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EDITORIAL From Hotter to Nespresso and Finish: how brands are growing online

Brands see opportunity online. Image courtesy of Hotter

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting as brands selling direct develop their strategies at a time when more shoppers are now buying online. We also report as the latest ONS figures show the share of UK retail sales that take place online continuing to decline from last year’s February peak. But while ecommerce sales are lower than their previous peak, they continue to be well ahead of pre-pandemic February 2020. That makes online an important focus not only for retailers but for brands that want to serve their customers direct, developing one-to-one brand relationships as they do so.

Hotter is now selling on the M&S website as it expands the number of third-party websites that it sells through – from retailers to marketplaces – as part of its digital-first strategy. At the same time, its parent company Unbound Group is also looking to set up its own brand-centred platform, built around the Hotter brand.

Brand owners Nestlé and Reckitt Benckiser both report ecommerce growth for their brands, including Nestlé’s Top350-ranked brand Nespresso. At both organisations, ecommerce now accounts for more than 10% of sales, at a time when shoppers have shifted online in recent years – pushed in part by Covid-19 lockdowns and trading restrictions. Both have responded to that shift by investing in the shift to digital, a shift that seems to be paying off.

How Ikea is evolving its strategy to include rental – in line both with changing customer needs and net zero targets – is the focus of an excerpt from the recent RetailX Furniture report.

Today we report as Ocado forms a partnership with Groupe Casino to offer other French brands access to their logistics technology at a time when they see that market shifting further online. And, as Amazon reaches a deal with Visa, we hear from payments specialists about what the significance is.

That’s also the theme for today’s guest comment, which comes from Roger De’Ath of TrueLayer who goes beyond the Amazon deal to further explore the future of payments.

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