EDITORIAL New retail approaches to offering customers convenient ways to buy

Image: Fotolia

Image: Fotolia

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting on new ways that retailers are using in order to serve their customers in ways that are as useful and convenient as possible. That’s important at a time when the cost of living continues to put pressure on customers. Indeed, Next predicts not one but two cost-of-living crises in coming months. 

Shoppers buying from Nike via JD Sports’ app will be able to buy exclusive products, get early access and win rewards when they link their JD and Nike loyalty memberships, the retailer has announced today. JD Sports is the first European retail partner for Nike’s Connected Partnership programme, which the brand bills as a “transformative integrated loyalty programme”. In time, says Nike, users will gain access to exclusive experiences as well as getting access to member-only footwear ranges. 

Asos has outlined its strategy for the Topshop and Topman brands, with a standalone shop front on the Asos website as well as plans for a return to stores in North America. The retailer says it has brought a stronger focus on creative design and fabrication quality to the iconic brands, which it acquired from Arcadia Group last year. 

Next today reports growing sales and profits in the first half of its financial year, but has cut its full-year sales and profits expectations as “two cost-of-living crises” threaten. The retailer says sales were ahead of expectations in a “good” first half, as its retail stores over performed, but profits were reduced by the rising costs of its online business and spending on technology. It now aims to moderate its expectations in an uncertain environment that chief executive Simon Wolfson predicts may well mean not one but two cost of living crises in coming months. 

Amazon is starting its peak trading season earlier than ever, with the launch of a new shopping event for Prime members, six weeks out from Black Friday. The launch comes at a time that shoppers have been buying earlier and earlier in recent years, but this year there are questions about how much cash will be available to spend.

Meanwhile the Co-op is set to continue growing its ecommerce business as it sets its sights on becoming the UK’s largest convenience retailer. The retailer says it will build on its capital-light tie-ups with Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Amazon that support its own direct to consumer business. It will also grow its store network, with the ambition of more than trebling the existing number of franchise stores within three years. Currently there are almost 5,000 independent convenience stores on its franchise platform.

In today’s guest comment, Tom Bianchi of Acquia argues that digital resilience – through data – is key to surviving economic downturn. 

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