Online Retail News In Brief (27 September 2017)


Image source: The Commune


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.


Postal strike may threaten peak delivery

Royal Mail staff in the Communications Workers Union (CWU) have voted for strike action over pay and pensions. The CWU has stated that the postal executive will meet to determine the strike dates, with a possibility that the Christmas period could be affected.

Feeling high when they buy

eBay’s latest study of the neurological effects of shopping has found that, in some cases, shoppers experience a high comparable to that of a Formula 1 driver finishing a race.

The experiment isolated gamma brain waves to assess customers’ states of mind. Of those who purchase items to express individuality, 84% experienced mental stimulation akin to a racing driver crossing the finish line.

The same study found that 49% of shoppers owned up to buying items simply in order to fit in with trends.

Fewer than 1 in 5 small retailers has a mobile-friendly site

PayPal reports that only 18% of small retailers have a mobile-responsive website. The research notes that mobile retail is projected to be worth £27bn in 2017, and £43bn in 2020, and that online shoppers cite poor responsiveness as their number one frustration with mobile shopping.

And when it comes to payment, 40% of small business have never reviewed the payment methods they offer.

On the subject of mobile…

Mobile retail websites are the slowest on the web

Google has measured 11 industries’ mobile websites and found that, on average, retail is by far the slowest. The average load time is 10.29 seconds.

According to Google “53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes three seconds or more to load and, if you keep mobile users waiting just 1s to 5s, the probability of them bouncing spikes by 90%. Add just another second, and that figures rises to 106%.”

For a detailed view of how load time, render time, and mobile experience affect conversion, download the IMRG report ‘Moving Towards Audience-Focused Marketing’, supported by Epiphany.

Asda and Co-op supply chain partnership

Asda and Co-op have agreed that mutual suppliers can submit aggregated waste, water, and energy data to both companies. Laura Babbs, sustainability manager at Asda: “Allowing our suppliers to remove duplicated effort has engaged our supply chain giving them the opportunity to drive efficiencies.”

Inflation looms

The BRC-Nielsen Shop Price Index suggests that shops are poised for inflation. With the rising cost of food and the pressures of exchange rates, prices are set to rise as retailers struggle to absorb the cost.

In September, fresh food prices rose 1.8%, while ambient food costs inflated 2.7%.

The seat that outs sweaty drivers

Nissan’s prototype seat is designed to change colour on contact with particularly salty sweat. If the salt content of drivers’ sweat suggests dehydration, the seats turn yellow.

This follows findings by the University of Loughborough and the European Hydration Institute that dehydration impaired driving almost as much as alcohol consumption.

Peter Wells of Cardiff Business School called described the invention as “on the edge of usefulness”.

Image source: BBC News


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