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EDITORIAL Sainsbury’s trials scan and go, while O2 turns the spotlight on connectivity

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As our Summer of Focus continues a pace, we come to Mobile & Cross Channel week – and the real world has delivered in spades, so there is no need to, for our mobile newsletter, raid the archive.

Sainsbury’s kicks things up a gear by joining the growing number of grocery retailers who are trialling scan and go technology: admittedly only in the one store, but it’s a start.

The trail at the North Clapham Station store in South London allows shoppers to scan and pay using their Sainsbury’s app and Apple Pay (you can tell the kind of people who live in Clapham North these days just from that sentence) and marks the slow progress retailers are making towards upping the in-store game.

Key to making this sort of in-store tech work is networking – and this week O2 launches a trial of Lifi; wifi connectivity delivered using light.

The technology uses imperceptible changes in light frequency on both the phone and the LED overhead lights to transmit data to and from a phone. In theory, this offers almost limitless frequencies so, in crowded stores, airports and venues, everyone gets full-strength internet.

Combined, this and the scan and go movement is seeking to make in-store at least a little better. But with even my very old mother and her cronies now all shopping online and refusing to go to shops, what hope is there?

Also this week we also find out how shoppers are increasingly buying clothes to do selfies in and then sending them back – a whole new headache for the returns business. That and ‘buy now, pay later’ is going to see most retailers inventory being ‘in transit’ at any one time and that must be a cost. Ouch.

We also find out about the hottest hands-free devices to create the connected home and look at how voice commerce and voice search are shaping up. So, as I say, the real world is delivering mobile and cross channel developments in spades.

RetailCraft podcast

Find out more about the first two episodes of InternetRetailing’s RetailCraft podcasts featuring Heals and the Rug Company.

RetailCraft 01 – David Kohn of Heals – “probably the most sceptical man in the industry”? Surely not!

RetailCraft 02 – Sarah Stagg of The Rug Company and the 2018 IREU Top500


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.

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