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EDITORIAL How shoppers want to buy – and how retailers are finding new ways to serve them

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In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter, we’re reporting on new research findings that suggest even though UK shoppers are the most likely to want to shop only online, many shoppers are still keen to return to stores and, indeed, many shoppers in Great Britain prefer to buy their clothes in a shop. 

We report too as retailers use technology to continue to find new ways to sell to shoppers. Top150 fashion retailer Lindex has used new technology to run a new virtual livestreamed online shopping event, putting models in virtual locations at the Scandinavian seaside – with strong results. 

Meanwhile, the first ’autonomous’ grocer has opened in Lisbon – a Continente Labs store with an shopping experience built on Sensei technology that takes on Amazon Go stores in order to offer customers the no-queue, no-checkout experience. 

Mattress brand Tempur Sealy is building its direct-to-consumer and international businesses with the acquisition of Top250 retailer Dreams. It says the move will take its direct-to-consumer sales to $1bn, and double the size of its international business.

Pets at Home reports on a pandemic year in which its sales topped £1bn – at a time when pet ownership is estimated to have grown by 8%. The retailer is working to make itself as relevant as it can to more pet owners, using data to offer services when they are most needed. 

In today’s guest comment, Keith Tully of Real Business Rescue asks if it is now time for online retailers to face business rates.

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