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Online retail news in brief (29 August 2018)

By IMRG

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.

 

EE launches same-day smartphone delivery and set-up service

Mobile operator EE has this week exhibited the potential speeds of delivery in the UK by allowing customers to order and receive their mobile phone on the same day, and in some cases as quickly as two hours after purchase. As evidenced by the IMRG MetaPack Delivery Index, next-day deliveries already dominate the market, and this could serve to bolster the trend.

The innovation is currently exclusive to Greater London, although it has the potential to roll out further afield in the future. As well as rapid delivery, EE’s delivery experts are also on-hand to aid with basic handset setup, or more complex jobs such as connecting the phone to smart home products.

Marc Allera, CEO, EE: ‘Although we’re a nation of gadget lovers, many people just don’t have the time to learn about or set up the latest features on their new smartphone. With our new superfast, super-flexible and personal delivery service, complete with on-the-spot expert set-up with our partners Enjoy, our customers will get the best smartphone delivery experience in the UK.’

Facebook Watch video service launches worldwide

Facebook’s contender for the video-streaming throne has launched this week.

The service, which amalgamates user-generated content with established brands, seeks to allow all content generators to feature advertising in their videos, in order give creators a more secure source of revenue. Facebook will take 45% of all income, while creators receive the other 55%.

While the service stands ready to combat the monopoly of YouTube in the online video sphere, it currently lacks a following: indeed, only 50% of surveyed Facebook users had even heard of the service, with only 14% saying they use it on a regular basis.

Fidji Simo, Facebook’s Vice President of Video, claims the service has something new to provide to the online video sector: ‘It is built on the notion that watching video doesn't have to be a passive experience. You can have a two-way conversation about the content with friends, other fans or even the creators themselves.’

Amazon plans ‘next-gen’ South Korean store

A third technological advancement in the news this week: Amazon is seeking to establish tech-driven retail stores and drone delivery services in Seoul.

In a signed agreement between Amazon’s South Korea Web Service and Hyundai Department Store Group (HDSG), plans have been announced to drive forward technological transformation in HDSG’s online and offline platforms.

Drones are being planned for the delivery of food and beverages, and a Korean version of Amazon GO is reportedly in development. The partnership is hoped to allow HDSG to open a cashier-less store as soon as 2020.

Shop prices rise for first time in 5 years

The general pricing of products in shops has increased by 0.1%, the first inflation in five years.

The data comes from the British Retail Consortium and Nielsen in their monthly price index, after a decrease of 0.3% in July. The pricing of food has also inflated, up at 1.9% from July’s posting of 1.6%.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive, BRC: ‘Despite significant increases in costs in the supply chain, this month’s figures show that retailers are keeping price increases faced by consumers to a minimum. However, current inflationary pressures pale in comparison to potential increases in costs retailers will face in the event that we leave the EU without a deal. If that does happen, retailers will not be able to shield consumers from price increases.’

Snoop Dogg flexes culinary prowess

Snoop Dogg is blazing up in the kitchen – but not in that way.

The rapper, widely known for his use of herbal recipes, is releasing a cookbook which is literally just what it says on the tin – an uncharacteristic move by the progenitor of Puff Puff Pass Tuesdays.

The collection is said to feature meals such as Baked Mac & Cheese and Chicken And Waffles, and contains absolutely no mention of the type of cooking Snoop is renowned for. It’s hard to say whether the artist is telling the truth, or whether he’s Lion.

Mr Dogg had this to say for himself: ‘I'm takin' the cookbook game higher with a dipped and whipped collection of my favourite recipes, ya dig?’

From Crook to Cook is out in October.

Snoop Dogg

Bon Appetizzle

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