18 Apr UK MARKET HIGHLIGHTS – APRIL 2019
Every month B.D.C. gives you the key retail information you should not have missed. Key trends, innovation, major players, startups, market figures – discover in 60 seconds the latest key retail news.
UK retail key metrics
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), mild temperatures had contributed to the increase in sales compared to last year’s “Beast from the East”, while the quantity bought in retail sales increased by 6.7% in March 2019 vs the same year last year. This is the highest since October 2016.
UK online retail sales rose to 18.6% in March 2019, from 18.1% in February 2019. There was an increase of 12.4% in the amount spent in March 2019 compared to March 2018. All sectors showing growth, except food and household goods stores.
Compared to other players, UK department stores have seen their sales in volume decreased by 0.3% in March 2019 (vs. the same month last year).
Tesco is working on a new loyalty program similar to Amazon Prime
Tesco is working on a new loyalty program inspired by Amazon Prime’s scheme, encouraging its 17 million members to sign up for the company’s various services such as banking and mobile phone services, which could be a major blow to Amazon’s ambitions.
Currently, Tesco is testing additional discounts for loyal customers during a one-week trial in 20 stores. This trial closely mirrors the program launched by Amazon in its Whole Foods stores chains in the US last year, where Prime members received discounts on a rotating range of food products.
For every £100 spent on a Tesco Clubcard, members get £1 off their purchases (according to the Which consumer group). At the competitor level, Sainsbury’s Nectar and Morrisons More cards offer their customers only 50p discount for every £100 spent. M&S and Waitrose high-end grocers offer customised discounts. MyWaitrose cardholders are entitled to a free hot drink and a newspaper when shopping, while M&S Sparks cardholders are invited to exclusive in-store events.
Instagram launches in-app online shopping feature
Instagram has just launched an online shopping feature that will allow users to buy products directly from the platform, without being directed to another website. It marks a major breakthrough in E-commerce as it will offer to retailers a new source of revenue. The initiative is currently in a closed beta version for companies and is only available in the US.
Customers can now view a product from a retailer’s mailbox and click on “Order on Instagram” which will then allow them to choose their size and colour and make the payment without leaving Instagram. The first time a purchase is made, users must enter their name, email address, billing information and shipping address, after which the information will be saved for convenience. The application also provides a tracking service for users, which will send them notifications indicating when delivery is close. In terms of payments, users will be able to pay with Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal, etc.
The full list of brands launching with Instagram’s new checkout feature includes: Adidas, Balmain, Burberry, ColourPop, Dior, Huda Beauty, H&M, MAC Cosmetics, Michael Kors, NARS, Nike, Prada, Revolve, Uniqlo, Zara, etc.
In addition, a new study by Nosto has revealed that fashion sales are more and more driven by Pinterest and Instagram. Although they generate relatively less traffic, Pinterest and Instagram offer a higher average order value for mobile devices for large online fashion retailers – larger than Facebook.
On the last communication on Facebook results, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company plans to focus this year on monetising Instagram and WhatsApp, applications purchased in 2012 and 2014, respectively, to deal with the slowdown in sales growth on Facebook.
The app is intended to be a multitasking app to simplify the mobile customer experience, should we see the arrival of a “super application”, like WeChat in China?