Online retail news in brief (24 October 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.


Half of retailers set to ban ‘serial returners’

Those customers who make arbitrary purchases to meet the free-delivery payment thresholds before returning the unwanted items for free are set to be banned from stores.

This is according to research from Brightpearl, who found that 45% of retailers are looking to implement measures to combat ‘serial returning’ in order to protect their margins. Further to this, a quarter of retailers admitted they would consider lifetime bans for those customers they identified as engaging in the practice.

While Derek O’Carroll, Chief Executive of Brightpearl had this to say: ‘In today’s consumer-led retail environment, intentional returning could spell disaster for retail business owners if they do not have visibility over regularly returning customers’, Andy Mulcahy, IMRG’s Strategy and Insight Director, believes retailers need to err on the side of caution.

Andy quote from LinkedIn

Pinterest launches shoppable pins

Social commerce has accelerated another notch this week, after Pinterest announced they will be providing shoppable pins on their platform.

The pins will be enabled with shoppable links, along with live pricing and stock information synced from retailers’ websites, and Pinterest claim they have already seen a 40% increase in sales through optimising their platform for commerce.

Pinterest’s blog post, where the information was announced, read as follows: ‘Today we’re making hundreds of millions of Pins shoppable with up-to-date pricing and stock information, with links that go directly to the checkout page on the retailer’s site where you can buy in a few clicks. Pinterest is like your personal stylist. We can give you recommendations for products to buy based on your unique taste and what’s trending, and show you a range of visual ideas.’

GDPR ‘increases retail email open rate’

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has had a beneficial impact on revenue for retailers, according to a new study from Nosto.

The research revealed that GDPR has halved the amount of automated emails sent to customers, which has caused emails to be a third more likely to be opened and produced two times more sales revenue from email marketing.

Jim Lofgren, Chief Executive, Nosto: ‘While complying with GDPR may have been a painful exercise for many retailers, ultimately it appears to have been positive for both retailers and their customers, certainly in terms of email. Consumers get fewer irrelevant emails now and are more likely to open and take action based on the emails they do receive.’

Ocean-bound plastic next step for IKEA

IKEA are making a distinct step towards the preservation of the environment by stating they’ll remove all single-use plastic from their stores by 2020.

The move is in tandem with NextWave, an initiative which seeks to integrate ocean-bound plastics into products in a scalable way. Further to their removal of single-use plastic, IKEA has also stated that they plan for all their products and packaging materials to be based on renewable and/or recycled materials by 2030.

Lena Pripp Kovac, Sustainability Manager, Inter IKEA Group: ‘The consequences of plastic pollution are severe, and IKEA is determined to contribute to its solution in a positive and proactive way. Joining NextWave gives us the opportunity to collaborate with other companies and develop a global network of ocean-bound plastic supply chains, learning from each other’s efforts and working together to ensure business, community and environmental benefit.

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