Archive for June, 2011


Grocers in the UK are increasingly turning to discounts and promotions as the volumes of sales decreased during May 2011, research has revealed.

Nielsen’s grocery market data shows that unit growth at supermarkets declined by 1.3% during the four weeks to 11 June 2011, and value growth slowed to 1.1% from 2% in May.

Promotions now account for more than one third (39%) of all sales in the sector and Nielsen anticipates this to continue to increase even further during the summer as trading continues to falter.

All the major supermarkets saw at least some growth in the market share during the period but Morrisons was the clear winner, with implied sales of 3.5% year-on-year despite no new store openings, whilst Asda saw the smallest rise in market share of the top 10 grocers of just 2.9%.

Mike Watkins, Senior Manager for Retailer Services at Nielsen, said: “With mixed British summer weather returning and no large social or sporting event for the nation to celebrate in the last month, value growth has dipped and unit sales have declined year-on-year.

“In their continued plight to drive demand, retailers have maintained high levels of promotions.

“Retailers use promotions to create events. These not only help footfall, but they push up the value of the shopping basket, which is key in a market where underlying demand has weakened. There has also been more reliance on ‘multi-buys’ in the last 12 weeks.”

The emergence of the discount grocer was clear to see in the research, with Aldi and Lidl seeing higher market growth than the top four supermarkets.

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com

Research by Microsoft has found that m-commerce is growing in popularity amongst the UK population, with six in 10 people interest in mobile coupons.

The survey found that more than one third (37%) of respondents admitted that receiving a digital coupon would make them then want to visit the physical store to redeem it.

Jamie Wells, Microsoft Advertising’s director of global trade marketing said that couponing has proved to be the most effective and popular medium for advertisers.

“Coupons from FMCG retailers and entertainment brands are the most popular”, he commented, in an interview with New Media Age.

The research found that the likelihood of visiting a store that offered digital coupons depended on the vertical and ranged from 15% to 39%.

More than two thirds (72%) said that they had already visited an off-line store after receiving a mobile voucher for clothing, while almost one in five (19%) had already redeemed a mobile auto offer, such as booking a test drive remotely.

A similar number (17%) said they had purchased an entertainment service or product after seeing a related ad in their mobile browser, compared to 13% who did so after seeing an in-app ad.

Wells continued by saying that more than 40% of mobile users have used an app or browsed the internet for purchases in the entertainment and clothing sectors.

The study, of more than 2,000 people from the UK, US and France and was conducted during March 2011.

The research suggested that mobile internet was largely the same across different operating systems and that smartphone users spend almost 10 hours per week using the mobile internet.

“We expected to find the market dominated by Android and iPhone [in terms of repeat internet use] but there’s really not a lot of difference across the platforms,” said Wells.

Microsoft said that search (93%) was the most popular mobile activity followed closely by email (90%); but added that apps were more popular than browsers for social networking and playing music and games.

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com

Express newspapers has introduced a personalised recommendation engine across four of its stable after reducing its single-page visits, or bounce rate, by more than 50%.

The publisher has introduced content recommendation systems by Outbrain across its OK!, Daily Star, New Magazine and Star Magazine websites.

The decision was made following a trial with express.co.uk which reduced single-page visits by 5% and boosted page impressions and dwell time, according to Farzad Jamal, the group internet controller at Express newspapers.

The publisher is also generating revenue by serving Express links to articles on other sites, which other Outbrain clients pay to distribute on a cost-per-click basis.

Jamal said, “It’s generating more traffic across each site. A user would come and look at the one article, but now, because there are links that they’re interested in, not what we think is relevant, it’s giving them a route to continue reading on the site. Or if they do leave, we could still get a share of revenue share.”

Jamal continued by saying that the two biggest issues online publishers face is ensuring content is easily discovered and that users are correctly engaged.

“Particularly with news sites, once users had their fill they’ll continue surfing or go back to work. We’re at least trying to retain some of that traffic by making it easier for them to stay on the site,” he added.

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com

Figleaves.com, the online lingerie and swimwear retailer has announced the launch of a fully transactional iPad app, allowing the company to provide a catalogue retailing service for the tech-savvy shopper.

The app, designed by NN4M, allows users to create wish lists, share products with friends via Facebook and email, as well as access customer product reviews and view videos about Figleaves’ stock.

Figleaves has followed a similar path to many retailers in recent months by launching a multichannel offering, something that is becoming an increasingly important part of a retailers’ strategy, with the rise and rise of smartphones and tablet devices. Figleaves differentiates itself from the rest by being the first retailer to develop an iPad tool of this nature.

Julien Shirley, Head of Digital Marketing at Figleaves, said: “ We wanted to further our engagement with our customers by enabling them to interact with the brand while on the move using their iPads.

“We believe the result of this project is a truly exceptional application which replicates the printed catalogue with regard to product range, navigation and ease of use, while offering a sophisticated and responsive shopping experience expected in today’s retail industry.”

Although this is by no means the first retail iPad app and certainly wont be the last, it is good to see that retailers of all shapes and sizes are embracing the multichannel approach, which is fast becoming part of parcel of business strategy

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com

Sir Terry Leah, the former Tesco CEO, has led a £1.5m cash raising process for mobile voucher business, Eagle Eye Solutions, it was announced earlier this week.

Joined by city retail analysts Bill Currie and Iain McDonald, the former grocery boss has helped provide the funding which will allow the technology firm to further expand its team as well as consolidate and grow its retail partnerships.

Leahy said: “This is an exciting time to get on board with Eagle Eye Solutions, which has expanded its retail partnerships rapidly in recent months.

“The retail industry is waking up to the huge opportunities that mobile marketing represents and mobile coupons are a vital component.

“Eagle Eye is leading the way in this field and I look forward to playing a part in its positive impact on the market.”

This is the second investment made by Leahy in the retail technology business within a matter of weeks, following the announcement that he has invested £2m into online delivery management specialist Metapack to take a 10 per cent share of the firm.

The backing of Leahy was welcomed by Metapack’s CEO and co-founder Patrick Wall at the time, and CEO of Eagle Eye Solutions, Steve Rothwell has quickly identified the benefits of having Leahy on board.

“We are delighted to have secured the backing of such experienced and high profile figures within the industry,” Rothwell announced.

“Our technology empowers retailers with physical stores to use digital marketing techniques that have worked so well online in the last 15 years.

“This funding round will enable us to accelerate our progress and sign up more retailers more quickly than we could organically.”

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com

More than 80% of the smartphone owners in the UK search for local information, research by Google and the Mobile Marketing Association has found.

The survey, carried out by Ipsos and TNS Infratest, also found that more than half of smartphone owners questioned access the internet via their phone on a daily basis.

More than eight in 10 (81%) have searched for local information such as nearby facilities, with four out of five subsequently using these facilities.

Just over half of smartphone owners in the UK use the web everyday, while just under half (49%) admitted to using it on more than one occasion every day.

In addition, mobile commerce or m-commerce as it is often known is increasing in popularity, according to the online survey of mobile consumers across 30 countries.

Almost seven in 10 (68%) of UK respondents use their smartphones to research a purchase while in a physical store and almost one third (28%) had purchased an item via their handset.

Ian Carrington, Google’s head of mobile for EMEA, said earlier this month that there are currently more than 1bn mobile web users worldwide and over 50% start their journey with search.

He continued by saying that entertainment queries accounted for 18% of all searches, an increase from 7% in 2010, and that travel enquiries have increased from 4% in 2010 to 14% so far this year. “The mobile web is about consumer acquisition and commerce. Apps are about loyalty,” he added.

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com

Retailer All Saints, has launched an an mechanism it is calling AdPad to give retargeted users more control over what products and ads they see.

The clothing brand, which uses retargeting platform Struq to serve personalised ads to lure back users who have left its site without making a purchase, made such retargeting a priority in its digital marketing strategy earlier this year after generating £21 for every £1 spent on the initiative.

The aim with AdPad, is to give consumers control over removing products or brands they don’t want to see, as well as letting them opt out of receiving targeted ads altogether.

Retargeting has been affected in recent months by the revised EU ePrivacy Directive which was introduced in mainland Europe in early June, won’t be enforced in the UK until 2012 at the earliest.

The government gave UK businesses an additional year to develop and implement ways to obtain consent of users when using cookies to store information about them, and retarget them with advertising.

Sam Barnett, CEO of Struq, who designed AdPad, said “We built AdPad in the spirit of transparency and control. It changes the all-in/all-out approach of online ads. Users can opt in or opt out.”

Nigel Gwilliams, digital consultant to the IPA said that in light of the Government’s decision to give UK digital businesses an additional 12 months to develop ways to obtain user consent, Struq’s initiative was a positive one.

He commented: “It’s about improving opportunities for informed consent. What has been made clear by the ICO is that if companies are found to have done nothing over the next 12 months, it will go against them. Being proactive should be commended. Targeting of this nature is the kind of cookie use that requires increased prominence and user information, so Struq is sensible in initiating this.”

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com

Near-field communications (NFC) mobile payments technology are set to take the summer festival scene by storm with a mainstream  rollout at music festivals.

Barclaycard’s push to promote its mobile-payments service will include an unprecedented number of NFC terminals at this summers events.

The scheme will initially see in excess of 75 terminals at Live Nation’s Wireless festival in London in June, which also happens to be sponsored by the card provider and payments firm.

Similar initiatives have been pencilled in at other festivals hosted by Live Nation, which includes the Reading and Leeds Festivals.

Barclaycard is said to be extending this activity at sporting events later this year, such as the ATP Tennis tournament.

These initiatives are part of the payments firm’s ongoing strategy to promote its contactless payments services by associating its brand with live events. It also aims to use the activity to boost the uptake in its mobile payments service, Quick Tap, with launched earlier this year in association with Orange.

Tom Gregory, Barclaycard’s head of digital payments, said that Wireless Festival will let users pay for purchases up to £15 by waving their phones or cards over the payment terminals.

“Last year we trialled contactless payments, whereas this year it’s a proper roll out, with more implementations to follow through our deal with Live Nation and sponsorship of the ATP Tennis event at The O2.”

The upcoming live events are understood to also include “interactive activities and competitions” using the technology to boost awareness, Gregory added.

Carmelo Orlando, Orange’s senior future propositions manager, said both it and Barclaycard will offer incentives to get users to sign up to the service.

“Barclaycard is providing Orange customers with £10 cash in their account upon activation, and 10% cashback on all Quick Tap purchases in the first three months” he said.

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com

Sandwich-shop chain Eat has announced it is to begin testing a loyalty scheme using NFC mobile payments.

The trial will use NFC-enabled tags that are applied to participating customers mobile phones, in the form of a sticker attached to the back of the device, to redeem coupons.

Customers using the high street outlets will be asked to opt in to the scheme and Eat will then issue rewards for returning customers to monitor their reactions as returning customers.

Eat said it aims to launch the trial in a single London store initially before a gradual roll out over the course of the coming weeks across the capital.

Rene Batsford, Eat’s head of IT, said that the ultimate aim was to completely replace the distribution of physical coupons with mobile ones.

“For us, NFC is about driving loyalty through location-based services”, he said, adding that this and further trials would be rolled out more aggressively when NFC-enabled handsets become more widespread.

He continued, “Watch this space, we’re going to be doing a lot more.”

Another retailer, Tesco, is said to be preparing for the NFC revolution by deploying NFC-compatible PoS terminals, beginning within its outlets within the M25.

Chris Brocklesby, CIO at Tesco.com, said: “We’re in an embryonic phase of mobile but the world is going multi-channel. NFC will play a part, it’s just a case of getting the concerned parties together.”

He continued by saying that greater co-operation is required between retailers, the operators and the financial services industry. “Putting NFC terminals in 35,000 checkout lanes in the UK isn’t cheap,” he said.

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com

Online auction giant Ebay has announced that it sells one car every five minutes via mobile handsets, and processes one transaction every second globally via its mobile services.

This revelation places the auction site on track to meet its projected revenue stream for mobile of over $4bn in 2011.

Cars and other motor vehicles have proved so popular within Ebay’s mobile audience that in May 2011, it released a US mobile app dedicated to trading automotive items, called eBay Motors iPhone.

“The number of six-figure price, exotic cars being sold on mobile is unbelievable,” according to Steve Yankovich, VP of mobile at Ebay.

The online team has team up with mobile specialist planning and buying agency Amobee to help drive downloads of its apps across multiple platforms.

Yankovich told the delegates of the Open Mobile Summit earlier this month that Ebay was planning on launching a number of additional services.

These are said to include incorporating a visual search service, augmented reality features and QR codes into its range of apps as part of trials to gauge the full extent of consumer demand for m-commerce.

Recent research by mobile app developer Kony found that 60% of consumers use their mobile phones to purchase items, yet only 16% of retailers taking part in the survey had m-commerce strategies.

Please note the views expressed in this blog are the views of the author, Andre Brown and do not represent the view of Locayta, its employees or its shareholders. For more information about Locayta, visit www.locayta.com