Rich media optimised for tablets on updated Adobe Scene7 platform

The latest update to the Adobe Scene7 platform allows online retailers to deliver rich media experiences, optimised for any channel or device, including tablets such as the iPad. Mobile-optimised eCatalogues, and deeper integration with the Adobe Creative Suite mean mobile devices can now benefit from rich-media features such as pinch to zoom, swipe to turn pages, double tap to zoom and streaming e-video. (more…)

Amazon’s latest fulfilment centre will create 900 jobs is creating 900 jobs by opening its seventh fulfilment centre in Rugeley, Staffordshire – an ex-mining town where there has been high unemployment for many years. Amazon is also poised to open a new customer service centre in Edinburgh next month, offering technical support to people who have bought its Kindle. This operation will create 500 permanent and 400 temporary positions, the company says. (more…)

Flaming June for online says BRC-KPMG Sales Monitor

While store sales growth only edged forward by 1.5% during June, web and catalogue sales clocked up a healthy 11.5% increase on June 201, according to the latest BRC-KPMG Sales Monitor. This is encouraging news for the ecommerce sector, following slightly slower year-on-year sales growth in the non-store sector during April and May. Last year’s June growth figure for online, mail and phone order sales was 17.3%. (more…)

New customer authentication service launched by BT to provide extra layer of security

Aiming to help UK etailers combat fraud and protect user identities, BT has announced the launch of a new authentication service.
Called BT Managed Authentication, the service has been developed for etailers selling high value goods, and online providers which tend to attract large numbers of regular customers, accessing specific applications. (more…)

BrightHouse website to go transactional

BrightHouse says it will make its website transactional within 18 months. The electricals and furniture retailer offers in-store credit to help customers spread payment for goods. It’s not yet clear whether its online model will accommodate credit to match the store offer, or not. Products can also be paid for upfront with cash in stores, and customers have increasingly been spending on the latest mobiles and BlackBerries, so the company is keen to tap into this growing demand for high tech gadgets. (more…)

OFT to probe Amazon’s acquisition of The Book Depository has announced that it will acquire Gloucester-based online bookseller, The Book Depository International. The move will greatly reduce Amazon’s competition in the market, boost its international reach, and add over six million titles to its already large stock of books.
However the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is investigating the acquisition, and the Booksellers’ Association has announced it will formally oppose the deal. (more…)

Yodel joins new global agency set up to fight cybercrime

Leading global businesses, including our own parcel delivery company Yodel, have joined forces to launch the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) this week. The group has been formed to help tackle the growing threat posed by cybercriminals.
ICSPA will be run as a global not-for-profit organisation that will channel funding, expertise and assistance directly into law enforcement cybercrime units in both domestic and international markets. (more…)

Dunelm to focus on multichannel footprint

Multichannel is recognised by Dunelm chief executive Nick Wharton as being vital to future growth. He said: “Our focus on constantly improving our customer offer has allowed us to gain market share while expanding gross margins. At the same time our future growth prospects have been enhanced through strengthening the pipeline of new stores and the continuing development of our multichannel footprint.” (more…)

N Brown keeps pace but takes margin hit from discounting

N Brown has reported improved sales, boosted by recent acquisitions such as and High & Mighty. The retailer, which owns catalogue and web brands such as Simply Be and Jacomo, posted turnover up 5.1% in the 18 weeks to July 2. Like-for-likes advanced 1.6% over the period, which N Brown said was “slightly ahead” of that reported at the time of its preliminary results in May.
But the home shopping group says it has sacrificed some margin through discounting – needed in the current climate to prompt spending. “As we anticipated, and in line with the sector, we are having to be more aggressive with targeted promotional discounts to help drive revenue and this has led to a 0.2% decline in the rate of gross margin,” said N Brown chairman Lord Alliance.

Photobox in frame to acquire Moonpig business

Eleven years after launch, founder Nick Jenkins is reportedly selling his online greetings card company to private equity-owned online photo business If the sale goes through, Jenkins could enjoy a windfall of up to £100m. Photobox is owned by private equity firm Index Ventures, which also invests in Skype and Betfair. The business has been expanding aggressively and currently operates in 15 countries. (more…)

Industry confidence high but confusion around CRD amendments remains

The ecommerce industry is confident about the prospects for the rest of the year, according to the IMRG’s Online Confidence Survey for Q2. A healthy 78% of respondents thought that the strong performance of the market would either stay the same or improve, compared with 71% thinking so in the Q1 survey. Half of respondents are confident that they will record strong sales going into the second half of the year, which is almost exactly the same as the figure in the Q1 survey (51%). (more…)

Laura Wade-Gery lands at M&S to take multichannel to the next level

Laura Wade-Gery starts work at Marks & Spencer today, as executive director for multichannel e-commerce, expected to focus on powering up sales of M&S’ online non-food business.
Cheltenham Ladies College and Oxford-educated Wade-Gery was poached from Tesco in February. News of the appointment was well-received in the City, and boosted the M&S share price 13% on the day, such is her reputation as a hot property in the world of ecommerce. At Tesco Wade-Grey was CEO of and Tesco Direct and had just been promoted to head up Tesco’s non-food empire when M&S came calling.

New platform from Hydra leverages three sets of marketing data

Hydra, a provider of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) marketing technology, has launched the One platform which aims to leverage the combined data derived from Natural Search, Paid Search and Social Media. The platform aims to cut out the cost and complexity of collating and using all three types of data.

With Hydra’s One platform digital marketers should be able to strategically monitor, report and participate in the conversation that customers are having about their brand online – be that in social networks or on search engines. (more…)

Buying products via social sites slow to catch on says new study

A new study conducted by Havas Media Social and Lightspeed Research, suggests that despite the retail industry hailing social commerce as the next big thing, 89% of people have not bought anything through Facebook and 44% are not interested in doing so. However the majority of consumers (70%) feel that targeted advertising based on interests or shopping behaviour, similar to Amazon’s recommendation model, would make them more likely to buy products on social networks.