Welcome to this week's retail round up of news.
Waitrose followers most likely to interact with supermarket on Facebook
A short study from SMG Research shows that although Tesco has the most number of followers on Facebook out of all the supermarkets, Waitrose comes out top when it comes to followers interacting. For every one hundred followers Waitrose has, it received 1.82 comments against all of its posts this week. This is nearly three times the number of comments ASDA got, in second place.
Beyond shopping - The future of supermarkets
The more that people embed a brand into their everyday routines, lifestyles and pastimes, the more those people depend upon that brand.
Supermarkets are looking for people to do this with their brands.
This week, the first Tesco backed Harris+Hoole cafe opened in Amersham. Although only a minority shareholder, Tesco hopes to add value to the brand as the coffee chain grows. Its second store is due to open in Uxbridge very soon, and Harris+Hoole’s owners are in talks with Clintons administrator Zolfo Cooper to buy 10 to 15 stores.
Also this week, Sainsbury's announced the launch later this year of a partnership with Rovi to provide a digital video service. The service will offer people video-on-demand and downloadable copies of film and TV titles at the same time the discs become available in store. Although it will initially be limited to computers, it will roll out to Smart TVs, connected Blu-Ray players, smartphones and consoles. This follows Sainsbury’s purchase of e-book retailer Anobii and music company Global Media Vault.
Shoppers warm to contactless payments
The Co-Operative supermarket reported positive results this week from its trial of contactless payments in its London and Manchester stores.
Although I am positive about some mobile innovations around contactless payments, the research demonstrates how people are more likely to use a new service if it is similar to the old one. A spokesperson at the supermarket reports that one reason the trial was a success was that it made sure that the service was part of the Chip & PIN device so that customers didn’t have to look for a different terminal to make a contactless payment. “Once shoppers have used contactless technology they really seem to appreciate it is quicker, and are choosing to use it on a regular basis.”
In response to the story, Barclaycard retailer relationship director Richard Armstrong revealed that Barclays customers now make more than a million contactless payments per month across a wide range of B2C businesses, including transport, supermarkets, entertainment and leisure.
Vouchers losing their stigma
Recent research by the retail research specialists IGD shows that people are using more shopping vouchers as they seek to keep costs down and increase value.
Six out of ten shoppers say they are buying more of their products on promotion, up from 40% who said the same in 2008. Over half use more money-off vouchers, while 59% say they plan on using more of them over the next six months to make savings on their grocery shopping.
People most likely to use vouchers are younger shoppers and those with children.