Online retail news in brief (3 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.


Snapchat launches new shoppable ads

Social commerce has become more integrated this week, as Snapchat has announced Shoppable Snap Ads on their platform.

Alongside the announcement they also announced Product Catalogues, which allows retailers to import entire collections of items into a scrollable feed in the app.

The news comes mere weeks after Instagram, Snapchat’s key competitor, announced a shoppable tab within its app, as well as a dedicated, standalone shopping app.

Smart checkouts to total $45bn transactions by 2023

‘Frictionless payment’ is a buzzword in the here-and-now, but, according to Juniper Research, that’s soon to change.

Research into frictionless stores such as Amazon Go has produced an estimation that the current $253 million expenditure will balloon to $45 billion by 2023 and will be used by over 32 million shoppers.

Further to this, the consultancy anticipates a universal immersion of robotics into retail, particularly to aid customer service. They expect voice assistants and in-store robots to be commonplace by 2023, generating over $20 million revenue for their manufacturers.

M&S launches mobile checkout in six London stores

In proverbial affirmation for the previous news piece, Marks & Spencer has this week launched its own smart checkout system.

Six London stores have been kitted out with the technology that eliminates the need for a checkout, instead letting customers scan and pay for items with their smartphone up to the value of £30. The store at the M&S HQ in Paddington already sees 20% of its sales go through the ‘Mobile, Pay, Go’ app.

Sacha Berendji, Retail, Operations and Property Director, Marks & Spencer: ‘Our customers – especially those who come to us for lunch – are so busy, any tech that can speed up the shopping experience is a massive benefit to them.  Crucially, it also means our brilliant colleagues are freed up to offer great service in other parts of the store, helping to improve the overall experience in the lunchtime rush. We’re moving with pace and we can’t wait to hear what our customers think.’

Retailers risk financial damage if they don’t interact with customers on social media

16% of shoppers’ queries aren’t responded to on social media, amounting to a potential loss of £500,000 each year.

This is according to research from Qudini, which has found that a considerable number of complaints are now made via social media (21% of complainants), as opposed to directly to the company.

Imogen Wethered, CEO, Qudini: ‘Social media has a unique power to amplify customer grievances and influence behaviour through peer-to-peer recommendations. It compounds the impact for retailers with a sub-optimal in-store customer experience. Without a monitoring and social response strategy in place to deal swiftly with customer complaints or enquiries, retail brands ignore these communication channels at their peril.’

Skull comet to pass Earth after Halloween

An asteroid which, by pre-deterministic knowledge beyond the realm of human cognition, decided several millennia ago to don its Halloween mask and drop by Earth for the October celebration, is going to be late.

The ‘Great Pumpkin’, which made it in time for Halloween in 2015, isn’t going to swing past this year until 11 November, making its skull-like visage look incredibly silly.

While the asteroid hasn’t been approached for comment, one can only imagine a string of inexcusable curse words is at this very instant rebounding through the vast chasm of space. It will be a shame not to have the Great Pumpkin in attendance on the 31st this year, but the cometment is admirable.

Skull comet

Dead on arrival

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