Online retail news in brief (4 July 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.


Tesco trials cashless ‘shop and go’ store at HQ

Tesco are at the vanguard of technological innovation this week, as they are trialling an entirely cashless store.

The shop is based at the grocer’s headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, and is currently exclusive to staff. Its intent is to significantly reduce queuing time, by allowing customers to scan and pay for products on their smartphones, and walk out of the store without visiting a traditional till point.

The move comes on the back of Tesco’s first-quarter trading statement, in which they promised to dedicate resources to technology and ecommerce advancement.

Tesco and Carrefour announce long term ‘strategic alliance’

And it’s not only technology which Tesco are making headlines for this week, as on Monday they announced an alliance with France’s biggest retailer, Carrefour.

The move aims to increase the leverage which the pair have with suppliers, and drop a gauntlet at the feet of their competitors by reducing product prices across the board.

The announcement has balanced the scales somewhat in the grocery space, after three months ago Sainsbury’s and Asda announced plans for a £12bn merger.

Dave Lewis, Chief Executive, Tesco: ‘By working together and making the most of our collective product expertise and sourcing capability, we will be able to serve our customers even better, further improving choice, quality and value.’

4 million bored Brits shop on their smartphones during the World Cup

In the UK, the World Cup is an almost unavoidable phenomenon. As England progress through the tournament, more and more viewers are amassing to watch the spectacle, including a number of reluctant bystanders who have somehow found themselves in the midst of it all.

New research from Clicktale has found that 4 million of these uninterested viewers will turn to retail therapy to bust their boredom, resulting in a ‘boom’ in mobile purchases during games.

Liraz Margalit, Retail Psychologist: ‘Shopping has always been an emotion-driven activity, with people regularly using it as a way to distract themselves from boredom. In the mobile age it’s easier than ever for consumers to browse and buy online in an effort to kill the odd 90 minutes. Based on our calculations, we predict at least 4 million people will be making a purchase on their smartphones during the games.’

UK retailers spend almost £827,000 on failed digital transformation projects

In an effort to upgrade to the digital age, a black hole of deceased innovation has opened up in the retail sector. According to a recent Fujitsu report, £827,000 has been put towards projects which failed, while a further £663,000 has been put towards projects which were ultimately cancelled.

While 84% of retailers have admitted digital transformation will be crucial to their business’ survival in the next five years, the well of aborted ventures has caused 58% of retailers to be reluctant to pursue digital projects in the future.

Jat Sahi, Digital Lead Retail, EMEIA, Fujitsu: ‘Retailers face pressures from customers, competitors and new digital disruptors entering the market, which has them running from all sides to try and compete. However, many retailers have undertaken projects that have ultimately failed. This has so far cost them a significant amount of money and subsequently left them with a reluctance to pursue new projects. The number of failed and cancelled projects should be nearly zero if they used modern approaches, but what’s been made evident is that they are lacking the right components to make their digital transformation plans a success.’

Psychic octopus is latest Japanese delicacy

A clairvoyant octopus named Rabio, who correctly predicted all of Japan’s World Cup results, has gone from calling the future to calamari.

This unfortunate change in circumstance occurred after the mollusc betrayed its heritage and predicted a loss to Poland on 28th June. ‘Spot on’ is a prolific term in this tale, as while Rabio’s prediction was absolutely correct, it was probably also the phrase used as an unknowing diner polished off his Rabio entrée.

Fortunately, Rabios’s legacy will live on: the fisherman responsible for the discovery of the octopus believes he can source another seafaring soothsayer, and resume Japan’s impeccable World Cup predictions.

Calamari on a potato base

Clairvoyant on a potato base

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