March, good month/bad month

March, good month/bad month

Retail Technology Innovation Hub takes a look at the retail technology space during March and rounds up the winners and losers

Good month for…

86% of Brits are Amazon users/shoppers, according to research by Mintel involving 2,000 people. 

For the first time, UK shoppers have spent more money through their smartphones when accessing UK retail sites than either desktop or tablet, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.

In Q4 2018/19, the share of sales revenue spent through smartphone devices was 40.4%, with desktop securing 39.7% and tablet 19.9%. A further milestone was reached in December, where smartphones accounted for over 70% of mobile device sales for the first time (the other 30% was spent through tablets).

Starbucks has received “significant equity” in the upcoming crypto platform Bakkt in return for a commitment to allow in-store Bitcoin-based payments this year.

Spanish startup Nextail has been selected alongside 15 other companies for Lafayette Plug and Play’s sixth technology accelerator.

Paul Ravenscroft, Head of Personalisation and Digital Insights at Walgreens Boots Alliance, was named as one of the UK’s top ten data leaders at the DataIQ 100 Awards this month. 

Computer vision and analytics solutions venture, Trax, was named a winner within the Business Intelligence Group’s inaugural Artificial Intelligence Excellence Awards programme.

Peckham, London-based snack brand Serious Pig has hit its crowdfunding target of £350,000 and says that it will now extend its Crowdcube campaign until 7th April, with the aim of pulling in £500,000. 

After a sluggish end to 2018 and start to 2019, the UK online retail space bounced back in February, thanks to unexpectedly warm weather.

The industry recorded its strongest growth (+9.4% YoY) in six months, according to the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index. This did, however, fall below the five-year average of +10.6% YoY for February.

Ocado has inked a partnership agreement with Australia’s Coles Group, its fifth major overseas deal in the past couple of years.

McDonald’s is set to acquire Dynamic Yield, a machine learning startup based in Tel Aviv, for $300 million.

Bad month for…

Kroger has had it up to here with Visa’s excessive transaction fees.

Its Smith’s Food & Drug Stores will join Foods Co. Supermarkets brand in not accepting Visa credit cards as a form of payment, beginning 3rd April. That means the boycott now extends to 142 supermarket and 108 fuel centre locations across seven US states.

Hardware and DIY stores are struggling to raise awareness at a national level, according to research by Bazaarvoice involving 4,200 consumers in the UK, France and Germany. 

Online retailer Overstock reported Q4 revenue of $452.5 million, down from $456.3 million a year earlier. It racked up a loss of $42.3 million, compared with $95.7 million in Q4 2017.

UK e-commerce retailers massively lag behind their US and German counterparts, dogged, as they are, by slow website speeds, frustrating checkout processes and poor search relevancies.

That’s according to research from Applause carried out during the period from Black Friday through to 31st December 2018 and involving over 50 retail e-commerce sites. The UK generated the highest total software bug count, accounting for 45% of all bugs found, followed by the US at 32%, and Germany at 23%. 

Each country was given a score based on the user experience provided and overall functional maturity of the websites analysed. The US led the way scoring 7.8, Germany followed with 7.4, while the UK came in with just 6.6. 

The jury’s out on…

Paperchase is using a CVA to negotiate rent reductions and restructure its store portfolio, but it must do more in order to survive and thrive, according to Zoe Mills, UK Retail Analyst at GlobalData.

French e-commerce and flash sales specialist Vente-Privee has suspended service in the UK, citing “economic uncertainty”.

M&S faces an uphill battle to win over weekly food shoppers, according to GlobalData.

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