Online retail news in brief (18 April 2018)


In case you missed them, we’ve pulled together a few online retail news highlights from around the web this week.

Here are some of the latest stories in online retail.

Retailers admonished over “misleading” delivery promises

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has warned retailers that it will no longer tolerate advertising that fails to make shoppers aware of possible ‘hidden’ delivery fees.

If free delivery is not available to the entire country, advertisers will be forbidden from advertising it without stating up front which regions would still have to pay.

“It’s simply not fair to mislead people about whether parcels can be delivered to them, or how much it will cost,” says Guy Parker, ASA chief executive.

40% of logistics companies predict delivery within 2 hours by 2028

A study by Zebra has found that 40% of logistics providers anticipate making deliveries within a 2-hour window by 2028.

Additionally, 78% predict making same day deliveries within the same timeframe, and 87% expect to use crowdsourced delivery by 2028, or to be using a network of drivers who opt to complete specific deliveries.

70% of executives from the logistics firms surveyed also predict that an increasing number of retailers will ‘turn stores into fulfillment centres that accommodate product returns’.

£18bn lost to basket abandonment every year

Research from Barclaycard has shown that UK shoppers abandon their online baskets at an average rate of £30 a month, representing £18bn potential sales lost.

According to Barclaycard:

  • 60% of merchants are unable to identify their average abandonment rate
  • Knitwear, leather goods, lingerie and headphones are among the most abandoned items
  • 17% of shoppers are ‘window shoppers’, and abandon items online do so because they never intended to buy in the first place

March footfall sees steepest drop in eight years

Shopper footfall was down 6% in March 2018, according to the British Retail Consortium. The regions with the greatest decline were:

  • Greater London: -7.5%
  • The South East: -6.5%
  • East Midlands: -5.6%

No regions saw any growth in footfall.

For the latest figures in online growth, download the IMRG Online Retail Sales Index.

Chinese economy grows 6.8% in Q1

At 6.8%, China’s economic growth in Q1 2018 outstripped forecasts and Beijing’s official target of 6.5%.

Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics: “[the official figures] need to be taken with a grain of salt as they have been implausibly stable in recent years. While we don't think China's economy is expanding as rapidly as the official figures claim, there is broader evidence to suggest that a recovery in industry did prevent growth from slipping too much last quarter."

China GDP Graph

Gateshead council addresses conspiracy theorists

Gateshead council has taken to Facebook to assure residents that — contrary to circulating conspiracy theories — the 3G antennae on their street lights do not cause cancer, miscarriage, or death to birds, and are certainly not part of a secret government trial with 5G technology.

Accusations have been passed around that the antennae were using 5G technology that harmed wildlife and people, though Gateshead council assured residents that they were only there to allow adjustments in light levels, and that they were 3G anyway.

The council added that the alarmist claims have ‘no scientific basis’.

Conspiracy theory Facebook post

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