Mobile site speeds ‘falling short of user demand’
As shoppers spend more time and money on mobile, greater emphasis is being placed on the importance of website speed – with many retailers falling below the expected wait times. This is according to Mobify’s second quarter Mobile Insights report, which notes that 53 per cent of users will abandon a page that takes more than three seconds to load. A study of the top 2,000 e-commerce websites in the US and UK revealed that the median load time was six seconds, with only 10 per cent of companies’ websites loading in 3.1 seconds or less.
Cambridge introduces tap donations for homeless
Cambridge City Council has installed two contactless donation terminals, where members of the public can donate to Cambridge Street Aid – a charitable fund for the homeless in the city. Passers-by can donate using contactless debit or credit cards, or smartphones – 24 hours a day at one terminal, or any time during the Visitor Information Centre’s regular opening hours.
Farfetch acquires for China play
Farfetch has acquired social media marketing firm CuriosityChina to help facilitate an expansion of its presence in the Chinese market. The online fashion retailer said that the deal - for an undisclosed sum - will help its brands build their presence in China with a range of new services.
UK e-commerce sales exceed £28 billion
Growth in UK online spending has beaten previous records, with e-commerce sales exceeding £28 billion - over £14 billion per quarter - in the first half of the year, according to the Adobe Digital Price Index. This equates to 9.9 per cent year-on-year growth in the first quarter and 10.7 per cent in the second quarter. Adobe’s figures are based on analysis of over one trillion visits to over 4,500 retail sites in the UK, with pricing insights based on sales of more than 55 million unique products. In addition, Adobe surveyed 1,000 consumers in the UK between the end of May and the start of June.
Millennials ‘demand’ high tech shopping experience
Seven in 10 Millennials would be more likely to shop with a retailer that was enhancing its shopping experience with innovative technology, according to a new study. The survey of 2,000 British consumers, published by Hitachi Consulting, revealed the attitudes to technology of different generations and incomes – identifying Millennials as the group retailers can target to boost sales and grow market share.
Bricks and mortar retail downturn ‘intensifying’
The retail sector was the only area of the UK commercial property market to post an outright decline in the second quarter of 2018, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The results of the survey found that the downturn across the retail sector is intensifying, with stores in secondary locations showing “particularly negative rental and capital value projections” and 53 per cent more respondents noting a downfall in demand over the period.
Debenhams installs dynamic window displays
Debenhams has updated its flagship Oxford Street department store with a new 20 metre dynamic window installation from retail display manufacturer Unibox. With window promotions changing more than 10 times every year, Debenhams was looking to introduce a display that could be easily reconfigured. Unibox engineered a custom specification of its Kinetik LED Lightbox - which features dynamic LEDs that augment a tension fabric graphic - allowing the Debenhams team to amalgamate replaceable graphics and physical product display.
Non-food retail footfall falls in June
In the three months to June, the quantity of retail sales rose by 2.1 per cent, the largest increase since February 2015. The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) report found food stores having the strongest growth since May 2001 at 2.2 per cent, with feedback from supermarkets suggesting that the continued good weather and World Cup had encouraged sales.
Multi-channel model boosts Hotel Chocolat sales
Hotel Chocolat has published its trading update for the full year to 1 July 2018, revealing revenues of £116 million – an increase of 12 per cent year-on-year. Over the course of the year, the retailer added 200,000 new online buyers and opened 15 new stores – contributing six per cent to the group sales. Hotel Chocolat has also developed a number of innovative, digital-first products for the upcoming season.
Jobs at risk as Asda closes fulfilment centre
Supermarket chain Asda has entered into consultation to close its distribution centre in North London, as a lack of automation means the retailer is not meeting its fulfilment requirements. The site, which opened in 2010, currently employs 261 colleagues and delivers home shopping to around 4,500 customers each week. The proposal follows the opening of two fully-automated distribution centres in London over the past 18 months – one in Heston in July 2017 and one in Dartford two months ago.
World Cup boosts online retail growth in June
UK online retail sales were up strongly again during June, as the hot weather and start of the World Cup spurred a 16.9 per cent year-on-year growth, according to the latest IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index. Both multichannel and online-only retailers performed well – up 14.8 per cent and 18.7 per cent respectively. The largest sector increase was seen in garden, with a 49.9 per cent year-on-year growth, as the nation prepared for barbeques and basked in the hot weather. This was followed by clothing, with the sun inspiring a year-on-year growth of 19.3 per cent.