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Online retail news in brief (10 January 2018)

By IMRG

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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.

UK retailers unprepared for PSD2

Technical consultancy Consult Hyperion has conducted research which has found that

  • 48% of retailers are unaware of PSD2
  • 67% are not ready to comply with it
  • 32% are unaware of its effect on business

Though when it is explained, 94% said they would use the regulation to help reduce card fees, and 74% would use it to combat fraud.

Plastic Bag charge may extend

The Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced that the mandatory 5p charge for plastic bags could extend to all retailers.

Currently, only shops with over 250 employees are obliged to enact the charge, but the new proposals would include smaller retailers too.

The government has said that plastic bag usage has declined 90%, largely thanks to the charge, and is unveiling a 25-year environment plan tomorrow.

Tesco launches vegan range

Tesco has launched an own-range selection of vegan meals, to coincide with 'Veganuary', in which people are invited to eat only vegan food for the month of January.

Retail Gazette reports Vegan Society figures, which show that UK vegans have quadrupled in number in the past decade.

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ABTA: Holidaymakers encouraged to claim illness

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) reports that claims management companies are urging travellers to falsely claim holiday illnesses, such as food-poisoning, in order to win compensation.

The association says that successful claimants win an average of just over £2,000, and that the travel industry spent £240m fighting claims in 2016, which has driven up the price of holiday packages. They also report that the number of holiday sickness claims has risen by 500% since 2013.

41,000 businesses referred for non-payment of tax

In the first five months since the revaluation of business rates, 41,000 businesses were referred to bailiffs for non-payment, according to Altus Group.

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Altus group UK president Alex Probyn: “The current, deeply unfair, system of transitional adjustment severely limits the amount by which bills can go down, meaning many businesses are paying disproportionately high bills in locations where local economies are underperforming and values are falling.

“It goes without saying that now is the time, more than ever, that businesses need to carefully understand their new rates assessment and to check that what they’re being told to pay is indeed accurate and correct.”

Slow websites responsible for 47% of basket abandonment

A survey by Black pepper software has suggested that:

  • 47% of shoppers abandon their online retail baskets due to slow load time
  • 60% of shoppers in store found long queues to be the most frustrating part of the experienc
  • 41% found long-winded checkout processes the most frustrating part of online retail

For figures on online retail basket abandonment rates, download the IMRG Quarterly Benchmark.

BRC: Christmas shoppers increasingly choosing online

Figures from the BRC and KPMG indicate that a growing number of customers chose to shop online at Christmas in 2017. 24% of non-food shopping took place online last year, up from 23.1% in 2016. They also report that online sales grew 7.6% in December, while retail as a whole grew just 1.4%.

IMRG will shortly release its figures from Black Friday and Christmas.

Thai PM directs reporters to his cardboard cutout

Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-O-Cha placed a cardboard cutout of himself in front of a microphone and invited the media to ask it their questions.

The PM is known for treating the media with contempt, having previously thrown a banana peel at a cameraman, dragged a reporter by the ear, and threatened to use his speaking podium as a weapon.

This latest incident prompted bemused and angry reactions on social media.

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