Online Retail News In Brief (30 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.

What shopper demographics want from their experiences

Research by Conversant, Epsilon and LoyaltyOne found that 65% of respondents believe companies, retailers and brands target them with too many irrelevant communications

It also looked at the top influences on shopping habits and where people choose to shop, broken down by shopper age demographic:

  • Millennials place the greatest importance on price and value, plus the functional and emotional elements of shopping; 
  • Generation X are more concerned with value for money and expect innovation to make their busy lives easier; and 
  • Baby boomers are more focused on functionality.

Walmart launching voice-enabled shopping with Google

In a move that is likely to become a lot more common over the next few years, Walmart has announced a deal with Google to offer its US customers voice-enabled shopping. 

Walmart’s US customers will be able to access and purchases hundreds of thousands of products using Google Assistant, which its customers can do by linking their Walmart account to Google Express.

60% of BHS stores still vacant

Figures from the Local Data Company show that 60% of the 160 stores shut in August 2016 remain vacant.

So far just 25 of those stores have been filled by retailers who can use the larger floor space, such as Primark and Sports Direct. A further 35 (22% of the total) are in the process of having planning permission approved or are due to have new tenants soon.

Don’t panic, contactless ice-cream cones are here

Barclaycard has unveiled ‘contactless cones’ – with an ice-cream van offering self-service to reduce waiting time for customers who just want an ice-cream cone (ie nothing more complicated, such as ice lollies or snacks – human contact still required for those requirements). Customers pour ice-cream into their own cone and pay by contactless.

Research from Barclaycard suggests that two-thirds purchase from an ice cream van at least once over the summer, with 32% buying one at least once a month.

What AI?

It would seem the AI revolution is proving a little slower than anticipated, after a survey found that while 70% are aware of AI tech and acknowledge its potential for transforming their shopping experiences – just 66% have yet to actually come across this technology in a retail environment.

A further 67% indicated that using AI or AR in-store to improve the shopping experience ‘should’ be a priority for retailers. 

Amazon 1-click patent to expire

Amazon’s patent on its 1-click technology is due to expire on 11 September 2017, having been in place for the standard 17-year period such patents last.

The technology has long been accessible to customers on the Amazon platform, enabling shoppers to complete a purchase with a single click, effectively bypassing the need for a checkout page (where abandonment rates remain stubbornly high, as you can see in our latest Quarterly Benchmark report).  

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