Included in this week's Supermarket Sweep of News - Jubilee celebrations, ASDA doing mobile shopping, PayPal payments on the UK high street, Morrisons in London.
In the run up to what is forecast to be a
sun drenched weekend, a few of the major grocer brands have put together some Jubilee experiences and offers for their shoppers.
Impressively, Sainsbury’s has organised the Jubilee Family Festival in Hyde Park this weekend. The event includes special performances from BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing, The National Theatre's War Horse, and a 'Magic of Disney' finale, plus bands, dance troupes, orchestras free activities from partnering brands.
ASDA is going to offer customers the opportunity to pen a personalised message to the Queen, which will the supermarket will send directly to Buckingham Palace. And while they are at it, they can take advantage of a £5 off voucher for any spend over £40.
In the meantime, online shopping site, mySupermarket, has introduced a ‘Street Party Shelf’, which features some of the party-food on offer across the five big online supermarkets. If savvy shoppers can use mySupermarket to turn back time to 1977 prices by making the most of the offers and promotions available, as the company claims, then it’s likely many of them will leave happy.
Talking about winding the clock back, Sainsbury’s is also launching 14 products inspired by its British heritage, in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee. These include vintage sweets such as Liquorice Allsorts and Dolly Mixtures, and classic marmalade and jam conserves.
Morrisons has given more detail about its plans to expand stores in London and the South East. Morrisons property director, Terry Hartwell has said this week that about two-thirds of all its openings of full supermarkets would be in the south of the country from next year. This contrasts with 15 per cent last year. By the end of 2012, Morrisons plans to open 20 full stores, with more than half of these located in the south.
Morrisons’ new-format stores will feature an expanded range of fruit and vegetables, florist shops and sandwich bars, which Philips hopes will enabled the supermarket to compete with its more established competitors in the south.
Chief executive, Dalton Philips, says that the London expansion plus an online grocery offer and smaller convenience stores could help add £1bn of sales from the UK capital.
Retail bringing online and offline together
ASDA expects big increase in mobile traffic
Yet more signs that people are going to their mobiles to investigate products and do shopping.
The supermarket ASDA reported this week that right now, 6% of its online traffic comes from mobile phones. Half a million people have downloaded the retailer’s transactional app, while Asda has 10 million registered online customers. However, Asda expects the number of customers ordering groceries with a mobile to double by the end of the year.
If people have the technology and the experience is easy and quick, this seems completely reasonable.
Good service likely to encourage people online
According to figures from lifestyle research company Cotton Council, 42 per cent of UK people now use the internet to compare product price and quality prior to purchase, and online clothes shopping has increased by 10% in two years.
The research also shows that people want quality and a good price. Forty per cent of respondents said that they only buy clothes that are discounted by at least 20 per cent all or most of the time. Yet almost 60% are happy to spend more money on items that will last.
This is reinforced in a separate report by Leapfrogg, which shows that two thirds of the 1,000 people it surveyed reported they would not reduce their online spend for more luxury items during the second half of this year.
The research also reveals people want quality of service as well online – once considered the domain of the high street. One fifth said they would be likely to spend more online if they felt they were valued more by retailers, and 30% claimed that better service online has encouraged them away from the brand’s physical store.
Littlewoods creates hour long online programme
In a sign of growth advertiser funded programming, Littlewood.com has partnered with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen to create a one hour ‘Littlewoods Live’ show hosted by the designer, to be aired on Wednesday June 13th 2012 at 9pm. The show will be available on Facebook and mobile, and will include four ad breaks focusing on electrical and homewares products.
Shoppers can now pay by PayPal on the high street
As from 31 May, shoppers who have downloaded the PayPal inStore App will be able to pay for products at all Aurora stores, which include brand names such as Oasis, Coast and Warehouse.
Available on iPhone and Android devices, people can use the app to scan a barcode in order to take payment from their PayPal account. It even works when there is no mobile or Wi-Fi signal. One reason I believe that this will take off is that the process is simple for customers, and retail partners do not need to install any new systems in order to make in-store mobile payments. It’s also secure, with people having to enter a PIN in order to use it.
Together, these four pieces of news show that any distinctions we make between online and offline are quickly becoming invalid. Once upon a time we talked about digital consumers and ‘normal’ consumers, online brands and the high street, and the virtual and the real. I don’t think we can separate these things out any more. People tend not to. Neither should we.
Have a good break.