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.
Retailers who fail to provide consumers with a customer friendly and easy returns service risk losing a large proportion of their customer base, according to new data European payments provider Klarna. A survey of 2,000 UK consumers reveals that 83 per cent of respondents who shop online would not buy from a retailer that they have a bad returns experience with. Over three quarters (77 per cent) of online shoppers believe that UK retailers need to improve their returns capabilities, while one in four (28 per cent) have been put off returning items due to the hassle of the retailer’s returns process.
Online marketplace eBay will be completely redesigning its mobile and online platforms, promising a reimagined and highly personalised shopping experience.
The company has said that it will be leveraging emerging technologies to improve its mobile offering. Using structured data and artificial intelligence (AI), eBay aims to create a shopping experience that is tailored to each user’s interests and shopping history.
Amazon has introduced voice shopping functionality to its virtual assistant Alexa, enabling customers to order items for free two-hour delivery by simply asking Alexa to order from Prime Now. The virtual assistant can order multiple items at once, make recommendations and will automatically choose the next available two-hour delivery window. Users simply say something along the lines of “Alexa, order tortilla chips from Prime Now”.
The Co-operative Group has signed a multi-million pound deal with BT which will see the latter overhaul the network infrastructure of the Co-operative’s UK food retail business. The new superfast and secure fibre network will enable Co-op to invest in its digital in-store experience, and is expected to provide benefits for both customers and staff.
UK independent brewer, Fuller, Smith and Turner – commonly referred to as Fuller’s – has selected a suite of new cloud applications in order to transform its business processes. Fuller’s has chosen to implement Infor’s CloudSuite Food & Beverages solution which, as part of the 15 year deal, will be used alongside other Infor applications including Enterprise Asset Management; Contract Lifecycle Management; Customer Relationship Management; and Dynamic Enterprise Performance Management.
UK online retail sales continued their strong showing in 2017, growing 15 per cent year-on-year in February, according to the latest data from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. The figures build on the solid growth of 16 per cent seen in February 2016 and mark the second consecutive month that average basket value was at a seven year high for that month of the year.
Two thirds of UK consumers expect a consistent cross-channel shopping experience, yet just 22 per cent claim that retailers provide such an experience, according to a survey from Manhattan Associates. The study, which questioned 2,000 UK adults, found that 68 per cent of consumers expect their online experience to be duplicated in-store, while 70 per cent feel that they know more about the in-store products and services that the store associate.
UK furniture retailer DFS handled a 34 per cent increase in transactions per day during its most recent busy sales period, following the implementation of a new managed cloud solution from Rackspace. Through use of ‘peak planning’ technology, DFS saw spikes in website traffic around Christmas, and has been able to grow its business through new digital services. New in-store functionality on staff tablets has also been introduced, which allows the firm to project images of products onto video walls and screens for customers.
Morrisons has announced the success of a partnership with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning firm Blue Yonder, who has helped to reduce shelf gaps by 30 per cent in the supermarket chain’s 491 stores. The Blue Yonder Replenishment Optimisation technology automatically analyses sales data and other data sources from Morrisons and combines this with external data such as weather forecasts and public holidays.
Despite High Street footfall increasing 0.1 per cent in February compared to the previous year, total UK retail footfall declined one per cent driven by poor performance at retail parks, according to the latest BRC-Springboard figures. The BRC-Springboard index found that retail park footfall fell 1.6 per cent last month compared with February 2016. Shopping centre footfall over this period was also down, this time by 2.6 per cent.
The UK Cards Association has published the card spending statistics for January, revealing that expenditure was £57.1 billion – up £5 billion on January last year. Online spending amounted to 27 per cent of total card spending, with 176 million purchases worth £15.3 billion. Retail sector card spending grew by £134 million in January, to £25.7 billion, with the largest increases coming from automotive fuels and food and drink.
Tokyo retail complex GINZA SIX is to implement a new indoor positioning system (IPS) from Senion, in order to help shoppers navigate the 19-story, 500,000 square foot facility using their smartphone. GINZA SIX will feature 241 brands – including flagship luxury stores and notable restaurants. The new Senion technology will enable shoppers to understand their location within the facility and will show them the shortest route to their destination.
One of Russia’s largest retail chains, Lenta, has selected price optimisation technology from US software firm Revionics. Lenta will initially conduct a pilot rollout using Revionics across five product categories: industrial bread, ice cream, cooking oil, yogurt and air fresheners. The rollout will encompass both its traditional hypermarket stores and its newer supermarket formats.
The new Samsung Galaxy S8 handset, which is due to be unveiled next month, will boast facial recognition technology for mobile payments verification, according to a report from Bloomberg. The publication states that the latest phone will blend fingerprint, iris and facial recognition to verify users accessing payment services including Samsung Pay. The iris detection can be used when there is not enough light to recognise facial features.
Fast food giant McDonald’s is trialling mobile ordering and payments through its mobile app in northern California and Washington, in a beta pilot designed to gain feedback prior to a national launch later this year. The mobile service is now live at 29 restaurants throughout Monterey and Salinas, California, expanding to an additional 51 restaurants in Spokane, Washington, on 20 March.
M&S digital director Marcus East has quit after just 14 months in the role, with the retail giant beginning the process of recruiting a replacement. East joined M&S in January 2016 from Apple where he worked as head of e-commerce. The head operations, Ricky Wilson, will take over responsibilities as interim until a permanent successor is found.
Fox’s Biscuits has implemented new forecasting, manufacturing and promotion planning practices from supply chain technology provider FuturMaster. Since installing the software, Fox’s has boosted its service levels to 150 deliveries a week to retailers including Tesco, M&S and Aldi. In addition, customer service levels have increased from 96 per cent to 99 per cent on over 30 million cases sold each year.
German furniture retailer Ostermann has implemented a new in-store navigation solution from digital outfit Reply, as part of an initiative aimed at bridging the gap between online and physical shopping experiences. Customers will be able to identify the in-store products that they have previously been browsing on the shop’s website. Using a linked app on their smartphones, users will be guided to their furniture of choice through beacon devices which have been spread through the store.
Ted Baker has completed the installation of interactive store windows from Nexus Studios in selected UK and European outlets, as the retailer launches a new shoppable film experience. The displays will be active across selected stores from Wednesday 15 March, encouraging passers-by to immerse themselves within the world of ‘The Baker Family’.
A higher portion of 18 to 24 years do not believe that cash registers/PoS will be replaced with digital or mobile payments by 2030 than any other age group. This is according to survey results from Comarch, which found that a quarter of 18 to 24 also disagree that there will be less physical stores in the future than there are now – again higher than any age group.
One4all Gift Cards has announced partnerships with Mitchells & Butlers and Marks & Spencer, expanding the firm’s ‘dining in’ and ‘dining out’ retail offerings. The Mitchells & Butlers contract brings a host of nationwide restaurant and pub brands including All Bar One, Harvester, Browns and Miller & Carter, which will now be accepting One4all Gift Cards.
Department store chain Debenhams has reportedly increased the number of in-store visitors by rolling out an omnichannel appointment system from BookingBug. The online service allows customers to book personal shopper sessions in 88 stores, with availability checked and updated in real time. On top of this, customers can subscribe to SMS and email reminders.
The meteoric rise of e-commerce over the past 10 years is putting increased pressure on retailers’ profitability due to a growing need to invest in digital technology. This is according to a new analysis from business advisory firm Deloitte, which found that operating margins could fall three to five per cent for retailers in 2017. Between 2007/08 and 2010/11, average margins stood at 6.1 per cent, however, by 2014/15, average margins had declined by 2.1 percentage points, to 4 per cent.
Barclaycard and Uber have signed a new commercial agreement that will see Barclaycard customers benefit from exclusive offers when they use their personal card to pay for their Uber rides. The programme is the first of its kind between Uber and a payment provider in the UK, and sees Barclaycard expand in the transport sector, having introduced contactless payments to London’s underground transport network over a decade ago.
London’s Regent Street has seen a 7.4 per cent lift in marketing response since implementing a mobile app to provider shoppers with a more personalised experience. Developed by marketing firm autoGraph, the app combines two technologies: geofencing beacons that use location aware to offer content to users within a specified proximity to the store’ and cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure personal relevancy of offers.
UK footwear retailer Herring Shoes has achieved its highest sales conversion rates since implementing Fresh Relevance’s hub of marketing solutions. Cart abandonment emails were the first to benefit from the new solution, boasting the highest conversion rate of any campaign, with 8.3 per cent – translating to an average of 60 orders each month.
The shortlist has been announced for 2017’s inaugural National Technology Awards, which celebrate the pioneers of new technology and aim to help drive standards and encourage excellence across the UK technology sector. Dixons Carphone, Yodel, Mastercard, Addison Lee, GoInStore, Yale, Parcelly and Barclaycard are among the organisations shortlisted for the awards, alongside other companies such as Bank of Ireland, Comtact Healthcare, Seedrs and ClearScore.
US fashion retailer Gordmans has signed a three year contract with Revionics for use of its markdown optimisation suite to drive enhanced margins, while ensuring adherence with business processes. The Gordmans team wanted to ensure that it leveraged a current generation solution, following use of a legacy markdown tool for the past five years.
New transaction data from PayPal has found that small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK saw their international PayPal sales more than treble following the fall-out of the EU referendum result. International PayPal sales for SMEs rose 10 per cent year-on-year from January to June 2016, but the rate of growth trebled to 34 per cent year-on-year from July to December.
Mansfield has selected technology from Rewarding Visits which will see the Nottinghamshire market town’s shopping areas transformed into ‘digital High Streets’. Launched on the 11 March, the initiative is part of BID’s (Business Improvement District) relaunched ‘I Love Mansfield’ project and will see four digital touchpoints located in the Four Seasons shopping centre, Mansfield Central Library, bus station and Vision West Nottinghamshire College.
Online consumer spending picked up in February, while face-to-face spending continued its decline, according to latest figures from Visa. The payment giant’s latest Consumer Spending Index found that expenditure through e-commerce channels continued to increase, rising 3.2 per cent year-on-year in February, with face-to-face spending falling 3.0 per cent over the same period.
Despite their affinity for online shopping, the majority of UK Millennials have not completely abandoned the High Street and still value physical stores, reveals a new report by The Market Creative. The Future of Marketing report, which compares online and in-store shopping habits, found that 58 per cent of Millennials visit a physical store at some point when making a purchase, particularly when shopping for furniture, homewares, DIY and gardening equipment.
PayPal has teamed up with animal charity Blue Cross to equip 20 dogs with contactless coats, allowing members of the public to ‘pat and tap’ the canines to make a charitable donation. The four-legged fundraisers, or Tap Dogs as they are otherwise known, will be taking £2 donations at events from 10 March when Gracie, an Italian Spinone, will unveil the new dog coat at Crufts 2017.
High Street footfall in February fell 12.5 per cent compared with the previous month, marking the biggest footfall decline over this period in more than a decade, according to the latest Ipsos data. The Ipsos Retail Traffic Index showed the biggest drop in shopper traffic between January and February since 2004. On top of this, it also recorded shopper numbers throughout February as being 6.5 per cent less than the same period last year.
Online supermarket Ocado has signed a deal with Selligent to provide efficient customer engagement through the distribution of omnichannel communications across mobile, social and email. Using Selligent’s platform, Ocado will be able to develop its personalised shopper programmes using customer data analytics.
US grocery delivery service Instacart has secured $400 million in a Series D financing round, led by Sequoia Capital. The San Francisco-based firm is an on-demand service, in which employees shop local stores for groceries on behalf of customers and deliver them directly to their door within two hours. Following the funding round, investors now value the startup at $3.4 billion – up from $2 billion since its previous round.
Health and beauty retailer Neal’s Yard Remedies has migrated to a cloud-based retail management system in order to keep up with customer demand and boost its multi-channel offering. Prior to the implementation, the retailer said it suffered from a lack of stock control which impacted manufacturing, resulting in issues with the re-ordering and replenishing of stock. The company also uses fresh ingredients, which means their shelf life is quite short, so the cloud system helps identify which ingredients are needed and when.
German multi-channel retailer OTTO says it has shortened delivery times and improved customer satisfaction using a machine learning platform. The artificial intelligence (AI) solution from Blue Yonder accurately forecasts customer demand of OTTO’s products and has now been extended to include goods from its partner retailers, providing automated replenishment across all items.
The John Lewis Partnership has today announced an annual staff bonus of six per cent – the lowest in 63 years and the fourth consecutive drop since the 17 per cent bonus employees received in 2013. The fall comes despite the retailer posting a 21.2 per cent rise in profit before bonus, tax and exceptional items in the 52 weeks to 28 January, alongside a gross sales increase of 3.2 per cent.
Kerv Wearables has announced the commercial launch of its contactless payments ring, which will allow consumers to complete contactless transactions at any locations which accept Mastercard contactless payments. The announcement at this year’s Wearable Technology Show follows Mastercard’s decision to grant approval for the Kerv ring as an M/Chip contactless payment device.
Android Pay has been rolled out in Belgium, making it the 10th country to introduce the ‘tap and pay’ feature which allows users to pay simply and securely with their mobile phone. Android users in Belgium will be able to use Android Pay at more than 85,000 retail locations which accept contactless payments across the country.
Online retail sales growth remained steady in February, compensating for a decline in in-store sales, according to the latest BRC-KPMG figures. Online sales of non-food products in the UK grew by eight per cent in February versus a year earlier, when they had increased by 10.7 per cent. This is above the three-month average of 7.7 per cent and the 12-month average of 9.3 per cent.
Tesco has announced that it is extending its same-day Click and Collect service after figures showed that the number of customers using the service increased 20 per cent over the past year. The extension will allow customers to order an unlimited number of items before 9am and book a two hour window to collect their groceries from midday onwards.
Argos has ranked first out of 30 UK non-food retailers for its omnichannel offering, in part due to the support it provides for a variety of cross-channel shopping journeys, according to new research. The Practicology report identified how well the 30 retailers support customers who are using a combination of stores, mobile and the web in order to research products and complete purchases. A scoring matrix was devised to rank the retailers on the multichannel shopping journeys.
Only four of the top 50 e-commerce websites offer social login or social connect to customers according to new research from big data and text analytics company Hello Soda. Looking at the top 50 retail websites, the research found that only Netflix, ASOS, Dominos and Ryanair give the option of utilising a social media account when signing up or registering for their services.
Global toy manufacturer Mattel, which produces Hot Wheels, Barbie and Fisher-Price toys, has selected JDA to power the digital transformation across its supply chain. Mattel has opted for the JDA Manufacturing Planning and JDA Flowcasting solutions to drive improvements across its end-to-end supply chain processes, including sales and operations planning, demand planning, master planning, factory planning and customer collaboration.
Wirecard has announced the launch of its mobile payment solution, boon, in Ireland – following its 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.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has unveiled a cyber security ‘toolkit’ that provides retail businesses of all sizes with a practical, step-by-step guide to prevent and manage cyber security threats and help them to protect their customers. The Cyber Security Toolkit, launched yesterday by the BRC and Home Office minister Sarah Newton, is the first such initiative of its kind.
Ocado has partnered with Danish firm TRIPL to trial its Urban Cargo Drive vehicle for home deliveries. The trial will take place throughout March, delivering groceries to London addresses in Wimbledon, before adding further postcodes in the capital including Weybridge, West Drayton, Ruislip, Park Royal, Enfield, Dagenham and Dartford. If the trial is successful, the TRIPL vehicles will be rolled out in other UK cities in Q4 2017, with Birmingham and Manchester cited as perfect suitors.
Samsung has rolled out its mobile wallet service Samsung Pay in India, including support for Visa and Mastercard debit and credit cards issued by Axis, HDFC, ICICI, SBI and Standard Chartered. Samsung Pay uses magnetic secure transmission (MST) and near field communication (NFC) technology to enable users to make secure contactless payments via their mobile.
John Lewis has announced a £4 million digital initiative which will see 8,000 shop-floor staff equipped with an iPhone and pre-loaded app designed to enable them to quickly help customers with information about products, stock availability and placing orders. The iPhones will come installed with a ‘Partner App’, which aims to help put an end to customers waiting for store staff – or partners as they are known at John Lewis – to check information at tills or go to stock rooms to see whether a product is in stock. The project will be rolled out across 20 John Lewis stores following a training programme this summer.
Global fashion retailer Kurt Geiger has selected a new omnichannel platform to give its customers greater control of when, where and how they receive goods as well as support the company’s growth plans. Kurt Geiger has chosen Manhattan Associates’ Omni-Channel Solutions platform – including its Enterprise Order Management and Warehouse Management solutions – which will provide the British retailer with powerful order orchestration and execution capabilities.
Waitrose is trialling the use of next generation digital shelf edge ticketing to explore how the technology might be used to engage with customers in the future. The ticketing, which features graphics designed to both inspire and inform shoppers, was introduced at the beginning of February and will be displayed across four fixtures at its Trumpington store in Cambridge until the end of April.
Photograph specialist Photo-Me has partnered with CSY to roll out 191 electronic point of sale (EPoS) systems into in-store photo centres at Asda branches in the UK. The company wanted a solution that offered seamless communication between all 191 branches and its head office function. The solution also works offline, meaning the branches could continue to operate were the internet to go down.
John Lewis has selected a new platform from UK tech company Virtualstock, designed to further enhance the retailer’s Supplier Direct business. Virtualstock’s platform, The Edge, is expected to ensure that John Lewis customers get the same experience regardless of whether items are in stock or shipped directly from the suppliers’ warehouses.
Queens Park Rangers football club has boosted its retail performance following a software upgrade and the introduction of new point of sale (PoS) terminals. Back in 2000, QPR invested in technology to uplift its retail operations by purchasing Genesis from Esperus Systems to run its superstore. The club went on to develop an online site for the purchase of tickets and merchandise.
British clothing retailer Boden has seen an 18 per cent rise in ‘add-to-basket’ rates after improving its mobile experience with the help of Monetate’s personalisation platform. Boden has used the platform to make its customer experience more relevant to different segments of online shoppers.
The majority of Brits do not know the key indicators of a safe website, despite 92 per cent aware that there are risks to online shopping, a new report suggests. Research from Expressly has revealed that 70 per cent of UK shoppers are unable to identify a safe website, while more than a quarter (29 per cent) worry about the potential of falling victim to fraud whilst shopping online.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore has launched, in collaboration with Mastercard, a new initiative allowing the use of contactless credit and debit cards for public transport fare payments. The trial will begin will begin on 20 March 2017, and will be applicable for all public bus and train rides. Commuters holding Singapore-issued Mastercard contactless credit or debit cards can register their interest online, with LTA hoping to attract at least 100,000 commuters to participate in the pilot.
UK consumers completed 14.8 billion card transactions in 2016, totalling £647 billion, data from the UK Cards Association shows. This is an increase on the £620 billion spent on cards in the previous year. Three quarters of retail spending was completed through card payments, reaching £298 billion in 2016, compared with £290 billion in 2015.
Cross-border online retail growth has continued its rise into January on the back of Brexit and the subsequent devaluation of the pound – that’s according to the latest IMRG-MetaPack data. The IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index showed that online retail order growth was up 11.3 per cent year-on-year in January. The report also showed that, following the Brexit decision, there has been a general increase in the percentage of parcels going cross-border. This trend continued in January, with 32 per cent going to other markets – a big uplift on 25 per cent in January 2016.
Specsavers has signed a deal with retail IT provider PMC for the use of its mobile payment solution, which manages point of sale (PoS) scanners, printers and payment devices. Specsavers employees will have access to the Store Enabler solution via an iPad, meaning that they can extend the customer experience from start to card payment transactions without the need for the customer to move around the store.
The majority of European retailers view customer experience as the key driver when it comes to the acceptance of new payments methods, according to a recent survey. The report, published by Edgar, Dunn & Company and ACI Worldwide, also found that merchants see payments strategy as a way to reduce costs, improve customer service and provide differentiation in a highly competitive market.
Digital wallets, artificial intelligence (AI) and connected devices dominate social media conversations on digital payments, according to a new Mastercard study. The fifth annual Digital Payments Study, which looked at 3.5 million social media posts across 188 global markets in 2016, found that digital wallets – which store customers’ account details electronically – made up 75 per cent of all mentions.
UK fashion brand PrettyLittleThing has seen an eight per cent increase in average order value following the introduction of new technology from online search and merchandising company Fredhopper. Coupled with the increase in average order value, the brand has also reported a seven per cent uplift in conversion rates across its global e-commerce operation, which comprises of six international websites and apps.
A new global study from Aruba has found that 85 per cent of businesses, including retailers, plan to implement Internet of Things (IoT) technology by 2019, driven by a need for innovation and business efficiency.The study found that 49 per cent of retailers are currently using IoT technology, but eight in 10 of those have reported improved customer experiences, which in turn is likely to have an impact on customer loyalty and revenue.
Direct Wines has implemented new technology from US software firm Infor in order to better predict customer demand. The wine retailer has implemented Infor Retail Demand Management to help it better understand customer segments and ultimately drive higher sales and margins. Modules deployed include Infor Retail Assortment Planning and Infor Retail Offer Planning which will help Direct Wines offer the most relevant and appropriate range of wines to its customers and better align marketing, planning, merchandising and supply chain operations.
Workers grabbing lunch on the go, and paying for drinks at the bar are behind a surge in mobile contactless payments in the UK according to the latest spending data from Worldpay. According to Worldpay’s analysis of consumer spending patterns, the total number of contactless transactions where a mobile device was used reached 38 million by the end of 2016 with the total amount spent topping £288 million.
Noodle bar franchise Wok&Go has gained a wealth of valuable customer data since working with technology firm Purple to install a Wi-Fi solution across its stores in the UK. Following the refurb of a number of outlets throughout 2016, Wok&Go decided to introduce Purple’s solution to give diners free Wi-Fi access and supply their marketing team with a key source of CRM data. It took just three days for Smarter Wi-Fi to successfully deploy Purple’s cloud based solution across seventeen of their UK branches using TP-Link hardware.
Amazon has applied for final licences for the opening of its drive-thru grocery store in Seattle, where shoppers place their orders online and drive to the store to have their groceries delivered straight to their car. The 9,700 square-foot building will just be the start, according to e-commerce firm ParcelHero, who expects to see Amazon drive-ins in the UK as early as this year.
The Co-op has selected ACI Worldwide to power its new cloud-based wallet solution for its recently announced membership scheme. The new membership scheme enables Co-op members to save and spend money earned on own-brand purchases. The retailer announced that more than five million members would receive new membership cards and thus be able to enjoy the enhanced benefits.
Mastercard has expanded its Qkr! with Masterpass app to six new global markets as well as adding a new function which aims to eliminate the traditional bar tab. The payments firm will expand the Qkr! platform to six additional markets – Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa and the United States. Mastercard are also partnering with Oracle to integrate Qkr! and Masterpass in Oracle’s point of sale software and systems to scale these digital payment platforms to merchants worldwide.
Retail bosses are making digital transformation their highest investment priority in 2017, according to a new JDA-PwC survey. The fourth annual survey, commissioned by US retail software firm JDA and conducted by PwC, revealed that digital transformation has firmly taken hold in retail with 69 per cent of the 350 global retail executives surveyed saying that they plan to increase their investment in digital transformation over the next year.
Over two thirds of UK retailers have yet to start planning for Brexit, despite the fact that 51 per cent have already noticed an impact on sales since the referendum. This is according to a survey from Global-e, which found that over half of retailers that sell internationally expect the UK’s departure from the EU to make cross-border commerce more complex. Some 44 per cent of those stated that they are continuing with their existing international operations, while 23 per cent are planning to invest more in growing their business outside of the UK.
US menswear retail group Tailored Brands has signed a deal with Aptos for the implementation of its Sales Audit solution to improve financial visibility across its omnichannel business. The platform will enable the retailer to integrate data from its point of sale and legacy back-end systems, with the aim of improving decision making, streamlining operations and reducing costs.
WHSmith has implemented new supply chain optimisation technology in its travel-based stores to increase availability and better manage waste through improved stock forecasting and replenishment. WHSmith Travel, which comprises of around 750 stores predominantly at UK airport and rail stations, said it needed a solution to optimise its operational efficiency, reduce costs and wastage, and improve customer satisfaction for its short shelf-life products including sandwiches, salads and chilled food-to-go.
Barclaycard has agreed two new partnerships that will see its bPay payment technology embedded into jewellery and watch brands available on the High Street. The first deal is with DCK Group with their range of ‘Tutch’ jewellery, while the second is with Tappy Technologies, which embeds payments functionality into watches. Full details on the products, retail stockists and price ranges are set to be announced over the coming months.
Discount Tire Corporation has signed a multi-million dollar cloud deal with OneView Commerce for the hosting, application management and support services across its 940 stores in the US. This expands the retailer’s partnership with OneView to now include hosting the cloud-based digital store platform, delivering point of sale (PoS), omnichannel integration and service management solutions as a key component of the five-year One Discount Tire transformation programme.
A quarter of UK consumers use smartphones or tablet over any other device when completing online purchases, highlighting the importance for retailers to optimise their mobile platforms, according to a new study. Research from e-commerce firm Tryzens found that 75 per cent of UK consumers now own a smartphone and 61 per cent own a tablet or iPad. Almost a quarter of survey respondents (24 per cent) stated that they prefer to make their online purchases via a smartphone or tablet rather than through a laptop.
Mulberry topped the list for the most searched designer online during London Fashion Week (LFW), followed by Burberry and JW Anderson. This is according to search intelligence technology firm Captify, which analyses 30 billion searches a month. The five designer products/fashions which saw the largest increase in online searches were sneakers (60 per cent), minimalist (20 per cent), ‘90’s’ (18 per cent), daywear (14 per cent) and sheer (three per cent).
India’s largest mobile wallet Paytm has announced plans to invest $900 million in the development of a new QR-based payments service for retail merchants in India.The investment will be used to build the back-end for QR code-based payments, enabling secure transactions at low bandwidth and with low-end smartphones. There are currently over five million Indian merchants using the Paytm QR code network
Singapore’s online grocery market is set to triple in growth over the next three years, from $91 million to $350 million, according to latest forecasts. The predictions, made by global grocery research firm IGD, also found that at the end of 2016, online grocery had a 1.2 per cent share of the Singaporean grocery market but this is expected to rise to four per cent by 2020.
The LEGO Group has selected a number of technology solutions from JDA Software for the digital transformation of its supply chain. “Supply chain excellence is critical in an industry driven by seasonality and the most unique – and important – customers,” explained Ulrik Gernow, chief business transformation officer at the LEGO Group.
Retail technology firm Ecrebo has announced a £12 million investment from a group including Air Miles and Nectar founder Sir Keith Mills and former Warburg Pincus head of Europe Joseph Schull. The new funding will support increased investment in product and technology development for Ecrebo’s digital marketing platform, and will help to accelerate the UK firm’s international expansion, with a particular focus on North America.
Just eight months after launch, delivery firm DPD’s mobile app has surpassed the one million user download mark. Johan Ortiz from Sheffield was the one millionth customer to download the YourDPD app and was presented with £250 worth of vouchers by Andy Markham, general manager of DPD Sheffield, to mark the occasion.
More than half of UK consumers do not trust businesses, including retailers, to protect their confidential data, a new report has found. ACI Worldwide’s global survey of more than 6,000 consumers found that only three countries had more than 50 per cent of respondents indicate that they trust institutions to protect their financial and payments data.
Cross-border retail spending by UK customers is continuing to grow despite concerns over Brexit, according to new figures from VoucherCodes.co.uk. The study found that spending with overseas retailers reached a share of 12.8 per cent in 2016, rising from 12.4 per cent in 2015. Furthermore, the total cost of purchases made from overseas increased from £6.7 billion in 2015 to £7.7 billion in 2016. Across the whole of Europe, the overall value grew almost 20 per cent to £32.5 billion in 2016, and is expected to climb in 2017 to £37.7 billion.
High Street retailer Argos planned more than one million Fast Track deliveries during its key Christmas trading period, supported by the implementation of Paragon’s order fulfilment software. With online orders now representing more than half of total Argos sales, an enhanced delivery operation became necessary. Paragon’s solution offers added levels of choice and convenience to customers, while also helping to increase fulfilment capacity for the peak period by around 60 per cent.
Eight in 10 e-commerce businesses are worried about selling age-restricted goods or services online to minors due to a lack of adequate verification technology or processes, new research has found. A LexisNexis Risk Solutions survey of 200 senior e-commerce professionals found that 61 per cent of respondents use self-certification (tick box/date of birth entry) to check their customers’ age online, rising to 71 per cent for larger e-commerce firms. Only three in 10 respondents use know your customer (KYC) checks via specialist credit check or identity check software.
Punch Taverns has selected consultancy firm Salmon to implement a new e-commerce platform, which looks to support their publicans’ online ordering process and make their online operations more efficient. Salmon has replaced the existing Punch Buying Club (publican buying website) and call centre solution with one new digital platform built on Magento Enterprise, allowing for a consolidated and practical system. Salmon has also introduced a new web-based solution into the call centre, making it easier for staff to take orders.
Visa has announced the launch of a new innovation centre at it European headquarters in London, encouraging institutions, merchants and other partners to work alongside Visa in the development of new payment technologies. The 1,000 square metre facility, located in Paddington Basin, features practical demonstrations for visitors, including applications of the Internet of Things (IoT) in connected car and connected home environments, such as paying for car insurance or placing a grocery order from a refrigerator. Visitors can also experience virtual reality to choose a seat for upcoming events, as well as biometric authentication to pay for tickets.
Following the implementation of a new e-commerce platform and website from Tryzens, luxury online fashion retailer Avenue 32 has reported a 28 per cent uplift in unique traffic. Furthermore, Avenue 32 has also seen a 10 per cent increase in pages per session, a four per cent reduction in bounce rate, and a 45 per cent uplift in monthly page views. Critically, the higher average time spent on the site has converted into an increase in average order value of over a quarter (28 per cent) in January 2017 when compared with last year.
Barclaycard has announced that it has extended its contract to provide payment solutions to Transport for London (TfL) as part of a new 10 year deal. As TfL’s merchant acquirer, Barclaycard will support the launch of the new Elizabeth line as well as help introduce contactless payments for train travel beyond London. The renewed contract runs for seven years with an option to extend for a further three years.
Amazon UK has promised to create more than 5,000 full time jobs this year, taking the company’s total UK workforce to over 24,000. The online giant said that it would work to hire as many individuals as possible from seasonal positions into these new permanent roles. The new roles due to be made available are for people with all types of experience, from software developers, engineers and technicians, to those seeking entry-level positions and on-the-job training.
Online retail sales in the UK grew 12 per cent year-on-year in January, according to the latest IMRG-Capgemini figures – marking the highest online retail spending in January for seven years. The represents a steady start for the year for online sales, building on the January 2016 growth of 15 per cent. The IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index also showed that the average basket value (ABV) for online retailers was £85 in January 2017 – up from £79 a year earlier and making it the highest value for that month since January 2010. By comparison, the average in 2016 was £81.
Over two-thirds of UK retailers consider greater control of customer experience to be crucial or very important to delivery, according to a new report. The study from Convey found that while most retailers understand the importance of providing a consistently positive customer experience, many struggle with legacy technologies that struggle to address customer issues.
US giant Walmart has announced the acquisition of online outdoor retailer Moosejaw in a $51 million deal. Moosejaw will join the Walmart US e-commerce organisation but will continue to operate its site and stores as it has in the past. It will be run as a standalone and complementary brand to Walmart’s other e-commerce sites.
Restaurant chain Crepeaffaire has signed a deal with imageHOLDERS for the implementation of its Shell+ iPad tablet kiosks for in-store sales. The tablet kiosks hold the iPad Pro tablet and are used as a PoS ordering system.This marks the first time that imageHOLDERS have installed iPads into a restaurant. The kiosk faces members of staff who input the customer’s order and process payments on the tablet.
IBM and Visa have announced a landmark collaboration which will see billions of automobiles, appliances and other connected devices turned into potential points of sale. The partnership will bring the point of sale everywhere Visa is accepted, allowing businesses to introduce secure payments for any device connected to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, a US truck shop and convenience store chain, has selected a new workforce management solution to boost its retail store auditing and manager productivity. Love’s, which operates in more than 400 locations across 40 states, has opted for the Reflexis Workforce Manager (budgeting, forecasting, and labour scheduling), Reflexis Time and Attendance, Reflexis Task Manager, and Reflexis StoreWalk (retail store auditing) solutions.
Clothing and homeware retailer La Redoute has installed a managed cloud backup solution from Adapt to improve the reliability and performance of its backup strategy across the organisation. The new solution will be delivered by Adapt in partnership with ORIIUM, and replaces La Redoute’s previous on-site solution to ensure that backup and file restoration systems can cope with the company’s growth.
Footwear and accessories retailer the ALDO Group has signed a deal with retail planning firm Logility for the implementation of a new sales and operations planning system, designed to enhance services across multiple channels. The new solution allows ALDO to view a highly-granular forecast of its stock, based on attributes such as style, colour, size and material. With greater visibility across all platforms, the retailer can anticipate, plan for and respond better to changing customer preferences.
The European mobile payments market will almost triple over the next five years, increasing from $52 billion at the end of 2015 to $148 billion by 2021, a new report predicts. Forrester’s Mobile Payments Forecast 2016-2021 report describes the three types of mobile payments: mobile in-person payments; mobile remote payments, such as purchasing via an app when the consumer is not physically present with the seller; and person-to-person payments.
Amazon has filed a patent in the US for the deployment of parachutes to deliver online parcels from its airborne drones to customer’s houses. The designs show a package delivery system propelling a package from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which can be deployed in a number of different ways, including via electromagnets and spring coils.
UK technology firm Dyson has announced the opening of its new research and development centre in Singapore this week, bringing its total investment in the country to £330 million. The new facility will be home to the firm’s latest development labs focusing on advanced manufacturing, software development and robotics. In addition, Dyson is also establishing its advanced manufacturing team here to implement industrial Internet of Things technologies both in its production facilities in Singapore and the rest of the region.
Children’s toy retailer Mattel has announced a new partnership with the Alibaba Group to help the retailer target its online sales and product development strategy at the Chinese market. As part of the deal, Mattel will now be marketing and selling to Chinese customers through Alibaba’s B2C marketplace Tmall.com, as well as leveraging the online giant’s expertise to develop and promote learning resources and educational content for parents in China.
Australian fashion and lifestyle retailer Cotton On has selected a number of e-commerce services from Tryzens, and enlisted the tech provider for a website re-build. The retail group selected Tryzens to provide specialist consultancy, implementation and support services, to enhance the quality and efficiency of its existing e-commerce processes. Following the installation programme, Cotton On reported its strongest peak period for online trading in its history.
Jaguar drivers can now use their car’s touchscreen system to pay for fuel at Shell service stations with a new cashless payment app. Initially launching in the UK, the new service allows customers to drive up to any pump at a Shell service station, use their vehicle’s touchscreen to select how much fuel they have filled up with, and then pay using PayPal or Apple Pay. Android Pay will be added later in 2017.
UK supermarket chain the Co-op has chosen to implement a number of new shop floor solutions from JDA Software as part of its retail transformation programme. The retailer, which operates 2,500 convenience stores in the UK, hopes that the implementation of the new solutions will enable shopper-centric range planning to drive sales and increase efficiency, while boosting customer satisfaction.
A third of the UK’s top 100 retailers do not offer a mobile shopping app to their customers, a new Episerver report has found. The State of Digital Commerce report analysed the mobile presence of the UK’s top 100 retail firms and surveyed 1,200 consumers and 100 marketing professionals. It highlighted that a third of major retailers have no mobile application presence across either iPhone or Android devices.
Independent furniture retailer Cousins is introducing new multicam 360 spin imaging technology on its website to enhance the online customer experience. The move will take all of the UK retailer’s product photography operations in-house, where the company has created a purpose-built studio to enable customers to view its products from every possible angle. The multicam technique captures 48 images in less than a minute to create a 360 spin photograph.
Almost eight in 10 UK consumers have security concerns about unknowingly purchasing counterfeit goods online, new research has found. The study from brand security firm MarkMonitor also found that despite the continued rise of e-commerce, consumers were still not confident about the security provided by websites. Some 42 per cent of respondents said that they were worried about the safety of their personal and financial details when it came to internet transactions.
Retailers could be set for a bumper Valentine’s Day, with UK consumers set to splash out in excess of £128 million on gifts, hotels and dining out in the run up to the first shopping peak of 2017. This is according to the latest figures from Worldpay, which found that Valentine’s Day evening is worth an extra 42 per cent in sales compared to an average night in February. Florists can also expect to see their takings almost treble at this time of year.
UK shoppers would like to see more emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) incorporated into their retail apps, new research has found. The study of more than 2,000 consumers from Apadmi found that almost 30 per cent of consumers would like to see more innovation in mobile apps, stating that they would be more likely to download an app if it featured technology which helped to make a buying decision, or let them preview products before purchase.
Visa has published its UK Consumer Spending Index for January, revealing that face-to-face spending has declined at its quickest rate in four years (-3.1 per cent), while e-commerce spend continues to rise, albeit at a decelerating rate of 4.1 per cent. Overall, UK spending was up 0.4 per cent year-on-year in January, down from the 2.5 per cent increase in December and the second weakest rate of expansion in more than three years.
UK retail footfall in January was 1.3 per cent down on a year ago, marking the steepest drop since June 2016, according to the latest BRC-Springboard statistics. High Street footfall dropped 0.8 per cent year-on-year, worse than the three-month average of -0.1 per cent and in contrast to the 0.8 per cent rise recorded in December. Visitors to retail park locations also fell year-on-year for a third consecutive month in January.
Ticketing company Live Nation Entertainment has selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its public cloud provider and is moving its global IT infrastructure to the AWS Cloud. AWS will help Live Nation – which currently produces more than 26,000 live events per year around the world – securely scale its IT infrastructure for future growth across Ticketmaster and Corporate IT, as well as select parts of its festival business.
The UK’s top 50 retailers saw website speeds continue to slow in the Q4 of 2016, according to figures released by IT assurance firm, NCC Group. As with every quarter since 2013, the figures showed another slowdown, with overall load times averaging 16.06 seconds – nearly two seconds (14 per cent) slower than Q4 2015. Yet this is partly due to an increase in page size, which was 2.29MB in Q4 of 2016 – up from 2.19MB during the same period in 2015.
Almost half of UK retailers are not experiencing the benefits of technology due to poor implementation, according to new research. A survey commissioned by eCommmera and carried out by research firm Coleman Parkes, found that 46 per cent of UK retailers said their tech stack is inhibiting growth, with 64 per cent increasing tech investment to tackle the issue.
Smartphone shopping will account for two thirds of all UK e-commerce by 2020 – that’s according to a new report from PayPal UK, Google and OC&C Strategy Consultants. This means that approximately £43 billion of e-commerce purchases in the UK will be made on a smartphone device, as the value of mobile transactions trebles from £13.5 billion over the next four years.
Photo-sharing mobile app Pinterest has introduced its new ‘Shop the Look’ feature, which allows users to track down or buy products directly through the app. Users simply tap a small circle that is displayed on each item to find the styles that they are looking for. They can then see what other people have paired with that item. Users can complete purchases within the Pinterest app, or directly from the brand’s page and this new feature is now available on iPhone, Android and the web.
The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality in Israel has launched a new initiative to equip dogs and their owners with the digital tools they need to thrive in a ‘smart city’, including dog walker listings and vaccination reminders. Tel Aviv is home to 25,000 registered dogs and has one of the highest ratio of dogs to humans (1:17) in the world. The newly launched the Digi-Dog service is based on the Digi-Tel resident card programme, which is used by over a third of the city’s residents and offers discounts to outdoor events, cultural institutions, sport and leisure activities as well as live updates on what’s happening in their neighbourhood and around the city.
UK footwear retailer schuh has announced a partnership with European payments provider Klarna which will allow shoppers to use the Swedish firm’s checkout solution and pay after delivery service. When checking out online, schuh customers will now be able to buy products by simply entering their email and delivery address, rather than having to provide complicated log-in information and credit or debit card details. Customers will also have the option to use Klarna’s pay after delivery solution to pay for their products after they have been delivered.
Consumers are avoiding making purchases via social media channels due to payment security concerns, according to a new UK consumer survey. The research from Aspect Software found that 69 per cent of consumers have security concerns regarding payment or personal details, while a further 60 per cent harbour concerns over social media channels being at risk of phishing attempts or fraudulent profiles.
The majority of online shoppers are influenced by personalised homepage promotions and shopping cart recommendations when it comes to completing a purchase, according to new research. The Kibo Consumer Trends Report, which surveyed 3,000 consumers in the US and UK, found that personalisation, price and fulfilment are the key influencers on the path to purchase and shoppers expect to receive a strong omnichannel experience.
Amazon has announced that its AmazonFresh grocery service has expanded to 260 postcodes, with the service now available in Hampshire for the first time. The latest expansion means that Amazon Prime members can order their weekly grocery shop from a range of products including major brands, as well as offerings from local food producers and shops. One-hour delivery slots are available from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week.
Visa has officially opened its new office in Silicon Valley – designed to be a centre for innovation, disruption and research. The new centre will play host technologists, academics and global thinkers, as well as Visa Research – a new organisation focusing on the foundation of cutting-edge technologies, from blockchain and cryptography to artificial intelligence and deep machine learning.
Kantar Worldwide has published the latest grocery market share figures for the 12 weeks ending 29 January 2017, revealing that Aldi is now Britain’s fifth largest supermarket, overtaking Co-op. Aldi sales were up 12.4 per cent year-on-year, with the chain increasing its market share by 0.6 percentage points to 6.2 per cent, reaching fifth place for the first time. Only a decade ago, Aldi was the UK’s tenth largest food retailer, accounting for less than 2 per cent of the market share.
Bricks and mortar stores remain a key part of the omnichannel shopping experience, but customers want to see better use of technology on the High Street, a new report from retail analytics firm ShopperTrak has found. The study showed that while 55 per cent of consumers found online shopping to be more tailored to their needs, 37 per cent still shopped in bricks and mortar outlets just as much as two years ago – demonstrating that the store remains a key touchpoint in the path to purchase.
Wirecard has announced the launch of its mobile payment solution, boom, in Switzerland – following its 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.
UK rail companies have outlined plans for hundreds of new projects to boost Britain’s railway in a digital age, including biometric ticketing, new seating and ‘intelligent’ trains which communicate with each other. The country’s rail firms are meeting in Birmingham this week to set out a blueprint and discuss the challenges facing the railway in a digital age and how technology can help address these issues.
CANEX, the retail division of the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS), has selected ERP solutions firm Jesta to provide retail software that enables a fluid omnichannel shopping experience. CANEX has chosen Jesta IS end-to-end retail suite to elevate their point of sale, clienteling, head office merchandising capabilities and enable unified commerce in order to deliver a better shopping experience to its members and customers.
British value retailer The Range has completed the roll out of a new point of sale (PoS) system as the firm looks to boost its omnichannel capabilities across its entire store estate. The Range, which currently has 140 stores in the UK and Ireland, has selected the PCMS PoS system to replace its outdated legacy in-store system as it looks to expand into mainland Europe and in order to enhance omnichannel capabilities and improve customer experience.
Online retail sales in the UK slowed in January, with growth figures failing to match three-month and 12-month averages, according to the latest BRC-KPMG figures. The data shows that online sales of non-food products rose eight per cent in January compared with the previous year, when they saw a 14.9 per cent increase. This is below the three-month average of 8.6 per cent and the 12-month average of 9.5 per cent – which also marks the first non-double digit 12-month average since the monitor began in December 2012.
Ticketing and travel retailers posted the biggest website traffic gains in December, according to the IMRG comScore Top 50 Retailer Ranking. The ranking chart, which is published quarterly, measures digital audiences based on comScore MMX multi-platform data of those selling goods and services within the IMRG Capgemini Index. While Amazon UK retained its number one position, the biggest rise was seen by Hotels.com, which jumped 47 places year-on-year to make it to number 38. Other ticketing and travel retailers saw gains including The Trainline, Thomsom, National Rail, Easyjet, British Airways, Ryan Air and Thomas Cook.
PetSmart, a pet supplies retail chain which operates across North America, has successfully gone live with a new cloud solution from CBX Software, designed to increase real-time collaboration among its product development teams and suppliers. Multiple teams at PetSmart including those in product development, product integrity, global sourcing and quality, as well as vendors and factories all have access to and are now using the CBX platform.
Klarna has announced the acquisition of Wonga’s German online payment subsidiary, BillPay, in a deal valued at around £60 million. The Swedish e-commerce firm’s acquisition of BillPay, which was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Berlin, is subject to approval by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany. Sebastian Siemiatkowski, co-founder and CEO of Klarna, said: “We are excited to be working with BillPay and their talented team in Berlin. By combining our skills and expertise, and leveraging BillPay’s deep market knowledge, product features and consumer offering, we are confident that we can offer even more innovative payment services to our customers.”
Amazon is evaluating High Street locations in the UK as possible sites for the launch of its first Amazon Go store outside of the US, The Times has claimed. According to the newspaper, a source revealed that the online retail giant is currently looking at about two dozen sites for the bricks and mortar store, but Amazon has so far declined to comment.
Clothing manufacturer Dewhirst, which supplies retail giant M&S among others, has partnered with cyber security firm VST Enterprises to roll out scannable code technology for clothing, footwear and accessories. Dewhirst will use the proprietary technology, VApparel, at the point of sale to enable speedy purchasing and to provide instant related product information, including current offers and promotions.
Amazon has announced global fourth quarter sales of $43.7 billion for 2016, up 22 per cent on the previous year, but slightly down on the Wall Street forecast of $44.7 billion. Net profit came in at $749 million for the three-month period ending December 31, up on the $482 million profit the online retail giant posted in 2015. Total sales in 2016 were $136 billion, up 27 per cent from the previous year’s $107 billion figure. Net profit was $2.4 billion, compared with $596 million in 2015.
Barclaycard has partnered with VocaLink in a move which will enable its merchants to accept mobile payments through the Pay by Bank app. The Pay by Bank app allows shoppers to pay quickly and securely for goods and services on a mobile device, without the need to enter credit or debit card details. By using the Pay by Bank app payment button at the point of purchase, customers can login to their mobile banking app which will then authorise and complete the transaction.
FatFace has extended its international footprint after successfully opening six US stores with a new electronic point of sale (EPoS) system from UK-based software firm Eurostop. FatFace needed a new EPoS system which was suitable not only for international trading, but compliant with US state tax laws, for the opening of its six east coast stores.
The number of overseas customers searching for UK retailers grew 23 per cent across all devices in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with the previous year, according to new figures released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Google. The BRC-Google Online Retail Monitor found that search volumes on mobile devices in the UK increased 16 per cent over the same period.
Cardiff City Football Club has announced the successful installation of new touchscreen electronic point of sale terminals (EPoS) at the Welsh club’s stadium superstore. At the beginning of 2016, the club was already running EPoS but found itself with a stock management system which was inadequate for its purposes, a lack of confidence in the accuracy of the reports it generated and a website which was not linked to store operations.
British shoppers spent an average of £183 during the recent festive period, but have returned, or plan to return, 70 per cent of their total spend, according to new Barclaycard figures. The survey found that six in 10 UK shoppers admitted to being “spontaneous spenders” who cannot resist buying items on impulse when an offer is available. The top three impulse purchases made in the post-Christmas sales were clothes (53 per cent), shoes (22 per cent) and electronics (16 per cent).
Amazon has announced its intention to build a new centralised air cargo hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG) in order to support its growing fleet of Prime Air cargo planes, a move which is also expected to create more than 2,000 new jobs. Last year, Amazon entered into agreements with two carriers to lease 40 dedicated cargo airplanes to support Prime members with fast, free shipping. Sixteen of those planes are now in service for Amazon customers with additional planes due to be rolled out in the coming months.
Coffee giant Starbucks is launching voice ordering capabilities within its mobile iOS app and on the Amazon Alexa platform. The new feature forms an extension to the current Mobile Order & Pay service, which allows customers to order and pay for items before arriving in store. Select customers can now order coffee ‘on demand’ using the Starbucks iOS app. The company is also launching a Starbucks Reorder Skill on the Amazon Alexa platform.
The death of the High Street has been greatly exaggerated, with 45 per cent of UK consumers citing it as their main shopping channel, according to new research from BookingBug. The research polled 1,000 UK consumers regarding their shopping habits and preferences, finding that 95 per cent of customer journeys still happen across multiple channels. Seven in 10 respondents admitted to browsing for products online before buying them in store, while 44 per cent found that stores gave them the best sense of a company they are buying from.
Former Morrisons chairman and supermarket tycoon Sir Ken Morrison has died at the age of 85 following a short illness, according to the BBC. Morrison’s family issued a statement, reading: “Sir Ken was, of course, a unique figure in the history of grocery retailing in the UK, for more than half a century being the driving force at the heart of Morrisons as it grew from two market stalls to become one of the UK’s largest retailers.
Gift card issuer One4all has published its annual sales figures for 2016, revealing a 23 per cent year-on-year increase in sales via the Post Office, its online site and their corporate arm, One4all Rewards. Online sales were particularly strong for the company, registering a 69 per cent year-on-year increase in website sales. Orders for corporate gift cards via the One4all Rewards division, which delivers incentives and benefits schemes for businesses, increased 46 per cent year on year.
Jewellery retailer Pandora has selected point of sale marketing firm Ecrebo to deliver digital receipts across its 220-strong UK store estate. The solution enables Pandora to capture customer data at the point of sale, and offer its in-store customers an electronic version of their receipt and product guarantee, which is particularly important for the retailer given that more than 60 per cent of purchases are made as gifts.
Some 64 per cent of 18 to 25 year olds in the UK now use a mobile wallet, according to new research from social money transfer app Moneymailme. The research revealed that 48 per cent of 18 to 25 year olds believe that physical money will be obsolete within the next 20 years, while over a third said that we will no longer need it in 15 years’ times. Three in ten respondents said that they do not think cash will ever stopped being used or produced.
Online-only supermarket Ocado is trialling robotics technology to pick and pack shopping orders at its warehouses. Ocado will evaluate the feasibility of robotic picking and packing in its highly-automated warehouses as part of SoMa project, a programme for research and innovation funded by the EU and including the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB), Ocado Technology, Disney Research Zurich and a number of other European universities.
Farmer-owned dairy company Arla Foods UK has signed a deal with Rocket for the use of its SAP extended warehouse management (EWM) blueprint and template for its distribution centres in Leeds and Bristol. Arla hopes that the integration with the new system will result in transportation cost reductions and smarter stock consolidation processes. At the Bristol operation, workforce efficiency and management has risen as a result of improved labour and task allocation across ambient and chilled processes.
UK home and garden retailer WorldStores has selected delivery route planning software from Maxoptra in order to optimise its home delivery service. Since implementing the cloud-based Maxoptra Distribution solution, Worldstores has managed to reduce operating costs and improve efficiency and customer service. Maxoptra Distribution was implemented as part of a move by WorldStores to introduce its own delivery fleet in order to meet customer service objectives. As part of the selection process Maxoptra was compared with other planning tools on the market but it was felt that, as these were primarily designed for fixed route, business-to-business (B2B) rather than business-to-consumer (B2C) operations, they were difficult to use and not compatible with WorldStores’ existing systems and working practices.
US retail giant Walmart has announced the launch of free two-day shipping to homes and stores on more than two million items, as it looks to keep pace with online retailer Amazon. Walmart has also lowered the mimimum purchase required for free shipping to homes from $50 to $35 which, although reduced, could still be seen by some customers as too high. There is no price threshold for items shipped to store.
Online grocer Ocado has released its financial results for the 52 weeks ended 27 November 2016, revealing a 13.6 per cent increase in gross sales and a 14.8 per cent year-on-year rise in revenue. The number of active Ocado customers grew by 13.9 per cent to 580,000 over the course of the year, while total order volumes have grown by 17.9 per cent to an average of 230,000 orders per week.
London restaurant and bar, Proud Camden, has struck a deal with biometric solutions firm Sthaler to implement its Fingopay technology, which uses customers’ finger veins to authenticate payments. Launching today, the roll-out of the finger vein technology, the first of its kind in the UK, will seek to reduce queue times and make transactions more secure.The technology builds a 3D map of the veins within a finger, creating a natural personal key. The chance that two people have the same vein structure is 3.4 billion-to-1
Online shopping journeys with seven interactions produce a higher average order value than any other number, according to digital marketing agency R.O.EYE. A total of 110,099 individual sales worth £9.2 million were analysed over a period of 11 months across multiple UK retailers and financial services brands, tracking shopping journeys from first measurable awareness to last click.
Global spend via mobile wallets is expected to rise by nearly 32 per cent this year to $1.35 trillion, with PayPal in prime position to take advantage of this increased demand, according to a new Juniper Research study. The Mobile Wallets: Service Provider Analysis, Market Opportunities & Forecasts study found that mobile wallet spending is currently concentrated in the Far East and China, due primarily to the success of Alipay and WeChat.
UK shoppers spent more via mobile over the festive period than their other European or US counterparts, according to new figures from Adobe. The Adobe Digital Index revealed that Brits were the biggest mobile shoppers this Christmas, with £4.10 of every £10 spent online coming from a smartphone. The data also revealed that just under two-thirds (60 per cent) of online visits to UK retailers during the holiday season were made on a mobile device.
Fashion retailer New Look has hired former Burberry head of user experience Paul Rasmussen as their new head of digital, following the departure of Jack Smith. Rasmussen worked as head of user experience at Burberry for over four years, responsible for the customer experience across all digital touch points globally. Prior to that, Rasmussen worked as the user experience director at Proximity London BBDO for five years to 2012.
Charities may be missing out on more than £80 million in donations each year by only accepting cash donations, a new Barclaycard report has found. According to research from Barclaycard, four in 10 UK consumers carry less cash now than they did three years ago, while 15 per cent admitted to walking away from a donation opportunity because they were unable to use a debit or credit card. This follows separate Barclaycard research which suggested that cash will shift from accounting for 45 per cent of all payments in 2015, to just one in four by 2025.
In order to make online payments more flexible for its Nordic shoppers, ASOS has partnered with European payments provider Klarna and will incorporate its Pay after Delivery technology. Klarna’s Pay after Delivery service allows retailers to bridge the gap between the online and offline shopping experience. When making a purchase on desktop or mobile, customers in the Nordics will now have the option to pay for their products up to 14 days after delivery – giving them the chance to try on their purchases before paying.
Rwandan airline RwandAir has partnered with Wirecard in order to utilise the German firm’s online card payment processing services. The deal will enable customers that wish to buy their flights online to pay with Visa, Mastercard, Diners/Discover, JCB, China UnionPay or Maestro cards. Wirecard also supports all sales channels with credit card acceptance.
Food takeaway service Hungryhouse has partnered with London-based delivery startup firm Quiqup in a move which will allow its partner restaurants outsource deliveries during peak times. The partnership gives Hungryhouse access to Quiqup’s fleet of bicycles, scooters and cars, as well as its “underlying technology and customer support services”. Furthermore, Quiqup’s API will be integrated into Hungryhouse’s tablet-based app TabLink, which allows restaurants to instantly request a delivery driver in response to orders.
Online value retail and education firm Findel has released a trading update for the 16 weeks since 1 October 2016, revealing an 11 per cent increase in total sales. The company’s largest business, Express Gifts, has continued to push sales for Findel, with total sales up 14 per cent, within which product sales were up 15 per cent. Express Gifts also increased customer retention through a number of actions including the improved websites that were launched in April 2016.
Britain’s largest supermarket chain Tesco has announced that it is set to buy Booker Group, the owner of High Street chains Budgens and Londis, in a £3.7 billion deal. Booker is the largest wholesale provider in the UK, serving caterers, retailers and other businesses through its 200 branches. The firm also owns convenience chains Premier, Londis and Budgens, among other brands.
Builders’ merchant and home improvement retailer Travis Perkins has announced the completion of an internal hackathon, experimenting with technology to create new customer experiences. Employees took part in four challenges over the course of eight hours, where they explored both Google and IBM machine learning technologies, looking at product visual recognition and predictive market behaviour. The teams ‘taught’ the machine learning platforms to understand visual patterns to recognise products.