• Weekly Focus: Alibaba Goes for Convenience, Convicts & Cars

    This week, we kick off the new year with a look at how Alibaba is adding merchants to its ecosystem by modernising China’s convenience stores as well as arming local prisoners with e-commerce skillsets.

    The Chinese online retailer runs a programme that aims to suit up mom-and-pop shops with the latest technology and data analytics, so these small retailers can streamline and automate their operations.

    Called Ling Shou Tong, or ‘integrated retail’, the initiative is Alibaba’s bid to bring China’s six [...]

  • Personalisation & Loyalty: The High Street Fights Back

    The death of physical shops, and indeed the high street, has long been predicted ever since online shopping began to grow in earnest. And the figures around online spending certainly back that up: last year in the UK, we spent £133bn online, according to Capgemini. This represented a 16% increase from 2015, certainly pointing towards an ongoing trend. But does it actually give an accurate view of the retail space? Writing exclusively for RetailTechNews, David Buckingham, CEO, Ecrebo, explains [...]

  • More Shopping on Smartphone than Tablet; Overstock Collaborates with Databricks

    RetailTechNews rounds up some of the biggest stories in the European retail technology space. In this week’s edition: Shopping via smartphone vs tablet; Overstock and Databricks collaborate; and Last-minute Christmas shopping in full swing.

    More shopping on smartphone than on tablet

    In the UK, spending on purchases made by using a smartphone will amount to almost £18bn. That is the latest prediction from eMarketer. The staggering number also means that smartphone sales are now overtaking e-commerce sales made by tablet. Smartphone [...]

  • Christmas Must Set the 'Mobile-First' Mindset for 2018  

    The dust has settled on one of busiest shopping weekends of the year and retailers are now heads-down in activating their Christmas campaigns to drive spend. While the headlines certainly suggest that Black Friday was a success, data shows that retailers are leaking revenue from one channel in particular. Writing exclusively for RetailTechNews, Graham Cooke, CEO, Qubit, explains why retailers need to stop relying on desktop in their Christmas strategies.

    While over half (55%) of British consumers browsed for deals on [...]

  • Weekly Focus: Alibaba Rolls Out Auto Test-Drive Centres

    This week, Alibaba is back in the spotlight with a new service that lets its Tmall customers find and book cars for a three-day test drive.

    The Chinese e-commerce giant unveiled two facilities in Shanghai and Nanjing, due for launch in January, that they dubbed ‘Super Test-Drive Centres’.

    Designed to function like an automotive vending machine, Alibaba said the new service would enable its customers to browse, book test drives, and purchase a vehicle via the company’s Taobao mobile app.

    For instance, [...]

  • Will UK Retailers Have a Merry Christmas?

    The Christmas season is a critical time for retail. As consumers work through their Christmas shopping and countdown to the 25th of December, retailers online and on the high street are vying for their attention, their loyalty, and share of their wallet. This year, there are also additional pressures. Brexit looms large and will have some impact on consumer confidence and spending habits, writes Jill Ross, managing director, Accenture UK Retail, exclusively for RetailTechNews.

    But the outlook still looks to be [...]

  • Alexa Launching in 80 Different Countries; Festive Expansion for Christmas Edge

    RetailTechNews’ weekly Amazon Watch brings you some of the company’s biggest moves from the past seven days, analysing how the giant is revolutionising the retail space. In this week’s edition: Alexa launching in 80 different countries; Festive expansion for Christmas edge; and Dominance of festive period.

    Alexa launching in 80 different countries

    Amazon is launching three of its Echo devices with Alexa in 80 additional countries – a major international expansion for the company’s smart speakers and voice-based assistant.

    The rollout applies [...]

  • Now & Next: Augmented Reality

    One of the fastest growing tech verticals out there, augmented reality (AR), is looking at a USD$90bn (£67bn) market by 2020 – a figure which, if met, would be 15-times greater than in 2016. It is fair to say, AR is stepping out of the shadow of its more immersive sibling, virtual reality, and retailers across the world are on hand to leverage its ability to engage any way they can. However, despite AR’s enormous potential within the sector, it [...]

  • Data-Driven Retail in the Shadow of GDPR

    Marks & Spencer recently revealed it is looking to data analysis to turn its fortunes around, combining information from its Sparks loyalty scheme, online interactions, and M&S Bank to offer personalised experiences to its customers. Lindsay McEwan, VP and managing director EMEA, Tealium, here writes exclusively for RetailTechNews, to highlight the importance of data-driven retail in the face of impending data regulations. 

    M&S is far from the only retailer using data to drive personalisation. Tesco and Sainsbury’s have long used [...]

  • Weekly Focus: Lazada Hopes to Bask in Alibaba's Retail Light

    In this week’s spotlight, we check in on Lazada and its efforts to emulate the success of parent company Alibaba, as it wraps up its month-long online shopping festival on the 12th of December.

    Headquartered in Singapore, the Southeast Asian e-commerce operator first introduced its own 12.12 Online Revolution event in 2012 in the hopes of replicating Alibaba’s Singles Day festival, held annually on November 11.

    The Chinese internet giant had seen the online shopping bonanza expand each year, culminating to a [...]