Editor's Comment

How leading UK retailers are responding to Amazon Prime Day

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re looking at how retailers are responding to Amazon’s Prime Day event. The date of this event, it seems, has now kickstarted the wider sales season for traders keen to share in the cash that Amazon shoppers may have to spend. What’s particularly interesting is the way that rival retailers are putting the emphasis on the ways in which they can match or even beat Amazon’s service, from same-day delivery to collect in store within minutes.

Promotional events such as this are, in fact, probably less common than they were. M&S is among the retailers working to move away from the culture of sales and discounts that grew up following the financial crisis in 2007/8. Today the retailer has a first-quarter update on how that’s going. At the same time, its summer sale is underway: that may seem an irony, but according to its trading update today, it’s part of a strategy to focus on fewer but strategically-timed sale events.

Online sales are growing fast, despite the move away from discounting. Perhaps it’s because of the good weather: the British Retail Consortium today reports a rise in both online and offline sales in June. But it’s also likely to be down to a shift in how people want to buy: the BRC figures also show 22% of UK retail sales now taking place online.

That trend is less marked in grocery shopping. Nonetheless, according to Kantar Worldpanel figures, British shoppers buy more of their groceries online than in any other part of the world except South Korea.

And it seems that British shoppers are also more loyal than might have been thought. Apptus research suggests that most online clothes shoppers stick to three or fewer favourite stores.

Free shipping is often held up as driving reason for online purchases. Today’s guest comment comes Ken Chrisman of packaging technology company Sealed Air, who aims to explode the myth of free delivery.

The Tamebay Ecommerce Cup
The Tamebay Ecommerce Cup 2017 will be held on September 7 and five-a-side teams are now being invited to sign up. The tournament, now in its fifth year, is moving to a new venue in Shepherd’s Bush and promises FA refs and a comfy new players’ lounge complete with screens to keep tabs on competitors’ matches.

“We had a total of 26 teams enter last year, and it was great to have both suppliers and retailers competing, with Deliveroo taking the top spot and runners up Uber narrowly missing out,” says Mark Pigou, founder of InternetRetailing Media. “This year promises to be just as competitive.” To enter a team of up to 10 people (five players and five subs), sign up here.

Sponsorship opportunities are limited to three companies: email Joey Evans (joe.evans@tamebay.com) for more.

Webinars
Find out more about upcoming InternetRetailing webinars and register for free on the InternetRetailing webinar page. You can also catch up with past webinars on the page: recent sessions have come from IBM Watson on using AI to improve the customer experience, and from SmartFocus and The Entertainer on using social to reach digital customers.