Online Retail News In Brief (10 August 2017)


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.

Spending up and down

Customer spending as a whole is on the decline (-0.8% annually), but online retail spending has risen.

According to data from Visa, spending in brick and mortar shops has fallen by 3.7%, whereas online retail sales grew by 3.6% in May and June.

Download the IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Sales Index for detailed market-wide and sector-specific retail figures every month.


Figures from Salesforce have indicated that mobile’s share of online retail traffic worldwide reached 57% (+23% YoY) in Q2 2017. Additionally:

  • 60% of British ecommerce comes from mobile (+9% YoY).
  • 8% of UK mobile retail traffic came through social media
  • eCommerce grew 14% globally

For more figures on the split of sales by device and channel, see the IMRG Quarterly Benchmark.

A bag is for life

Tesco has announced that from 28 August it will no longer offer 5p carrier bags. The new Bag for Life will cost 10p.

Tesco reported that since the introduction of the compilatory 5p charge, they have given out 1.5 billion fewer single-use bags.

Uniqlo to go

Uniqlo has launched a vending machine to sell selected items. Oakland Airport in California is the site of the first machine, which sells Uniqlo’s Heattech thermal tops and Ultralight down jackets in cans and boxes.

In the coming months, the machines are destined for further sites, including, New York, Houston, and Los Angeles.

Rimmel’s Facebook Experiment

According to Essential Retail, Rimmel is using Facebook’s new in-app camera to let customers ‘try on’ their makeup.

The augmented reality feature aims to offer shoppers the chance to see how the makeup might suit them, before they make the purchase.

Estee Lauder recently launched a similar proposition, with a chatbot and augmented reality function, and we mentioned it in our News in Brief a few weeks ago.

Shifting disks

The decline in sales of physical media continues, though Retail Week reports that the drop in music sales has been lessened by Ed Sheeran.

Kantar figures show that the physical entertainment market shrunk by 12.1% YoY in the twelve weeks up to 2 July. Physical music sales, however, only shrunk by 0.5%, and Sheeran’s album ‘Divide’ is credited as the main contributor.

Musical disruption on motion. Image source: Capital FM

New government rules on card charges

The government has announced new rules aimed at eliminating additional card charges in the UK, which it says are commonly used by airlines and food takeaway apps.

The government claims people are regularly charged an additional 20% for purchases made when paying with a credit or debit card.

Stephen Barclay, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: “This is about fairness and transparency, and so from next year there will be no more nasty surprises for people at the checkout just for using a card. These small charges can really add up and this change will mean shoppers across the country have that bit of extra cash to spend on the things that matter to them.”

Snaggletooth -- prehistoric crocodile named after Motörhead frontman

The late Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister, frontman of rock band Motörhead, has been honoured as the namesake of a newly classified Jurassic crocodile. Natural History Museum curator and Motörhead fan Lorna Steel named Lemmysuchus after the rockstar.

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