Editor's Comment

Feeling the Brexit effect as international online orders rise?

Are you feeling it? The Brexit effect has helped to lift online sales in the UK, with almost a third of orders placed in this country in January heading for international destinations. Most were bound for other EU countries, according to research from the IMRG and MetaPack. In our report, Andrew Starkey, of the IMRG says that the drop in sterling’s value following Brexit has made the UK a “value for money” destination. No longer, it seems, are our retailers losing out to cheap imports: now the buzzword is cheap exports.

Is that a good thing? In the short term, sure, and retailers are no doubt making hay while the currency sun shines in their direction. But this isn’t a fact to build a long-term strategy on. Retailers from Next to the supermarkets have warned for some time that rising cost prices will mean they will need to put their prices up. We reported earlier this month that few UK retailers had made a plan for Brexit – but there does need to be a plan for what happens when price rises do come into effect, and the UK is no longer as attractive to cost conscious international and shoppers.

That strategy might also usefully cover the Internet of Things, while considering increased engagement via social media. Today we’re reporting as a study suggests that use of the Internet of Things will become widespread by 2019, and as a discount voucher site holds what it says is the industry’s first Facebook Live show.

We also report on research that suggests customers value the retail experience above the actual transaction, and, in our IRX preview, hear from Ian Plummer of AutoTrader on how that experience is set to change for car buyers in future.

Today’s guest comment comes from Lloyds underwriter Justyn Hardcastle who considers how and why retailers must protect themselves from cyber attacks.

Webinars
The next InternetRetailing webinar is on February 22, when RedEye’s CCO Matthew Kelleher will consider whether technology companies are giving marketers what they really want. He points to a disconnect between the technology companies and their clients, and will ask what support retailers need from their providers to make their marketing strategies work. In a world of intuitive marketing tech, is there still a part for people to play? will be on February 22 at 2pm. Visit the RedEye webinar page to find and more and register for the free event.

On March 16, Pitney Bowes’ senior vice president, consumer and merchant solutions Jonathan Kapplow will be looking at practical approaches to selling via the global marketplaces that are expected to represent 39% of the online retail market in 2020. How to expand into high growth emerging economies through global marketplaces is at 2pm on March 16. Visit the Pitney Bowes webinar page to find out more and register for the free event.

On March 21, web performance experts Andy Davies and Simon Hearne of the NCC Group join InternetRetailing for a webinar looking at how retailers can make their sites perform better and faster, and how they can measure existing experiences and learn from that data to make improvements in the right places. Is your site’s speed losing you sales is at 2pm. <a
Click to visit the Internet Retailing webinar page to catch up on the latest events.

IRX and EDX
Eight conferences packed with retail speakers and covering everything from omnichannel and international to delivery are running at the InternetRetailing Expo, from April 5 to 6 at the NEC in Birmingham. To learn more about IRX 2017, its sister conference eDelivery Expo and to register for free, visit www.internetretailingexpo.com and www.edeliveryexpo.com.

Attendees can also get a 25% discount on their train fare to the NEC when they book through the IRX or EDX visitor information website.

Image credits:
  • Chloe Rigby

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