The retail technology week in numbers
30%...A new online service, developed by INS, founders of Instamart, could cut the cost of groceries by as much as 30%. It is set to pilot in 2018 and has signed up such major suppliers as Unilever, Mars and Reckitt Benckiser, bringing into play household favourites like Weetabix, Walls ice cream, Dettol and Dolmio sauces.
£30 million…Vista Retail Support has secured a £14 million investment from private equity firm LDC. The deal values the business at almost £30 million.
7.5 million…A month after going live in India, Google’s mobile payments app Tez has 7.5 million users who have made over 30 million transactions.
26%...The UK physical entertainment market is back in growth for the first time since August 2014, up 2.2% year-on-year, according to Kantar Worldpanel. This turnaround in fortunes has been driven by a stellar performance from the games sector, which grew sales by 26%, offsetting declines of 5.4% and 4.8% in music and video respectively.
58% of British retailers believe Brexit will negatively impact their access to labour, according to Rotageek research involving 102 heads of retail and store managers in companies with 500+ employees. The knock-on effects look set to hit staff members, with 56% of retailers saying Brexit will put extra pressure on their workforces.
$999…Square is targeting larger retailers with a new PoS device called the Square Register. This is pitched as an alternative to mobile devices, tablets and Square’s contactless chip readers. It is priced at $999, or with a financing option of $49 per month for 24 months. Sellers can accept all forms of card-present payments with a transaction rate of 2.5% + 10¢ per transaction.
70%...Debenhams has launched a new app-like mobile site. The Progressive Web App (PWA), which uses Google-backed technology and has been delivered by Mobify and SapientRazorfish, has more than doubled the speed of the previous mobile site, the retailer claims.
Ross Clemmow, Managing Director Retail, Digital, Food & Events at Debenhams, says: “We have seen unprecedented growth in mobile in the last two years. Research shows that 50% of UK online retail sales are now made through mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). We know customers get frustrated by a slow site, even more so on mobile, with as many as 70% admitting they would leave a site if it loaded slowly. The new site will transform our customer’s experience of shopping with Debenhams on their mobiles. We now have technology that not only delivers a better, faster experience but allows us to keep pace with shoppers’ expectations whilst on the move.”
£440,000…Shop Direct has raised £440,000 to digitally equip Claire House’s new site, which will support seriously and terminally ill children in Liverpool and the wider North West.
1.3%...Shares in Next dropped more than 8% after the retailer warned trading remained "extremely volatile" and forecast a Christmas sales slump. Full-price sales rose by a lower than expected 1.3% in the 13 weeks to 29th October, although it was an improvement on the second quarter (up 0.7%).
26%...The rise of social and digital media has made shopping more accessible and convenient for British men, which in-turn has increased their purchasing power. As a result, almost seven in ten online retailers have increased the scale of their male product offering in the past five years, according to Barclaycard research.
Its survey of 2,038 consumers and 250 retailers also finds that British men now spend more on clothes, shoes and grooming products each month compared to women. They are also ‘reluctant returners’; just 26% of the returns processed by retailers are made by male shoppers, compared to their female counterparts who account for 74%. Meanwhile, a higher proportion (26%) of UK retailers now cater to a predominantly male market than to a largely female market (17%).