000 US restaurants this week, and that it will expand availability to 3,500 outlets in America by the end of June. Available through UberEATS, McDelivery is currently available from more than 2,000 restaurants around the country – and is launching today in additional locations including the New York Metro Area (300 stores), Fresno (28), Seattle (92), Denver (98), Dallas (217), Houston (115), San Antonio (49) and Washington D.C. (121).
Hyundai has partnered with payment technology firm Global Payments to launch what it claims to be an industry-first online car buying platform, called Click to Buy. Click to Buy gives customers the opportunity to buy a car from any participating Hyundai dealership in the UK, completely online. Through Global Payment’s technology, Hyundai can offer online card payment options to consumers through the platform.
Lucozade is handing out contactless-enabled bottles of its energy drink to commuters at Oxford Circus tube station – providing commuters with a free journey on the London Underground as part of its ‘Find Your Flow’ campaign. The promotional offer is set to run for two days, with the limited edition bottles being handed out until 2 June during rush hour. Customers simply swipe the base of the bottle on the card reader at Tube barriers on the way in and out of their journey.
Google has announced that its Android Pay service is now available for use in Canada, enabling contactless mobile payments with Android-based devices. Android Pay uses tokenisation technology from Mastercard, meaning that the user’s credit card information is never sent, and transactions are immediately confirmed to protect payment information from fraud.
Footwear retailer Kurt Geiger has signed a partnership with retail technology firm Aptos to introduce an advanced mobile-enabled point of sale (PoS) system across its 62 stores. The new system has been introduced to provide a more attentive in-store experience for customers, incorporating iPads and iPod Touches with integrated payment devices, alongside tills.
Square has announced the launch of its Virtual Terminal in the UK – which allows small sellers to take payments directly on their computer. Merchants using Square have previously been able to take card payments by keying in card details through a point of sale app on their smartphone or tablet, or by using the Square card reader. The new solution allows sellers to accept e-payments directly on their computer using the Square dashboard.
Nordic menswear retailer Oscar Jacobson has worked with iVend Retail and Retail Store Scandinavia to implement enhanced omnichannel capabilities that will underpin its international operations. Oscar Jacobson now has nine standalone stores worldwide, in addition to selling through concessions in sports and High Street retailers, including House of Fraser in the UK. Oscar Jacobson also sells direct via its online store to the UK and Swedish markets, and plans to roll out its online offer to the Norwegian market this year.
Shopping centre chain intu has unveiled plans for its new retail innovation programme, intu Accelerate. The programme, which is being run in partnership with innovation experts L Marks, aims to assist young businesses with new ideas that will help to shape ‘the next big thing’ for the UK retail and leisure market. Spanning 10 weeks, the programme will provide startups with mentorship from senior experts from the business and technology worlds.
Criminal data breaches will cost businesses a total of $8 trillion globally over the next five years due to higher levels of inadequate security, according to a new report from Juniper Research. The new study, The Future of Cyber Crime & Security, forecasts that the number of personal data records stolen by cyber criminals will reach 2.8 billion in 2017, and will almost double to five billion in 2020 – despite the increase in the number of new cyber security solutions available. Juniper highlighted that businesses are particularly vulnerable when integrating new and old systems without regard to overall network security.
Marks and Spencer is offering a new service from Dropit in its two Oxford Street stores, which allows customers to get their shopping bags delivered to their home at a time convenient for them. Users of the Dropit service in London’s West End can shop in as many local participating stores as they like, then drop as many shopping bags as they wish at a ‘Dropit Spot’ in one of the partner stores. Customers scan a QR code and receipt into a mobile app, and then select a delivery time of their choice.
Barclaycard is piloting a new payment concept which allows customers to scan and pay for their in-store shopping using their smartphone, without the need to visit a physical checkout. The new system is currently being trialled in Barclays’ staff restaurants in the UK and the US to gather feedback before a public roll-out in the coming months.
Visa has announced upcoming enhancements to its Verified by Visa service, which aim to make online purchases more secure through ensuring payments are made by the rightful owner of the Visa account. The new upgrade – which supports the latest 3-D Secure 2.0 security platform – will also deliver data to financial institutions and merchants to better authenticate consumers and reduce fraud on transactions made via a mobile or desktop browser, app or connected device.
Online health and beauty retailer The Hut Group (THG) has announced the acquisition of web-hosting platform UK2, in order to boost the cloud and security infrastructure that underpins its e-commerce sites such as lookfantastic and SkinStore. UK2 already provides The Hut Group with high performance infrastructure at a global scale, helping the platform deliver fast online experiences for the customers of its brands worldwide.
Emirates NBD, the largest bank in the United Arab Emirates, has announced the launch of SkyShopper – an online marketplace for its customers. The new platform enables credit and debit card customers to shop and pay for purchases, ranging from flights and hotels to entertainment and groceries from different retailers – using one consolidated checkout.
Beauty retailer Estée Lauder has announced the launch of a new augmented reality (AR) online tool whereby users can virtually try on different make-up while viewing the products on the brand's website. Users viewing various products online can see what they will look on them by uploading a photo of themselves or starting a live video in order to virtually test the products.
Despite increased revenues and online sales growth of more than 30 per cent, retailer Halfords has seen a double-digit decline in profits caused by a weaker pound. Group revenue rose 7.2 per cent to £1.095 billion for the 52 weeks to 31 March, with online sales posting a 30.5 per cent increase. Mobile traffic also rose, this time by 30 per cent, while one in three online orders was made using a mobile device, compared to one in four last year.
Pets at Home has seen profits increase 25 per cent on the back of a strong online showing, the retailer’s preliminary full-year results show. For the 52 weeks to 30 March 2017, group revenue jumped 7.2 per cent from the previous year to £834.2 million. Profits meanwhile rose by 24.6 per cent to £47.1 million.
Worldpay has developed a proof of concept (PoC) for a new way to complete payments by allowing consumers to tap a virtual card on a virtual machine as they normally would with contactless payments – but in a VR environment. Developed with production company INITION, the prototype uses Host Card Emulation technology to virtualise the purchasing process. For payments under £30, the prototype works in the same way a contactless payment does – with a tap of the virtual card across a virtual card machine.
Three quarters of UK shoppers are worried about fake online reviews, according to research from customer insights outfit Feefo. The findings, which were revealed in a survey examining attitudes to online reviews among 2,000 UK consumers, found that only seven per cent of those surveyed said that they completely trust reviews even though 74 per cent admit they are influenced by them.
Over 2,000 beacons have been installed across Gatwick Airport’s two terminals, providing an augmented reality (AR) navigational system that is more reliable than GPS and which allows retailers to target shoppers. Retailers and other third parties may use the beacon system to detect proximity and send relevant offers or promotional messages, if the passenger has chosen to receive them.
Mondays are the most popular day for UK consumers to shop online, with 16 per cent of all web and mobile e-commerce traffic occurring on this day, a new study has found. This is according to new research from e-commerce data firm PCA Predict, which found that Monday averages 1,262,665 retail website visits. The highest volume of traffic during Mondays is from 11am-3pm, where on average, at least 80,000 consumers are browsing for bargains each hour, with 1pm being the most popular hour to shop on that day.
Rapid growth in the use of contactless cards means cash will, for the very first time, be overtaken as Britain’s most frequently used payment method by the end of 2018, according to a new Payments UK report. Analysis carried out for the UK Payment Markets 2017 report forecasts that debit cards will become the most frequently used payment method in late 2018, three years earlier than previously predicted due in large part to the increasing popularity of contactless.
British fashion retailer Jack Wills has improved the performance of its online store, including boosting conversion rates, by using personalisation tools to deliver different experiences for customers. Using a platform from Monetate, for segment-based personalisation and testing, has enabled Jack Wills to make a number of important changes to its online store, including personalised rules for displaying products and a ‘sticky filter’ functionality, providing customers with a better, more engaging user experience.
The majority of UK consumers (56 per cent) want shopping mall or retail park operators to provide them with a single hub which they can use for all Click and Collect fulfilment, rather than having to visit individual stores, research by Omnico has found. The survey of 1,000 UK consumers also found that 51 per cent of under 35s want a shopping location to offer them a single loyalty programme covering all retail, hospitality and leisure activities.
Waitrose has signed a five-year deal with point of sale marketing outfit Ecrebo, who will deliver targeted customer engagement through its Message at Till solution across the grocery retailer’s 350-store estate. Ecrebo’s technology enables Waitrose to communicate with its in-store customers at the point of sale and in real time through targeted coupons and messages. Personalised promotions, offers and messages are printed alongside paper receipts and handed directly to customers by Waitrose Partners.
Marks & Spencer has seen its full year profits fall by 64 per cent, largely due to what the retail giant describes as its “planned restructuring”. In November last year M&S announced it would close around 60 clothing and home stores over the next five years, whilst increasing the number of Simply Food stores and placing a greater focus on its digital offering.
Amazon Go, the retail giant’s next-generation store currently being trialled in the US, has moved a step closer to its UK debut after a number of Go-related trademark applications were approved. Earlier this week the UK Intellectual Property Office approved the applications which were filed in December last year, fuelling speculation of the imminent arrival of Amazon Go stores in Britain.
The RSPCA has signed a deal with Sage to implement its cloud-based business management system to improve the animal welfare charity’s back office operations. The ability of Sage X3 solution to operate in the cloud rather than solely on-premise, will give the RSPCA greater flexibility and mobility in its operations, helping employees to access key company data anytime and anywhere.
Australian menswear brand M.J. Bale has partnered with e-commerce solutions firm Tryzens to maximise growth through the Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform. Tryzens has taken over the provision of expert services to run and enhance the current Salesforce Commerce Cloud site and ensure that it keeps pace with advances in the market, shifting consumer trends, and is “always available”. The team at M.J. Bale is kept informed through Tryzens’ analytics service to focus attention on the areas for performance improvement.
UK payment card spending in March 2017 was £57.8 billion, up £335 million (0.6 per cent) on February, with contactless payments now representing almost a third of all card purchases, the latest figures from The UK Cards Association show. Contactless payments amounted to 32 per cent of card purchases, an increase of 15 per cent from the previous year, with total contactless spending in March coming in at £4 billion.
The European mobile payments market is expected to triple to €148 billion over the next five years, according to a new study. Forrester’s Mobile Payments Forecast, 2016 to 2021 report attributes the predicted growth to increasing consumer awareness and growing retailer interest in mobile payments. Of the three types of mobile payments (mobile in-person payments, mobile remote payments, and peer-to-peer (P2P) payments), mobile in-person payments are predicted to grow the fastest, increasing almost fivefold between 2016 and 2021, from €4.6 billion to €22.8 billion.
Despite the rise in online sales, the store remains a key touchpoint in consumers’ buying journeys with shoppers increasingly demanding more of retail staff, according to a new report by retail analytics firm ShopperTrak. While connected consumers have become increasingly used to moving fluidly between both online and offline channels when making a purchase, the ShopperTrak research revealed that over a third of UK consumers (38 per cent) still shop in-store just as often as they did a year ago.
Apple has removed the £30 limit on Apple Pay transactions in the UK, with more than half of all contactless payment terminals now able to accept Apple Pay transactions of any value. Jennifer Bailey, vice president of internet services at Apple Pay, told The Telegraph that the new upgrades applied to hundreds of thousands of terminals, allowing users to shop in many locations without having to take their wallet with them.
Both consumers and retailers are ready for robot helpers in-store, but security and cost concerns could stall plans to introduce them, a new survey suggests. The Qmatic survey on the use of humanoid robots in retail stores, found that 31 per cent of retailers will be using the technology at some point in the future, with 14 per cent expecting to have it in place in the next 12 months.
European e-tailer Zalando has announced that it is currently testing location-based deliveries, which allow customers to change the time and place of a delivery at short notice. Developed in collaboration with Belgian startup Parcify, the new solution provides the courier delivering the package with the geolocation information of the customer through their mobile phone. Customers can schedule deliveries seven days a week from 7am until midnight.
Nearly two thirds of retailers are planning to increase spending on in-store technologies this year, with more than half stating that this will be a sum of more than £1 million, a new report has revealed. According to the WBR Digital and Retail Connections’ report, the biggest drivers behind investing in in-store technology are retailer’s expectations that the implementation will result in enhanced in-store shopping experiences (61 per cent), the ability to close the gap between online and in-store customer experience (61 per cent) and helping to convert in-store sales (44 per cent).
PayPal has extended its partnership with Google to enable Android Pay users to pay for goods online using their PayPal account and their fingerprint – without needing to enter their username or password. The new partnership aims to speed the checkout from Android phones by using Android Pay to authenticate users where PayPal is accepted. Similar to PayPal’s deployment of One Touch, merchants on the latest versions of PayPal Checkout will not need to do any integration to take advantage of these new capabilities.
The majority of consumers still prefer the experience of shopping in-store rather than online, new research suggests. The report, conducted by Mood Media, found that over 60 per cent of retailers expect their footfall to drop or remain the same in 2017. However, the same report highlighted that 77 per cent of customers would pick a bricks-and-mortar store over online if stores provided a more engaging, multi-sensory experience.
Tech-savvy Brits are becoming increasingly reliant upon new ways to pay, but small businesses are struggling to keep up with changing consumer demands, new research from Barclaycard has found. The findings reveal that nearly half (46 per cent) of Millennial shoppers are opting to pay using a ‘next generation’ payment solution including online ‘invisible’ payments, where card and shipping details are saved in advance of transaction, and ‘conversational’ payments, where digital personal assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa are used to make a purchase.
UK retail sales rose 2.3 per cent in April to beat expectations on the back of continued online shopping growth, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show. Average weekly spending online hit the £1 billion mark; an increase of 19 per cent compared with April 2016. The amount spent online accounted for 15.6 per cent last month, up from the 14 per cent figures during the same period last year.
More than one in three (36 per cent) consumers find that an inconsistent experience across mobile, online and in-store puts them off a brand, a new survey from Salesforce has found. The research, which surveyed more than 2,000 consumers, found that poor customer service is the main reason that people are put off a brand, with almost three quarters (73 per cent) of respondents citing it as a reason for not purchasing from a company.
Wirecard has announced the launch of its mobile payment solution, boon, in Italy – following an initial roll-out to the UK market in May last year. The fully digitised mobile solution is based on an automatic app-to-wallet integration via a prepaid account with a digital Mastercard. This allows users to top-up their account via wire transfer, debit or credit card. The solution works at any NFC-enabled terminal where the Mastercard contactless logo appears.
Global card purchase volume for goods and services grew by 5.8 per cent to $20.606 trillion in 2016, according to trade publication, The Nilson Report. UnionPay debit cards were the most popular payment product based on purchase volume, followed by Visa credit cards, Visa debit cards, UnionPay credit cards, Mastercard credit cards, Mastercard debit cards, American Express cards, JCB cards, and Diners Club/Discover cards.
GoInStore, Yodel Delivery Network, Ecrebo, Yale, VocaLink and Circle Pay were among the companies who took home a coveted trophy at the inaugural National Technology Awards last night. Recognising the pioneers of technology across all sectors over the last 12 months, these awards were hotly contested, with the winners revealed at a prestigious gala dinner and awards ceremony at the Millennium Hotel in London’s Mayfair hosted by comedian Holly Walsh.
Mobile payments startup LevelUp has announced the closure of a $50 million financing round, led by JPMorgan Chase, US Boston and CentroCredit Bank. The new funding will help to accelerate the growth that the business has seen over the past few years. In addition to creating the LevelUp app and platform, the firm now power custom mobile solutions for over 200 US national restaurant brands, including sweetgreen, Steak ‘n Shake, Tropical Smoothie Café and Potbelly Sandwich Shop. LevelUp provides restaurants with the tools to provide a more personalised experience, while streamlining the payment experience.
A new mobile payments system which stops people overspending when drunk has been unveiled this week. DrnkPay, which has been developed by financial consultancy firm iBe TSE, is an app that connects the user's credit and debit cards to a breathalyser or biosensor wearable so it knows how much they have drunk and limits certain purchases if they have had too much.
French payments firms Fivory and Wa! have collaborated to develop a new mobile payment solution, called Lyf Pay, a secure, multi-service mobile payment app. The firms are working with major brands across Europe, including BNP Paribas, Carrefour, Crédit Mutuel, Auchan, Mastercard, Oney and Total to provide customers with a more personable solution.
British retail giant Next has selected Paragon HDX as part of a major upgrade to its omnichannel fulfilment system. The new solution is expected to enhance Next’s two-man home delivery operation, enabling the retailer to improve its customer experience while keeping a tight control over costs.
Omnichannel shoppers are increasingly demanding a mobile-first approach to loyalty, with their appetite for receiving offers through mobile channels overtaking physical loyalty cards and traditional paper-based vouchers, a new report by iVend Retail suggests. Research revealed that 40 per cent of UK shoppers would rather have loyalty offers sent to their smartphone or email as opposed to receiving traditional paper-based vouchers or coupons, while a further 16 per cent wanted to receive, collect and claim incentives sent directly via a mobile app.
Majestic Wine has selected RELEX Solutions to automate and optimise its supply chain in order to increase efficiency and improve product availability. Majestic operates 210 stores in the UK and two in France, and a separate commercial division serving independent restaurants and pubs.
Generation Z in the UK are set to shift the majority of their purchases to retailers that provide the newest digital tools and channels, according to research from Accenture. The survey of almost 10,000 Millennial and Gen Z (aged 20 and under) consumers across 13 countries found that Gen Z are more open to experimenting with new services to make shopping easier than their Millennial counterparts.
Samsung Pay has finally launched in the UK, enabling Samsung mobile users to make secure payments at contactless point of sale terminals. When a consumer loads their card into Samsung Pay, the app uses Visa tokenisation to replace the consumer's account information with a token, which is specific to that card and device. Payments are made using the token so that the card information is never exposed, adding another layer of safety to digital payments.
Tesco has teamed up with Spoon Guru to help its customers with specific diets quickly and easily find food suitable when shopping online. By adding Spoon Guru’s online technology and expertise in nutrition to Tesco’s online shopping platform, Tesco.com, shoppers can more easily make food choices that fit their individual food preferences.
Smaller retailers are more confident in their online offerings than large organisations, who still view their in-store experience as their premium channel, new research has found. The research from payment solutions outfit Adyen, which was conducted by Censuswide and surveyed more than 500 retailers, found that only 13 per cent of large retailers (500 plus people) believe their best shopping experience is online, compared with 25 per cent of medium businesses (100 to 499 employees) and 33 per cent of small ones (1-99).
SuperGroup, the parent company of fashion retailer Superdry has posted strong full-year growth figures and a 35 per cent rise in e-commerce sales, as the firm took advantage of sterling’s continued decline. SuperGroup saw revenues revenue rise 27.7 per cent to £750.6 million during the 12 months to April 29. The impact of the weakening pound accounted for approximately one third of the reported growth in each of the group's sales channels.
Retailers will be implementing a number of new technologies over the next few years to help shake up their retail strategies and drive sales, according to new research from Zebra Technologies. The survey found that more than half of retailers rated out of stock items as being one of the largest sources of customer frustration in-store, with 65 per cent of respondents planning to offer ordering out-of-stock items and having them delivered to a customer’s home within the next year.
The global value of contactless transactions made via payment cards, mobile and wearables, will reach $1.3 trillion by 2019 – more than doubling from an estimated $590 billion in 2017, Juniper Research has predicted. According to Juniper’s Contactless Payments: NFC Handsets, Wearables & Payment Cards 2017-2021 report, contactless card levels will continue to dominate transaction values, accounting for 80 per cent of total contactless transactions in 2019. The research also forecasts that contactless transactions via debit/credit cards will exceed $2 trillion globally by 2021.
Boosted by the Easter holidays, UK retail footfall rose dramatically in April leading to the fastest annual footfall growth in five years, according to the latest BRC-Springboard figures. Footfall in April grew 1.6 per cent on the same month in the previous year, the fastest growth since March 2014. This is well above the three-month average of 0.7 per cent, which is the first positive three-month average since May 2014, and the highest since February 2012.
US-based retailer Target has implemented a new CGI shopping experience, which allows online shoppers to visualise how a product will look inside their home. Developed in-house, he technology uses 360 degrees virtual reality, allowing customers to browse through 140 featured products, from rugs and sofas to wall hangings and decorative throws, in a virtual living room. It helps guests to visualise the size and scale of the items, as well as providing some tips on styling.
Activity holiday firm Neilson has invested in call intelligence technology from ResponseTap in an effort to strengthen the brand’s multi-channel marketing strategy. The move comes hot on the heels of a new website launch in late 2016, which was designed to improve the research and booking experience for Neilson customers shopping online.
Three in four UK shoppers trust their peers’ opinions and knowledge of products more than those of retailer staff, according to a new survey. Conversational commerce platform iAdvize completed the research, which also found that 54 per cent of people find previous customer product reviews more influential than retailer advice when making purchase decisions. A further 17 per cent of survey respondents said that they would be more persuaded to buy something if they were offered assistance by another customer over a member of staff.
FoodnFilm, a new app which allows users to order takeaway food for delivery and track the order while watching films on-demand, has launched in the UK in collaboration with LG televisions. The new app is directly integrated on the TV’s webOS operating system, enabling customers to order from a range of takeaway foods including Indian, Chinese, pizza and burgers, and choose a movie to watch, all within one app. Customers can also track their orders in real-time.
Some 40 per cent of all online grocery purchases in the UK are made on mobile devices, a new report from Criteo has found. The UK FMCG Deep Dive – Taking Stock of the Future of Grocery report, which “explores the latest e-retail themes and trends in the UK FMCG marketplace”, also found that seven per cent of all grocery shopping in the UK is purchased online, more than Spain, the Czech Republic and Netherlands combined.
UK department store group House of Fraser has announced the appointment of Alex Williamson as chief executive officer, effective from 31 July 2017. Williamson will join from The Goodwood Group, where he has served for nine years including four as CEO. Prior to that, he held senior positions at TUI Group, EMAP, Warner Music International and Ernst & Young.
Lastminute.com has become the first UK merchant to implement Visa Checkout – Visa’s online checkout system which securely stores shipping and payment details for customers. Visa Checkout initially launched in the US in 2014 and has expanded into 23 other markets, with 20 million registered users worldwide. Up to now UK shoppers have been able to use the service at global merchants such as Emirates, Marriott and Stubhub, but lastminute.com is the first UK-based retailer to join the service.
Alipay is set to make its mark in the North American market after announcing a partnership with First Data that will see its mobile payment service accepted at four million US businesses. The roll-out follows the completion of a successful pilot between the two firms at the end of 2016, when the two companies trialled Alipay in selected high-end and speciality retail locations in California and New York.
Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), which operates 1,700 pubs, restaurants and bars in the UK, is rolling out new mobile payments and ordering technology through a partnership with Flypay. The tech provider’s Flyt platform will enable M&B to access a range of different solutions designed to improve the customer journey – including Flypay’s ‘Pay at Table’ and ‘Bar Tab’ technologies. Pay at Table allows customers to check, split and pay their bill from an iOS or Android smartphone, while Bar Tabs means tables can start a tab on a mobile and then divide the total cost between the group.
Tesco has announced the integration of its grocery shopping service with Google Home, using its IFTTT channel and voice activation technology. Rather than having to set up an individual IFTTT (‘if this then that’) recipe for each product, customers will now be able to create just one recipe and then ask their Google Home to “add milk to my Tesco basket” or “buy more eggs” for example.
Travis Perkins has announced that it is trialling its new PoS systems from OneView Commerce at Wickes, the group’s home improvement retailer. The pilot went live at the Bristol store over the Easter Weekend, initiating the retailer’s busiest season. Aligning the pilot and planned rollout with Wickes’ peak season allowed the organisation to test out OneView’s capability to handle Wickes’ fast-moving strategy. The pilot demonstrated “rapid promotion setup” that drives increased basket potential and “improved customer satisfaction”.
Plumbing and building materials chain Wolseley UK has selected RELEX’s space planning solution as part of its business strategy to better serve customers and improve business efficiencies. RELEX’s solution will allow Wolseley to create customer-focused planograms that can be easily understood at the store level, including changes from the previous planogram, and can be efficiently implemented.
The National Army Museum has chosen retail technology outfit Talisman Innovations to help select and integrate new cloud-based retail and visitor systems to support its £23.75 million refit. The Chelsea-based museum wanted to ensure that data from their new EPoS, stock control and inventory, collections reservation, ticketing and membership management systems integrated seamlessly with each other, as well as with Salesforce CRM and NetSuite Finance software.
The majority of UK shoppers believe retailers are failing to use their data effectively, new research from Cognizant has shown. The study, which surveyed 1,000 UK consumers, revealed that retailers have not resolved the dilemma of what customer data to use and how, with only 38 per cent of shoppers believing that retailers actually use their data effectively.
Identity data intelligence firm GBG has acquired PCA Predict, a provider of UK and international address validation services, for £66 million. PCA (formerly Postcode Anywhere) processes millions of transactions every day for some of the world’s largest e-commerce companies. It’s also used to enhance the quality of data held within CRM systems and to improve user experience and customer conversion rates.
Derbyshire-based pottery outfit Denby has selected digital marketing firm Oban International to research, plan and deliver digital SEO and paid media campaigns for its e-commerce sites. Working with the brand’s e-commerce, marketing and technical teams, Oban will drive visibility, traffic and sales across Denby’s international markets. It will provide Denby with technical SEO consultancy on a critical e-commerce multi-platform migration; including keyword research, technical audits, on-page optimisation and URL mapping to ensure that websites continue to perform.
UK-based women’s fashion brand Missguided has entered into a strategic partnership with Intercity Technology to deliver and support the IT infrastructure of its first ever physical shops. The IT firm worked closely with Missguided to plan and execute the technology strategy behind its flagship outlet within east London’s Westfield Stratford City shopping centre. The store, which opened in November last year marks the start of Missguided’s journey into bricks-and-mortar stores.
UK online sales of non-food products increased 10.3 per cent in April compared with the same month last year, but with the figures being “positively distorted” by the timing of Easter, the latest British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG data shows. The double-digit rise marks the fastest growth since November 2016 and is above the three-month and 12-month averages of 8.2 per cent and 9.3 per cent respectively.
E-commerce expenditure in the UK dropped 0.1 per cent year-on-year in April, representing the first time that spending across e-commerce has declined since September 2013. There was a further slowdown in total growth momentum, with consumer spending rising at the weakest pace for three months in April (0.5 per cent year-on-year). This increase was down from the +1.0 per cent in March and was below the average annual growth rate for Q1 as a whole (+0.9 per cent), and the historical series average (+1.4 per cent).
New research from Martec International has found that only 18 per cent of retailers are satisfied with their current promotion and new line introduction planning and forecasting system. Furthermore, only 24 per cent of respondents said that they are satisfied with the analytical and reporting capabilities of their supply chain systems. For the majority of organisations, the supply chain is still managed in its own silo and does not take into consideration either ‘space’ or ‘external’ data, such as weather or competitive pricing.
The number of mobile payments authenticated by biometrics will rise to almost two billion this year, up from just over 600 million in 2016. This is according to a new study from Juniper Research, which found that while Apple Pay has been providing the catalyst for initial growth, other leading wallets including Android Pay and Samsung Pay are increasingly offering biometric solutions for authentication.
Debenhams has confirmed that around 26,000 customers of its flowers ordering website have had their personal data compromised following a cyber attack which took place between 24 February and 11 April. The retailer said in a statement that it has taken immediate steps to minimise the risk to customers, including the temporary closure of the Debenhams Flowers website. It added that Ecomnova Ltd, the company that owns and operates the Debenhams-branded flower and gifting website, was the organisation which had suffered the data breach.
France’s largest rail operator SNCF has, in partnership with ECR Retail Systems, completed phase one of a project to deploy real-time mobile payment technology across its entire fleet of trains. ECR has deployed its mobile point of sale (MPoS) solution across the SNCF’s entire fleet, including the delivery of nearly 1,500 lightweight ECR Go handheld devices – marking the end of the first phase of a three year project.
Sports fashion retailer JD Sports has selected Coupa Software’s cloud-based procure-to-pay (P2P) solution to integrate with its existing ERP system, providing store and office colleagues with an improved, simpler P2P service. JD reviewed its existing indirect P2P process and sought a solution to reduce store ordering administration time, improve financial reporting and improve the ‘user experience’ of those sourcing goods and services. Following a market review, Coupa was chosen after demonstrating the transparency, mobility and ease-of-use of its solution.
Total UK retail search volumes online increased seven per cent across all devices in Q1 2017 compared with last year, the latest British Retail Consortium (BRC) figures show. UK retail search volumes on smartphone devices increased 23 per cent during this period. The south west saw the fastest growth in search volumes at 23 per cent compared with the same quarter a year ago, whilst Northern Ireland and Wales both grew by 19 per cent. However, in contrast London saw a decline of eight per cent on Q1 2016.
Retail workers think stores of the future will still have human staff, but will be radically transformed by technology over the next decade, new research has shown. The Epson survey, of more than 7,000 retail workers across Europe, found that 70 per cent believe that technology can never replace personal interaction in shops, despite there being a widespread belief that innovation will revolutionise the shopping experience.
The Retail Business Technology Expo (RBTE) is returning to London Olympia next week, with more than 17,000 visitors expected to attend. Billed as the largest retail solutions event in Europe, the show on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th May will feature more than 370 suppliers on the exhibition floor and over 100 expert speakers in the three conference theatres.
E-commerce technology outfit Yieldify has raised $6 million in its second funding round, which was led by Binomial Ventures and includes investment from New Look founder Tom Singh. The funding round also included participation by John Giuliani, CEO of digital marketing firm Conversant, who also joins the Yieldify board as chairman as part of the investment. Yieldify’s existing investors include GV (formerly Google Ventures), SoftBank Capital, Hoxton Ventures and Data Point Capital.
Concerns about security breaches have been revealed as the biggest fear among consumers when it comes to deciding whether to download a retail app, according to new research. The study, by mobile technology provider Apadmi, found that three quarters (74 per cent) of shoppers were most concerned about the security of their information.
British garden centre chain Dobbies has signed a five year agreement with Ocado Group subsidiary, Speciality Stores, for the provision of online services. The partnership will enable Dobbies to launch a new online store early next year serving the whole of the UK.
Hyundai Motor UK is set to launch the world’s first contactless car to mark its new partnership with Stand Up To Cancer, allowing people to donate to the charity with just a tap of their credit or debit card. The zero-emission electric car will feature five contactless donation points, with contributions being used to fund ‘translational research’ which helps to turn breakthroughs in the lab into new treatments for cancer.
Debenhams has announced the appointment of Angela Morrison as technology and supply chain director, following the decision by former operations director Peter Swann to leave the organisation. Morrison’s background includes roles as chief information officer at Direct Line Group and IT director for Sainsbury’s where she sat on the operating board, as well as positions at Walmart and Asda.
Health retailer Holland & Barrett has signed a partnership with printing firm Lexmark for use of its Publishing Platform across all of its UK and Ireland stores. The Lexmark Publishing Platform for Retail enables all Holland & Barrett stores to print centrally generated store specific shelf signs based on availability of stock on hand, eliminating waste and reducing time spent sorting signs. Alongside this the new solution also automatically creates content for printed signs, electronic shelf labels and digital screens.
Retail e-commerce decision makers are turning to internet of things (IoT) and virtual reality to help them increase their sales margins and improve customer service and experience, new research has found. The research from retail consultancy outfit Salmon, found that 61 per cent are currently investing in IoT and believe IoT enablement to be the biggest priority (35 per cent) as a business.
Six in 10 shoppers believe that bricks and mortar retailers will be using virtual reality, RFID wristbands, robots, voice-activated apps and other new technologies within the next three years, a survey from Omnico has found. The survey of more than 1,000 UK consumers found that 56 per cent believe that VR will help them to buy almost everything in the future, while a fifth said that they expected retailers to offer them a single loyalty app on their phones.
UK shoppers are often disappointed with the digital experience provided by retailers, with six in 10 stating that they would shop elsewhere if the technology is not up to scratch, according to a new survey. Fujitsu’s Forgotten Shop Floor research found that four in 10 consumers are frequently disappointed by in-store technology, while three quarters of respondents said that they would choose Amazon or eBay over traditional High Street names if either had a physical store.
Swedish home electronics retailer MediaMarkt has selected RELEX to automate and optimise its supply chain technology. The new solution will replace the retailer’s largely manual supply chain management processes. MediaMarkt operates 27 stores as well as one online store in Sweden and is part of European home electronics retailer, the MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group, which has over 1,000 stores in 15 countries.
British online fashion retailer GetTheLabel has selected Azoya as its e-commerce solutions partner to support the launch of a Chinese website. Part of the JD Sports group, GetTheLabel was founded in 2009 and sells branded fashion and footwear. Azoya, a turnkey e-commerce company, is providing a fully managed platform for both desktop and mobile devices that will enable GetTheLabel to have a direct market presence in China.
The load times of the UK’s top retail sites are over a second slower at the beginning of 2017 than they were at the end of last year, new research from web analyst firm NCC Group has found. The average load time for 50 of the biggest retail sites was 17.09 seconds in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 16.06 seconds in the final quarter of 2016 (measured at 2Mbps). The average page size for these websites had also increased from 2.29MB to 2.31MB, which may have contributed to the slower load time. This slowdown continues a trend that has existed since at least 2013.
Global online retail sales account for 55 per cent of total digital payment transaction values, while P2P (person to person) money transfers will see the largest year-on-year increase in value in 2017, according to Juniper Research. The new research – Digital Payment Strategies: Online, Mobile & Contactless 2017-2021 – found that online retail sales in the US in 2016 were around four per cent ahead of previous forecasts, thanks to an increased emphasis from bricks-and-mortar retailers in developing a converged online/offline approach.
Mastercard has announced the appointment of Ed McLaughlin as the firm’s new president of operations and technology. McLaughlin will take over from current incumbent Rob Reeg on 1 May. Reeg will move to a consulting role reporting to the firm’s CEO Ajay Banga, and will help to ensure a smooth transition through October 1, 2017.
Online retail giant Amazon has seen its 2017 first quarter sales jump 23 per cent to $35.7 billion, with net income also rising by more than $200 million, to $724 million. The strong results have been attributed in part to the firm’s recent expansion into the Indian market. Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, said: “Our India team is moving fast and delivering for customers and sellers. It's still day one for e-commerce in India, and I assure you that we'll keep investing in technology and infrastructure while working hard to invent on behalf of our customers and small and medium businesses.”
Total UK card spending in February 2017 was £57.2 billion, an increase of £300 million on January, and up from £52.2 billion in February 2016, the latest UK Cards Association figures show. The number of card purchases increased to 1.3 billion in February, up by 14 million on the previous month and up 11 per cent annually.
Cross-border online retail sales have remained high in early 2017, with growth up 11.3 per cent year-on-year in January, according to the latest IMRG-Metapack figures. The data shows that monthly cross-border online growth was down 31.1 per cent on December 2016. However despite the seemingly negative figure, this is the normal pattern for this time of year.
Marks & Spencer is gearing up to launch an online food delivery service later this year, as the retailer looks to capitalise on the continued success of its food halls. The new service, which it expects to pilot in the autumn, will allow customers to order food items online and have them delivered directly to their homes.
Applegreen, the Irish petrol forecourt retailer which has 75 sites across the UK, is implementing a major IT transformation programme with the help of cloud computing outfit Auxilion. A cloud-based investment of £435,000 has facilitated the Applegreen’s move from legacy IT systems across more than 200 global sites and will support the company’s expansion internationally. Working with cloud specialist Auxilion, Applegreen decided to implement a Microsoft Azure cloud computing solution which fits the three major requirements - resilience, stability and scalability.
British retailers ASOS, John Lewis, Asda and EasyJet were all named in the top five global brands for email marketing and customer experience, according to a new survey from dotmailer. Best Buy in the US took second place, while J.Crew, Holiday Extras, New Look, Overstock and Trainline made up the rest of the top 10.
Barclaycard has partnered with FinTech company Donate The Change to unveil a range of wearable devices, allowing users to automatically donate the small change from any contactless payment they make to a charity of their choice. Developed by Donate The Change and powered by Barclaycard’s bPay contactless chips, the wearables can be used to make ‘touch and go’ payments for £30 and under without fumbling for cash or entering a PIN. When a purchase is made, it triggers an automatic donation to the wearer’s chosen charity.
Click and Collect delivery startup Doddle will be closing down 17 of its 24 stand-alone High Street stores, reportedly laying off 100 staff members in the process, and will be refocusing its business model on third party partnerships. In a statement, the delivery firm said: “The Click and Collect market continues to grow rapidly, and as consumer preferences evolve
Footwear brand Camper has selected Oban International to research, plan and deliver search engine optimisation (SEO) campaigns for its e-commerce sites across multiple locations worldwide. The Camper brand is marketed globally and is currently present in 40 countries, with more than 400 stores, and sales of around four million pairs of shoes annually.
More than three quarters of British consumers have concerns about using new payment methods, the latest research suggests. The data from law firm Paul Hastings, which surveyed more than 2,000 UK consumers, found that 77 per cent of Brits expressed security fears regarding new payment technologies.
Jason Atherton’s Michelin-starred restaurant and bar, City Social, is launching what is describes as the world’s first augmented reality cocktail menu next month. The cocktail menu, called MIRAGE, comes with a purpose-built app, created by Mustard Designs, which provides guests with the option of 12 cocktails. Once the app is pointed in the direction of the drink, the augmented reality technology transforms the perception of the cocktail and brings the surroundings to life.
A third of people in Europe would go completely cashless if given the option, new research from ING has found. The fifth annual ING International Survey Mobile Banking report, which surveyed more than 15,000 people across 15 countries, discovered that one in five (21 per cent) people in Europe now rarely carries physical notes and coins and 34 per cent would go completely cashless if given the choice.
E-commerce fashion brand Boohoo has published its annual results for the year ended 28 February 2017, revealing a 97 per cent increase in profit before tax. The firm posted total revenues of £294.6 million, up from £195.4 million in 2016, for the year ending 28 February 2017. UK revenue increased 30 per cent, Europe was up 50 per cent, the US up 140 per cent, and the rest of the world up 40 per cent. The amount of revenue generated from outside of the UK rose from 33 per cent in 2016 to 39 per cent this year.
While three-quarters of UK consumers have not yet spoken to a chatbot, the majority of consumers are aware of what a chatbot is (57 per cent) and over a third (35 per cent) want to see more companies adopting chatbots to solve their queries, according to a new survey from AI technology firm ubisend. When asked what is most important in their experience of communicating with a company, the majority of British consumers (58 per cent) said that it is ‘reaching the desired outcome’
One in 20 online shopping sites have been infiltrated by hackers who are actively stealing customers’ payment card details, according to new research by cyber security firm Foregenix. The data, which comes from security scans carried out in the last month on 60,000 online stores, shows that five per cent of retailer’s websites are infected with rogue software or ‘malware’, which is stealing customers’ card details.
Food retailers EAT and Bel-Air have teamed up with digital receipt platform Flux to pilot the use of mobile receipts in some of their central London outlets. Flux links users’ bank cards with the retailer’s point of sale to deliver real-time receipts, including item data and VAT, directly to customer’s mobile banking apps. Rather than just showing the retailer’s name, the total amount spent and the date, Flux will also include each item bought and e-stamps.
British optical retailer Specsavers has signed a £17.6 million deal with Fujitsu, which will see the latter transform Specsavers’ in-store technology for its 1,179 stores located across Europe. The transformation programme aims to enable Specsavers to deliver an improved customer experience by making better use of customer data to improve service, track orders and incidents.
US fashion retailer rue21 has unveiled its new AI-powered virtual stylist on Facebook Messenger, offering customers a personalised, interactive shopping experience via online chat. The virtual stylist is one of the first to integrate with Messenger’s new chat extensions feature, which was unveiled last week at the F8 developer conference. The bot, which is powered by mode.ai, allows users to interact with the virtual stylist in group and one-to-one message threads with friends.
Online skincare and cosmetics brand Beauty Bay has partnered with XPO Logistics for the management and development of its e-commerce supply chain systems. The deal follows double-digit growth for the online retailer, which now requires improved fulfilment and logistics operations to cope with the growing number of online orders. David Gabbie, Beauty Bay’s managing director, said
Online card spending in the UK has jumped by more than a quarter in the last two years, according to the latest figures from The UK Cards Association. Card spending on the internet totalled £154 billion in 2016, averaging £422 million a day. This is a rise of 28 per cent since 2014, when online spending amounted to £120 billion.
UK online retail sales were up 13 per cent year-on-year in March, driven by an increase in average basket values (ABV) through mobile devices, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-retail sales index. The ABV for mobile devices was up 18 per cent on March 2016, marking the seventh straight month in which the ABV has risen year-on-year.
Chinese mobile payment provider Alipay has expanded its relationship with ACI Worldwide to enable merchants across Europe, the Middle East and Africa to accept Alipay payments from Chinese shoppers. ACI’s solution provides merchants with secure omnichannel payments capabilities for card-present and card-not-present transactions. The solution combines connectivity to a network of more than 350 acquirers and alternative payment methods, with flexible payment infrastructure based on an open API.
Dunkin’ Brands Group, the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, has selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its cloud infrastructure provider. The company has completed the migration of its mobile applications, e-commerce websites, and key corporate IT infrastructure applications from on-premises infrastructure to AWS, for increased scalability and security, and reduced costs.
Women’s activewear brand Sweaty Betty has signed a deal with e-commerce systems provider Tryzens to help transform its online offering for customers. The new site will be built with a mobile responsive design, built on a cloud platform which enables Sweaty Betty to efficiently simplify administration and merchandising. Designed to provide the customers with a more easy-to-use platform, the initial website is due to go live later this year.
Online retail sales in the UK grew 19.5 per cent in March compared with the previous year, while the average weekly online spend hit the £1 billion mark, the latest ONS figures reveal. On a monthly basis, online sales saw a 0.5 per cent rise on February’s figures. The amount spent online in March accounted for 15.5 per cent of all retail spending, excluding automotive fuel, compared with 13.6 per cent in March 2016.
Department store chain Debenhams has unveiled a new transformation strategy which includes greater investment in digital, but also includes plans to review the closure up to 10 UK stores and 11 warehouses over the next five years. The news comes as Debenhams posted a half-year pre-tax profit decline of 6.4 per cent to £87.8 million, despite a 64 per cent increase in mobile orders. The new strategy, labelled ‘Debenhams Redesigned’, aims to deliver growth by becoming ‘a destination
Mastercard has today unveiled a new next-generation biometric card, which combines chip technology with fingerprints to verify the cardholder’s identity for in-store purchases. The biometrics card, which is being trialled in South Africa, builds on fingerprint scanning technology used for mobile payments today and can be used at EMV terminals worldwide.
Amazon is extending its Amazon Pay service to France, Italy and Spain, enabling customers to pay for goods and services on participating third party merchant websites with their Amazon account information. The online payment service helps to reduce the time it takes customers to checkout by removing the need to remember multiple passwords while shopping online. All Amazon account holders can now log in to Amazon Pay with their details at participating retailers.
A fifth of UK retailers are still failing to offer customers’ preferred delivery option, a new study has found. The research from e-commerce firm Ampersand, which included a survey of more than 180 UK multi-channel retailers, revealed that 18 per cent are failing to offer their customers next-day delivery.
Organised by Retail Systems and sister title FStech, the Payments Awards are back for 2017, recognising excellence and innovation in the payments sector. Winning entries come from those companies, individuals and organisations who have launched or implemented the most outstanding payments solutions, initiatives and projects during the past year.
US discount retailer Target has selected technology from Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) to streamline its HR processes and “create a more intuitive user experience” for its team members. The solutions, which include Workday Learning, Workday Payroll and Workday Recruiting, aim to simplify operational tasks, thus freeing up time for team members. It is also expected to offer Target greater visibility, insights and data, allowing the firm to boost its growth and hiring efforts.
Mastercard has announced that Masterpass-enabled bots have launched on Facebook Messenger for US retailers Subway, FreshDirect and The Cheesecake Factory. The bot uses AI technology to enable customers to interact with retailers, build their order and securely checkout using Masterpass, without having to leave the Messenger app. The bots will also support all Masterpass-enabled wallets from banks including Citi and Capital One.
Women’s clothing retailer Bonmarché has seen a resurgence in online sales growth after improvements were made to the firm’s online offering. Sales for the 14 weeks ending 1 April 2017 increased by 2.7 per cent on last year. During this period in-store sales fell 0.5 per cent but were buoyed by 15.2 per cent growth in online sales.
The Body Shop has announced that it is launching a £10 million digital transformation project designed to expand its e-commerce footprint and provide a more seamless online experience. As part of the project, The Body Shop has launched a mobile-first e-commerce platform which enables customers to engage “more effectively” with the retailer.
PayPal is extending a partnership with Google to enable its customers to use PayPal as a payment method within Android Pay, wherever the mobile payments service is accepted. Launching soon in the US, users will be able to pay using their PayPal balance, and over the coming months PayPal will add the ability to use cards that have been stored with PayPal, enabled by recent tokenisation partnerships with major card networks.
Central London has been named as the retail market leader in Europe for the third year in a row, according to a new report from real estate advisory firm Colliers International. UK consumers and tourists spent more in London than anywhere else, there were more store openings than in any other market, and the city saw double digital rental growth in 2016 (led by Old Bond Street with a 48 per cent year-on-year increase) – factors which all contributed to the capital’s success.
House of Fraser (HoF) has published its trading update for the 52 weeks to 28 January 2017, which reveals a 16.1 per cent uplift in online sales year-on-year, and also confirms a £25 million investment in a new e-commerce platform. The new e-commerce system was launched this month, the retailer said, and is aimed at greatly enhancing the online customer experience, improving e-commerce margins and providing the necessary capacity for the group to double its online sales.
Footfall on UK High Streets increased 1.2 per cent over the Easter weekend this year, cementing the extended bank holiday as the most anticipated weekend for retailers after Christmas, according to Springboard. The figures follow an uplift in monthly footfall in March (1.3 per cent) – the first since August last year. Despite overall UK footfall being down 2.0 per cent for Good Friday to Easter Sunday, retailers were looking to finish the bank holiday on a positive note, with Springboard recording a 3.4 per cent footfall increase at 12pm on Easter Monday.
Some 97 per cent of retailers regard IT as a strategic asset when it comes to branch retailing, according to new research from software provider Zynstra. Seven in 10 respondents said that IT could enable them to meet future demands by helping to reduce operating costs, speed up roll-out of new stores, support new business opportunities and streamline IT management.
Fossil Group has partnered with Dassault Systemes to use a solution based on its 3DEXPERIENCE technology, to develop and manage the lifecycles of the fashion brand’s product range. The new platform provides Fossil Group with a single digital environment that connects internal and external stakeholders, integrates complex supply chains, and improves visibility and decision support for multiple product categories.
Almost half of UK retailers’ website experience downtime during seasonal peak periods including Easter, a new report suggests. The study by cloud and managed services firm Cogeco Peer 1, which surveyed more than 100 UK e-commerce ‘decision makers,’ found that 40 per cent of retailers’ websites have experienced downtime during Easter and other seasonal peak periods.
WoraPay, the mobile service that allows customers to order ahead and beat the queue when ordering food and drinks, has integrated Masterpass from Mastercard, enabling its mobile wallet users to pay with a secure, one-click payment. Masterpass stores all payment information, including card details from Mastercard and other payment networks, in one secure place. The partnership was established through the Startupbootcamp FinTech programme, where WoraPay was mentored by Mastercard employees. Lloyds Banking Group staff were among the first to use the service.
Three quarters of UK consumers are ready to share basic personal data over in-store Wi-Fi in return for product discounts, new research from Hughes Europe has revealed. Some 85 per cent said that they were most likely to share details on the kind of products they like, while 55 per cent would share details on stores where they prefer to shop.
The National Bank of Greece (NBG) is collaborating with Wirecard to integrate Alipay into the technical infrastructure of Greece’s largest bank as a new payment method. The partnership has enabled NBG to integrate Alipay across the country, particularly for merchants who operate in significant tourist attractions. This provides those merchants with a new payment solution at the point of sale for their Chinese customers.
Facebook users can now send or receive money between groups of people on the Facebook Messenger app via their desktop or mobile device. Users tap on the plus sign in the bottom left hand corner of a group conversation to find more features, and tap the payments icon. Then users are prompted to choose who to send or request money from, whether that be everyone in a group or just a few members. Users then enter the amount they wish to request per person or the total sum to divide evenly
Global shoe retailer Timberland has implemented location intelligence technology in a move designed to better understand and communicate with its customers. The location technology, from xAd, draws polygons around specified points of interest, allowing Timberland to identify areas for precise proximity targeting to build relevant audiences. xAd gathered intelligence from recent store visitation and real-time physical proximity to Timberland stores, as well as ‘urban stylist’ locations such as fashion stores and outdoor activity hotspots.
intu has added augmented reality technology to its in-centre app as it launches a new family experience bringing Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr. characters to life at its centres this Easter. Created in partnership with Nick Jr. as one of a series of activities taking place at intu centres, the game has been designed to capture the imagination of young families during the school holidays.
Apple Pay contactless users will nearly double, reaching 86 million by the end of 2017, according to predictions from Juniper Research. The market analyst firm estimates that the number of OEM-Pay contactless users, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay, will exceed 100 million for the first time during the first half of this year, before surpassing 150 million by year end.
UK kitchenware retailer Joseph Joseph has reported a 45 per cent increase in revenue following the implementation of a new e-commerce platform. After just one year of partnering with Tryzens in the overhaul of its website, Joseph Joseph has seen significant growth in online sales, including mobile.
UK online sales growth in March was just 6.6 per cent year-on-year, marking the lowest monthly growth since August 2016, according to the latest BRC-KMPG figures. However, despite March’s figures falling below both the three-month and 12-month averages – 7.4 per cent and 9 per cent rises respectively – the dampened growth has been “negatively distorted” by the timing of Easter, according to the retail monitor.
Consumers would rather save time than money when shopping online, according to new research. Almost a quarter of those surveyed by Expressly said they get irritated when having to register their payment and delivery details with every online purchase.
Baby Boomers are just as eager to see next generation technology such as artificial intelligence being adopted by retailers as their Millennial counterparts, according to a new report. The study by Manchester-based DigitalBridge also found that nearly three quarters of Baby Boomers said that they would use such platforms if they were offered them.
UK High Street footfall over the Easter weekend is expected to increase 8.8 per cent year-on-year, according to predictions from Springboard. The forecast comes as Springboard announced that UK retail footfall increased 1.2 per cent in March, breaking the six month consecutive decline in what has been a challenging environment. Springboard said that due to the improved spring weather and continued trend for consumer spending on leisure and hospitality trips
Mastercard has welcomed five new startups to its Start Path Global programme – the company’s initiative which looks to support later-stage startups that are “reshaping the future of commerce”. Three out of the five startups joining the programme are focused on artificial intelligence (AI). These startups are using AI to analyse consumer behaviour, enhance in-store or in-branch customer engagement, and compute bill and payment data. The other two startups have developed solutions that extend retail access to consumers through point of sale innovations.
New West End Company is set to transform Bird Street into what it claims to be the world’s first ‘smart street’, which is being launched with funding from Transport for London’s Future Streets incubator scheme. The project is in collaboration with retail technology firm Appear Here, and will boast a range of new sustainable technologies – including PaveGen technology, which generates electricity from pedestrian movement, and Airlite’s air-purifying paint.
Shop Direct has seen a 16 per cent uplift in sales since implementing an e-commerce solution from Amplience which is designed to provide personalised customer experience. The partnership with Amplience enables the retailer to reuse images across its properties at any time, as well as easily customise the URLs of the images by brand, even when an image is in use by several domains at the same time.
Sainsbury’s is planning a further roll-out of its SmartShop mobile app later this year following a successful trial phase, Retail Systems can confirm. The SmartShop app allows customers to use their smartphone or an in-store handset to scan products, before putting them straight into their bag. Once the customer has completed their shop, they can skip the queues and complete the payment at a dedicated SmartShop checkout.
UK High Street sales failed to grow for the fourth month in a row, while online sales saw the highest monthly increase since January 2015. This is according to a report from accountancy and business advisory firm BDO, which found that like-for-like High Street sales were flat in March, despite the warmer weather and an increase in footfall of 5.2 per cent) on Mothers’ Day.
Alipay’s mobile app is now available in Italy, allowing Chinese visitors to the country to purchase goods and access services at more than 120,000 locations. Thanks to a partnership with UniCredit and through the use of SIA’s technological infrastructure, Alipay will be available in a 120,000 large merchant network spread across Italy. Such expansion comes amid an ever-growing number of Chinese tourists, who in 2015 spent more than $215 billion abroad
Burberry has maintained the strongest digital presence of 32 international fashion and luxury brands, while others continue to improve their digital presence, according to the latest research. The fifth annual Digital Competitive Map, compiled by Contactlab and Exane BNP Paribas, shows that luxury brands are starting to close the gap between digital and in-store performance.
The city of Gloucester is set to introduce a new retail technology scheme, which connects visitors to money-saving offers and promotions from businesses and attractions in the area. The technology aims to transform the city’s main shopping areas into ‘digital High Streets’ by linking a mobile app and touchscreen kiosks to an offer-focused website. The scheme will also be complemented by a new local card.
WoolOvers has signed an agreement with customer insight firm Big Data for Humans which will support the online knitwear retailer in building a customer marketing programme across all of its channels. WoolOvers will adopt Big Data For Humans’ Customer Graph to power its strategy, putting deep customer knowledge at the heart of its business and enabling in-house marketing teams to create and automate customer marketing campaigns.
Abandoned shopping baskets remain a significant issue for UK retailers, with the checkout cited as the primary point where consumers drop out of the purchasing journey, according to research from data analyst firm Ovum and payments provider Klarna. The research found that 52 per cent of retailers believe that friction in the online checkout is the biggest driver of basket abandonment. Four in 10 cited a lack of payment methods and 39 per cent suggested a lack of lending or credit options was stopping consumers completing the payment process.
IT solutions provider Retail Assist has secured a multi-million pound investment to facilitate its growth strategy, which includes doubling the size of the business over the next three years. The deal sees investment from its original founders, private equity investment manager, Foresight Group, and Royal Bank of Scotland.
London-based online marketplace Flubit has relaunched as an online search and browsing marketplace following new funding totalling $20 million. The new marketplace consists of a 60 million-strong product database, populated by more than 1,500 verified UK and Irish online sellers. Nearly all major channel software partners, including Channel Advisor, Linnworks, StoreFeeder, SellerExpress, and Magento have integrations feeding products directly into the Flubit marketplace.
Burger chain Five Guys has chosen to implement a new Ingenico ePayments solution, allowing its customers to shop securely from mobile, tablet or laptop and boosting the firm’s expansion efforts. Customers in Five Guys restaurants in Paris and Madrid can now pre-order and pre-pay for food, progressing directly to the pick-up point for collection. The system accepts multiple currencies and payment types, as well as a choice of language support options. Five Guys has also been able to use the gateway with its chosen local acquirers.
Online fashion retailer ASOS has seen sales jump 37 per cent over the last six months on the back of continued weakness in pound sterling, the firm’s latest financial results show. Total group sales for the six month period ending 28 February 2017, increased by 37 per cent compared with last year. Pre-tax profits also increased during this period, rising 14 per cent to £27.3 million.
Car manufacturer Jeep is introducing a new customer experience at its dealerships, which allows visitors to walk around and look inside the all-new Jeep Compass car before it physically arrives in the showrooms. The augmented reality solution, which was developed with Accenture, is an easy-to-use application that recreates the virtual car in its real dimensions. The technology is based on Google Tango, which optimises the experience for smartphone users.
Amazon has announced the launch of Amazon Business in the UK, a service which is designed to meet the procurement needs of businesses of all sizes. Amazon Business customers can take advantage of a range of tailored features such as free one-day delivery on orders over £30, VAT-exclusive pricing, VAT invoicing and Amazon Business Analytics to gain visibility into how their business is spending.
Grab, the Southeast Asian ride-hailing and mobile payments, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Kudo, an O2O (online to offline) e-commerce platform in Indonesia. Once the agreement is finalised, the Kudo team and platform will be integrated with Grab’s mobile payments platform, GrabPay.
A third of 18 to 24 year olds are using social media to research products which they intend to purchase, compared with just a tenth of 45 to 54 year olds, according to a new report from digital agency Epiphany. The research suggests that these figures are likely to continue to grow, indicating that brands will be able to attribute higher levels of revenue to social media search in the future.
Hammerson has successfully completed a beta trial of its new visual search app tool, FindSimilar, at Brent Cross shopping centre. Powered by AI technology from Cortexica, the new feature aims to increase shopper engagement and drive footfall by providing a convenient way of browsing thousands of products offered by retailers in shopping centres.
UK-based Euro Garages has selected price management software firm PriceAdvantage to upgrade its fuel pricing strategies, as well as eliminate manual fuel price processes throughout its 341 UK sites. The new solution fully integrates with Oracle EPoS, allowing Euro Garages to establish new fuel prices and push those prices to the EPoS, price signs and pumps with just one click – removing the need for employees to manually update signs.
Tallink Grupp, which operates mini-cruise and passenger transport services in the Baltic Sea, has selected Displaydata to implement its fully graphic electronic shelf labels (ESLs) on board three of its ships. The new solution will allow Tallink to quickly change prices and promotions on board the ships’ duty-free stores to align with port of call retail stores located in Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Latvia. The ESLs will also display product information in English with dual currencies depending on the country of the port of call.
Starbucks is set to trial a dedicated mobile order and pay store next week at its Seattle headquarters, available to the 5,000 employees that work in the building, as the firm seeks to improve customer convenience. The mobile order and pay service was initially launched in 2015, allowing customers to pay for their order in advance of their visit and pick it up at a selected location. However, this resulted in a backlog of mobile orders – which often meant that the in-store queue for normal customers was shorter than the mobile order queue.
Fashion brand Mango has partnered with mobile app Shazam, allowing customers to choose the music playing in its stores. Due to be rolled out initially in 20 stores across Spain, customers will be able to connect to the retailer’s playlists and choose which songs they would like to play while shopping. The Spanish brand becomes the first in Europe to offer such a service.
US customers of Dunkin’ Donuts will now be able to submit and pay for their orders in advance via the restaurant chain’s mobile app. The new ‘Order Ahead’ feature, which was launched in collaboration with Waze, allows customers to locate their nearest restaurant and tap a single button to launch the ordering page. To utilise the service, customers must sign up to become a member of the DD Perks rewards programme.
Lidl UK has announced the opening of its eleventh regional distribution centre (RDC), in Wednesbury, West Midlands, as part of the supermarket chain’s expansion plans, creating 400 new jobs in the process. At 40,500 square metres, the Wednesbury distribution centre is Lidl’s largest to date and forms part of the firm’s £1.5 billion expansion investment between 2015 and 2018. The new RDC will service 56 stores, with an additional eight stores planned over the next two years.
AS Watson, the parent company of Superdrug and The Perfume Shop, has announced that its global e-commerce businesses delivered a 47 per cent increase in health and beauty sales in 2016. In May 2014, the group announced plans to accelerate its digital and CRM strategy with an initial investment of $60 million. This investment has been channelled into attracting digital talent to its in-house digital studio eLab which was established two years ago, improving the mobile customer experience, rolling-out mobile apps, integrating social into the total customer experience, improving content, and expanding Click and Collect in most countries.
It has been a busy week for Samsung, which has announced iris scanning technology on its latest mobile handset, a new contactless payments platform and a tie-up with Visa on a payments innovation hub. The new Galaxy S8 handset provides users with more options to authenticate their purchases when shopping online either with a fingerprint, face and now via iris scanning. The patterns in a user’s irises are unique to them and are virtually impossible to replicate
Despite 93 per cent of consumers revealing they are more likely to buy if they receive a positive customer experience, UK retailers are struggling to deliver adequate, consistent service new research suggests. According to the Eptica study, UK retail customer experience is failing to improve with nearly 50 per cent of queries being left unanswered. The study also shows that consumers are more likely to get an accurate response on email than on Twitter, Facebook or the web.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has launched a student challenge to help tackle the threat of cyber security in the retail industry. The BRC is inviting students at UK higher education institutions to participate in a paper contest on ‘cyber security risks facing the UK retail industry’.
UK consumers are wasting £104 a year on average on unused items that they have purchased online, according to a new survey from online marketplace Onbuy.com. The report found that retail sales were up 3.7 per cent year-on-year, while online sales grew 20.7 per cent over the same period.
Mastercard is looking to enhance Internet of Things (IoT) security following the acquisition of NuData Security, a tech firm that helps businesses prevent online and mobile fraud using session and biometric indicators. IoT is creating a more digitally driven and connected world, with an estimated 50 billion smart devices to be in use across the globe by 2020. While such connectivity can create convenience for consumers to pay how they want and when they want, it remains important to keep all transactions secure.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has responded to Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement on the triggering of Article 50, stating that tariff-free trade “must be at the heart of plans for a smooth and orderly Brexit”. At 12.30pm today, a letter signed by British Prime Minister Theresa May was delivered to European Council president Donald Tusk, triggering Article 50 and the start of the UK’s formal withdrawal from the EU.
The British are the most avid online shoppers in Europe, with 41 per cent of consumers making online purchases every week, according to a new Mastercard report. The Masterindex 2017 report, which included a survey of 43,000 consumers in 23 European markets, suggested that one in four Europeans with access to the internet purchased products or services online at least once a week in 2016.
Domino’s has launched a pilot programme which will see a fleet of autonomous robots deliver pizzas to homes within a one mile radius of selected European stores. The partnership project between the Domino’s Robotic Unit (DRO) and Starship Technologies, the firm who provide the robots, will be trialled in selected German and Dutch cities.
More than three quarters of European merchants have experienced at least one complete payments outage within the last year, a new study has found. The SafeCharge commissioned study, which was conducted by WBR Digital and surveyed more than 200 heads of finance or payments at multi-national retailers, revealed that payment outages and downtime are causing frequent disruption to merchants bottom line and growth abilities, with 76 per cent of merchants experience at least one full outage over the past 12 months.
Car manufacturer Ford has announced its intention to further explore how virtual reality technology could change the retail experience, by looking to introduce ‘try before you buy’ VR test drives. Ford already uses VR in the car design process, but is now exploring the potential of a range of virtual and augmented reality technologies to allow the customer to interact with every aspect of products at their convenience.
Bathroom and shower retailer Aqualisa has looked to modernise its processes by integrating all of its data systems into Zizo’s cloud based data management platform. The new cloud platform is expected to make it easier for Aqualisa to view and analyse customer data from one centralised point.
US-based mobile point of sale (PoS) firm Square has today announced its UK launch, marking the firm’s introduction to a fifth global market. Square, which aims to make it easier for SMEs to take card payments and ultimately run their businesses, is already available in Canada, Japan, Australia and the US.
Facebook has unveiled plans for a new shopping ad format, helping brands better engage with customers who also use the social networking site as a discovery platform. Use of mobile is a growing necessity for retailers, as 45 per cent of all shopping journeys now contain a mobile action – which is expected to continue to grow in the future.
The new 12-sided one pound coin today enters circulation in the UK – a coin The Royal Mint has described as the “most secure in the world”. The Royal Mint decided to replace the former coin because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters, with the 12-sided coin boasting an array of new security features.
Amazon is exploring the idea of using augmented reality and virtual reality technologies across its growing estate of physical stores, the New York Times has revealed. In an article citing Amazon sources, the New York Times said that the online retail giant is also exploring the idea of furniture and home appliance stores, which would act as showcases where people could view items that they are usually reluctant to buy over the internet, then have the items delivered to their homes.
John Lewis has opened applications for its startup accelerator programme, joined this year by Waitrose – creating the UK’s largest retail technology accelerator. Run in association with innovation firm L Marks, the programme enables John Lewis to tap into emerging innovation in retail which, it is hoped, will benefit their customers and forge long-term relationships with technology companies.
Bricks and mortar stores have to do more to satisfy tech-savvy shoppers and improve the in-store experience, according to new research. A new retail report by mobile technology firm Apadmi found that consumers would like to see retailers make better use of technology in-store. Nearly half of those surveyed (46 per cent) now expect stores to offer free Wi-Fi and one in five shoppers want retailers to use technology that will provide a more tailored shopping experience while they browse in-store.
Pets at Home has enjoyed significant growth over the past few years, in part due to its digital transformation efforts in collaboration with Claranet. One of the key initiatives to drive growth was the introduction of an in-store iPad system, designed to remove friction from the customer’s experience. Use of iPads has removed the need for customers adopting pets to fill out paper forms at the till, and allows staff to use the technology to provide better pet welfare advice and services.
Independent wine and spirit merchant Nickolls and Perks has upgraded its core software platform to a new cloud-based solution from FHL. The entire business is due to be running on the new WineSuite solution by September 2017, with online sales expected to double within the first two years of the solution’s integration. With a quarter of the retailer’s business currently coming through its online shop and Amazon, Nickolls and Perks sees potential for growth.
The Retail Systems Awards are returning for their 12th year and look to celebrate excellence and innovation within the retail sector. There are 29 awards up for grabs this year, including four new categories: Retail Security Initiative of the Year, Payments Security Initiative of the Year, Retail Charity Partnership of the Year, and Retail Partnership of the Year.
Separate figures from Halifax and marketing insight platform Coniq have forecast that consumers will break spending records this weekend, with Mother’s Day spending up 18 per cent since 2014. Halifax research found that card spend over the weekend of Mother’s Day (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) grew from £69.6 million in 2014 to £71.9 million in 2015, before reaching £75.6 million last year – representing an average rate of annual growth of 4.2 per cent.
Samsung has announced the launch of the Contactless Companion Platform (CCP), in collaboration with Smartlink and Ingenico, which has been designed to “enable digital cash for everyone”. Through the new CCP system, a user can make digital cash payments at any contactless-enabled location via a device of their choice – such as a dedicated smartcard, wristband, key fob, watch or smart ring.
Aviva Premiership rugby union team Saracens has become the first sports club in the UK to integrate 3D seat mapping technology with general public ticketing. A partnership between Saracens, the ticketing engagement platform SecuTix, and PACIFA Decision, a 3D technologies company, has created an enhanced fan experience for those purchasing match tickets online. The Saracens website now features a 3D virtual stadium, giving fans a panoramic view of Allianz Park and a picture of the view expected from each individual seat.
Consumers have a growing interest in the use of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and Internet of Things (IoT), according to a new study from Oracle Retail. The survey of more than 700 UK consumers found that 64 per cent of people like the option of using virtual reality to navigate a personalised in-store experience and having a hand-picked wardrobe to try on in-store.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published the latest UK retail sales figures, revealing that online sales were up 20.7 per cent year-on-year. Total retail sales in the month were estimated to be up 3.7 per cent when compared with February 2016, and increased 1.4 per cent when compared with January 2017. Average store prices (including fuel) increased by 2.8 per cent on the year, the largest growth since March 2012; the largest contribution came from petrol stations, where year-on-year average prices rose by 18.7 per cent.
Wearable payments firm Tappy Technologies has announced a number of brands as its contactless watch launch partners. The new partnerships will see Tappy’s fully integrated payment technology embedded into watches from fashion retailer Ted Baker, Swiss brand Mondaine, Latin American firm Grupo Technos, Newatch, and US watchmaker Saga.
China’s online retail market is expected to reach RMB 1.3 trillion (£150 billion) by 2021, more than doubling the total reached in 2016, a new study has found. The research from market intelligence firm Mintel found that the total combined Chinese online cross-border e-commerce market, including business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce, grew tenfold from RMB 53 billion in 2011 to an estimated RMB 626 billion (£72.6 billion) in 2016 – representing an annual growth rate of 64 per cent.
More than half of young shoppers are comfortable with the idea of automated technologies and would visit robot-driven stores, while those over the age of 55 are more apprehensive about such technology, a new survey has found. Findings of the Mindtree study, which were based on a survey of 2,000 consumers across the UK by independent polling company Censuswide, showed that 51 per cent of those between the ages of 16 and 24 are happy to shop in automated stores. On the flipside, 78 per cent of shoppers over the age of 55 claimed that they would be apprehensive about doing so.
Sainsbury’s has announced the closure of 22 in-store phone shops, with a further 16 being sold to EE. The move will affect 275 members of staff, with around 100 members being transferred under TUPE. Joanne McGuinness, national officer at Usdaw, commented: “Since the company closed their ‘Mobile by Sainsbury’s’ service in January 2016, we and the staff were aware that they were looking at options and that review has resulted in a new partnership with EE.
US fashion retailer Nordstrom has selected Infor to support the company’s point of sale (PoS) system in the cloud. Through use of the new cloud platform, Nordstrom will be provided with the tools to be more accurate and consistent across multiple locations, attend to customers more quickly, and better manage and track information. Store associates can use product and inventory information to locate and order the right products across the supply network quickly and easily, on any device.
Samsung has launched its mobile payments service Samsung Pay in India, allowing users to make contactless purchases via their mobile device. Samsung Pay also allows Indian consumers to integrate their Paytm accounts into Samsung Pay, enabling them to pay by scanning QR codes securely, generating one-time codes for merchant payments and also do peer-to-peer money transfers.