Online retail news in brief (15 August 2018)


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.


Older online shoppers have trebled since 2008

The number of online shoppers aged 65 years and older has trebled since 2008, rising from 16% to 48% in the ten-year gap.

The report comes from the Office for National Statistics, who also revealed that a huge proportion of young adults now shop online: 95% of 16-24-year-olds and 96% of 25-35-year-olds have already shopped online in 2018.

The news corroborates the latest findings of the IMRG Capgemini eRetail Sales Index, which estimated the rise in online purchases to be owing to the hot weather, and the lack of customers wanting to brave the high street in the sun.

Brits buy clothes ‘for the hashtag moment’ and then return them for a refund

The Insta world is having a direct impact on fashion retailers, it would seem, as new research from Barclaycard has revealed that almost 1 in 10 UK customers buy clothes with the intention of taking pictures for social media, before returning them.

Intriguingly, men outweigh women in this regard, with 12% flaunting their fashion on social media compared to only 7% of women.

George Allardice, Head of Strategy, Barclaycard Payment Solutions: ‘It’s interesting to see the social media trend further fuelling the returns culture. We know from our research that returns are having a big impact on retailers, with a huge figure of seven billion pounds a year in sales that they potentially can’t recognise. Retailers are adopting new processes to make returns easier as they know how important this is to customers. But to ensure shoppers are getting more wear out of their clothes – for posting on social media or for those real-life moments – retailers could think about introducing more varied photography and video content to their websites. By showing how to style items for different looks and how they will appear when worn, they could reduce the number of shoppers ‘snapping and sending back’.

87% of online shoppers will abandon cart if checkout process lengthy or complicated

According to a recent survey by Splitit, a complex checkout procedure causes 87% of online shoppers to abandon cart. Further to this, 55% of those who have made the decision to abandon would also never return to that retailer’s site.

Further to this, 25% of respondents claimed excessive advertising in the checkout process to be the reason for abandoning their basket.

Gil Don, CEO and Co-Founder, Splitit: ‘While consumers appreciate having options, it is essential that the checkout process is seamless, at the risk of permanently losing customers. Online merchants must be sure to include clear and easy ways to enter customer details, choose delivery options and make payments, while ensuring that the process does not become cumbersome for the shopper.’

Retailers risk losing two-thirds of loyal customers by offering discounts exclusively to new shoppers

A spanner in the customer acquisition model has been identified this week, with 66% of people claiming they would be aggravated by a brand offering exclusive discounts to new shoppers, if they themselves were already loyal customers.

The research comes from Collinson, who also found that 53% of shoppers were likely to be unhappy with a brand if they had missed out on an offer owing to poor communication.

Steve Grout, Director of Loyalty, Collinson: ‘Sales may be an attractive prospect in offering a short-term revenue boost for retailers, but in reality they can have a much more detrimental impact on loyalty and the customer experience if handled poorly. Showing favouritism to new customers, breaking the trust of loyal customers, and poor communication are all deadly discounting sins that could damage valuable relationships if retailers are too focused on a short-term win.’

Florida woman fleeing police gets corralled by cows

Karma decided to manifest itself in particularly tangible fashion this week, after nature was implemented to stop a car thief.

The woman, Erin Thomas from Florida, had decided to high-tail it on foot through a field in an evasion technique, when it became apparent that more than a dozen cows considered her actions to be an udder disgrace.

The pursuing herd acted as an arrow for the police flying overhead in a helicopter, and Erin was arrested unharmed when she jumped the fence on the other side of the field: a cowtastrophic end to her criminal days.

Police cow


Join thousands of other Online Retail professionals

Get unique insights straight to your inbox for free, and improve your understanding of online retail. Subscribe to Online Retail Weekly now.

Webinar Scroll Banner
Join thousands of other Online Retail professionals

Get unique insights straight to your inbox for free, and improve your understanding of online retail. Subscribe to Online Retail Weekly now.

Webinar Scroll Banner