Stuart O'Brien - eTailing Summit | Forum Events Ltd
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Stuart O'Brien

UK grocery shoppers struggling to book delivery slots

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Consumers are seeking speed and convenience when shopping for groceries online, with a survey of 2,000 UK shoppers found 54% expect their groceries to be delivered within the same week and 9% expect to receive their groceries on the same day when they order online.

New research from end-to-end managed services provider Ensono shows that Younger generations are leading the way in the search for faster deliveries.

Eighteen percent of those aged 25 and under who buy groceries online expect them to be delivered on the same day of order, compared to just 4% of 56- to 65-year-olds.

New app-based groceries-on-demand providers in urban areas now promise delivery in under an hour – some as fast as 10 minutes. These services seem to be most popular with younger shoppers. Ensono’s research found younger generations were significantly more willing to try groceries on demand during the pandemic, with 13% of 18-to 25-year-olds trying groceries on demand against just 3% of 46-to 65-year-olds.

More customers than ever have turned to online channels to buy groceries. Ensono’s research found an 81% rise in UK consumers doing all or most of their food shopping online since the pandemic started. According to The Office for National Statistics, UK online sales hit 27% of total retail spending in April 2022 – down from its peak of 37.6% in February 2021 but far above 19.9% in February 2020 before COVID-19 pandemic.

The problem grocers face is reliably meeting this heightened online demand. Since the pandemic began, 28% of consumers doing online shopping have not been able to choose the deliver slots they want. Just under half (49%) agree that while they are still able to online grocery shop, there are fewer delivery slots compared to before the pandemic.

Supply chain disruption is an ongoing challenge facing grocers. Driven by factors including the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing geopolitical tensions, such uncertainty can prevent food from reaching shelves on time. Grocers have witnessed the consequences of failing to navigate supply chain disruption. In the run up to Christmas 2021, 71% of consumers reported seeing shortages in stock in major supermarkets.

Simon Ratcliffe, Principal Consultant at Ensono, said: “We are living through an unprecedented era for grocers. Whilst we have seen customers flock back to stores in recent months, the online shopping habits forged in the pandemic are here to stay as a critical part of modern retail. In this hybrid shopping era, customers are craving convenience and a service that delivers a seamless, reliable, and memorable experience between in-store and online.

“Grocers need a technology stack fit for the demands of the modern consumer. Cloud-native systems are crucial to address shoppers’ ongoing concerns about performance and availability, providing grocers with scalable computing capacity to deliver consistent and efficient global performance – whatever the level of customer demand. Cloud-native is set to become the linchpin of modern businesses: by 2025, Gartner predict more than 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms. These solutions need to be matched with reliable back-end technology, including high-capacity mainframe systems that support vital parts of the grocery supply chain. With the right technology in place, grocers can provide consumers with a personalised experience whether in-store or online.”

90% of UK cyberattacks in retail ‘are avoidable’

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90 per cent of Director level respondents to a survey whose organisations across retail, the public sector, financial services and healthcare have experienced a cyber breach agreed most cyber attacks were avoidable.

That’s one of the insights to emerge for new research from Tanium, Cybersecurity: Prevention Is Better than the Cure, which reveals the amount of time and resources organisations spend on reactive versus preventative cybersecurity measures and the rationale behind their decisions.   

Despite the above awareness, the study shows that IT teams neglect to implement preventative cybersecurity measures for reasons such as a shortage of technical skills and budget-allocation delays from boards of directors. 

“Many organisations focus too much on cybersecurity point solutions like antivirus, rather than adopting a holistic, data-driven approach to prevention,” said Oliver Cronk, chief architect, EMEA, at Tanium. “As our research shows, many damaging security incidents – even those resulting from more sophisticated attack vectors – could have been prevented. In fact, more than half of the breaches we see could have been avoided by maintaining baseline cyber-hygiene standards. The current situation is the equivalent of leaving your front door and windows open and only locking them after a burglary has taken place.” 

Key findings include: 

Most damaging cyber attacks suffered by UK organisations are preventable. 

·       The 90 percent of Director level respondents agree that ‘the majority of cyberattacks that we have experienced within our organisation have been in some way avoidable’. 

·       86 percent of organisations compromised by a breach in the last six months believed that more investment in preventative measures (such as tools or staff training), would have minimised incidents. 

·       92 percent of organisations surveyed have experienced a breach at some point in the past, 82 percent within the last 24 months, and 73 percent in the last 12 months.   

Boards only approve new cybersecurity funding after incident has occurred. 

·       80 percent of C-suite decision makers believe the risk of cyber threats is increasing and expect 2022 to be the worst year yet in terms of the number of attacks. 

·       For IT decision makers that experienced a cyber attack in the last six months, 86 percent feel that senior leadership is likely to invest in cybersecurity only after suffering an attack; 75 percent state that “some cybersecurity incidents needed to happen” in order to get increased investment from leadership.  

·       Loss of productivity resulting from downtime is cited as the most damaging impact of a cyber attack (56 percent of all respondents). 

Preventative approaches are missed opportunities for IT teams.  

·       Almost seven in ten respondents believe that a predominantly preventative approach to cybersecurity is best (68 percent); a primarily reactive approach is favoured by only 32 percent.  

·       The skills gap and overwhelmed IT and security teams have caused preventative security measures to take a lower priority. More than half of organisations (55 percent) agree that there is insufficient staff or resources to focus on preventative security measures. 

·       Larger organisations are more likely to adopt a preventative approach, with 70 percent of organisations with 500+ employees citing prevention as preferable. Sixty percent of organisations with 250-499 employees agreed. 

·       85 percent of all respondents surveyed agreed that there is a greater cost to recover from a cybersecurity incident than to prevent one. 

A crucial element of preventative strategies is cyber hygiene, which refers to a set of habitual practices that help to secure networks and data. For example, consistent and timely patching is a fundamental element of a sound cybersecurity posture. But to be effective, organisations need to understand where vulnerabilities exist and have the ability to address them quickly and easily. The Tanium platform has these capabilities and others that help organisations strengthen cyber hygiene.  

Click here to read the full ‘Cybersecurity: Prevention Is Better than the Cure’ report, which includes more interesting findings about the attitudes of IT decision makers towards preventative cybersecurity strategies. 

Do you specialise in Email Marketing or Payment Services? We want to hear from you!

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Each month on eCommerce & Payments Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on different parts of the market – and in July we’ll be focussing on Email Marketing and Payment Services.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help eCommerce management buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re an Email Marketing or Payment Services specialist and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Liam Cloona on l.cloona@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our features list in full:

July – Email Marketing / Payment Service Providers
Aug – Google Shopping / Chargeback Systems
Sep – Personalisation / Artificial Intelligence
Oct – PPC / Account Issuing & Merchant
Nov – SEO / Payment Solution Software
Dec – Customer Experience / IT Security

For more information on any of the above, contact Liam Cloona on l.cloona@forumevents.co.uk.

Last call for next month’s eTailing Summit

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We have just a couple of free delegate places available for the eTailing Summit, which takes place on July 5th – register today for free to secure your place!

In addition to seminar access, your pass includes a corporate ‘speed-dating’ itinerary of one-to-one meetings with new innovative and budget-saving solution providers, plentiful networking opportunities, plus lunch and refreshments throughout.

Tuesday 5th July

Hilton London Canary Wharf

Click here to claim your fully complimentary pass to this July’s eTailing Summit.

Among the companies already registered to attend are:-

1855 The Bottle Shop Pte Ltd
Baby Mori
Ceva Animal Health
FaceGym
Harrods
HUX London
Odysea Limited
Revlon
The Hut Group (THG)
Thought Fashion
Victoria Beckham

If you have any questions about the eTailing Summit, please contact Liam Cloona on 01992 374089 / l.cloona@forumevents.co.uk.

Q&A: My eCommerce fulfilment provider lost 50,000 units of my stock: Now I work for their competitor

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Adam Johnson once owned an online gaming business, but now works as a Sales Director at eCommerce fulfilment provider, Zendbox. In this Q&A, Johnson shares his experiences with his previous fulfilment provider and explains why their poor service played a role in him deciding to sell his business and work for their competitor…

When and why did you start your gaming business?

I started the business in December 2019. Due to a good professional career, I was lucky enough to reach a stage in my life where I was financially capable of doing something that my brother and I had always dreamed of, which was to launch a gaming business. The idea for Rev Gaming arose from the fact that we’d both been gamers from the age of five, and our background was such that gaming gave us an escape.

Rev Gaming was an ecosystem for the gaming community – not only did it serve as an eCommerce store for gaming equipment, but it had a professional Esports team behind it and provided a pathway for amateur gamers to become professionals. Our Esports team operated much like a football team with sponsorship deals and the like.

What caused your fulfilment provider to lose your stock?

The gaming world relies on creating hype for product drops. These products are often special items that are brand new and limited-edition, and you create hype around them through your influence in the market. It can take three to four months for these products to arrive from manufacturers overseas and there is a quick turnaround in terms of fulfilment when they do eventually land.”

With Rev Gaming, we could receive stock from Asia on Friday that would have to be released to customers the following Monday. In my experience, traditional fulfilment providers have always struggled massively with these short turnaround times. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Rev Gaming just blew up and our fulfilment provider couldn’t handle our increasing order volumes and the short turnaround times. As a result, there were stock inaccuracies and approximately 50,000 units of stock were lost and written off. We were compensated but we never recovered these goods.

Did you have any issues with your fulfilment provider’s service prior to this?

We worked with two different fulfilment providers, one of which was simply not able to fulfil the volume of orders we were taking in. This reflects how operational and process-driven eCommerce fulfilment is. If a business makes a request outside of a fulfilment provider’s normal process, or if that business demands more from the service, most providers can’t cope. Ultimately, eCommerce brands are demanding more from their fulfilment partners, who need to be flexible and adaptable if they are to remain competitive. Two weeks after I sold Rev Gaming, I realised I wanted to join a company where I could help make this happen.

How did this event personally impact you and how did your fulfilment provider offer to rectify the issue? 

I experienced significant mental and financial stress, especially because the stock loss was at a cost to myself personally. There was also general business strain – at the time, I was running the whole company myself so the challenges with our fulfilment providers were simply another headache I didn’t need. We went through a compensation process and although I wasn’t satisfied with the overall outcome, compensation was the only option available to us at the time.

Why did you decide to sell your business to work for Zendbox?

The decision to sell Rev Gaming was primarily family and finance driven. Although I had a purpose-built office and running the business was within my professional remit, I had no evenings or weekends. There was no work-life balance and my whole family was consumed by the business, which was never the point. It made complete sense to sell the business when a lucrative offer was then made to purchase the data that we had been collecting from gamers worldwide.

After the sale, I took two weeks off to readjust and consider what I wanted to do. Although I was looking for a challenge, I didn’t know fulfilment was that challenge. I’m still young and saw an opportunity with Zendbox. I met the company’s Chief Executive Officer, James Khoury, and he resonated with me as an entrepreneur with a mission. Selling my business and joining Zendbox was a case of the stars aligning with what I thought I wanted to achieve.

Has your experience with other fulfilment providers been a driver for you at Zendbox?

The gaming industry has always operated lightyears ahead of other sectors, but the eCommerce market is going the same way. My experience with other fulfilment providers opened my eyes to an opportunity – one in which I can work with a fulfilment provider that has the same vision to fill a niche and deliver outside of traditional processes when possible. If we can do that, then it won’t be long until Zendbox is a market leader.

eCommerce solutions: 2022 buying trends revealed

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A/B Testing, Shipping and Customer Retention & Loyalty top the list of solutions the UK’s leading eCommerce professionals are sourcing in 2022.

The findings have been revealed ahead of the next eTailing Summit and are based on delegate requirements at the event.

Delegates registering to attend were asked which areas they needed to invest in during 2022 and beyond.

A significant 40% are looking to invest in A/B Testing and Shipping solutions, while 35% are looking for Customer Retention & Loyalty solutions.

Just behind were Multichannel, Shopping Cart and Chatbot solutions.

% of delegates at the eTailing Summit sourcing certain products & solutions (Top 10):

A/B Testing Solutions 

Shipping

Customer Retention & Loyalty 

Multichannel

Shopping Carts

Chatbots

Delivery options

eCommerce Cloud Solutions

Personalisation 

Conversion Rate Optimisation 

To find out more about the eTailing Summit, which takes place on July 5th visit https://etailingsummit.co.uk.

Poetic study on ‘atmospheres’ reveals how consumers respond differently to retail spaces and marketing tactics

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Retailers must create ‘atmospheres’ that persuade consumers to spend time and money in their commercial spaces, but in doing so may make some customers feel welcome and others unwelcome – possibly even experiencing negative emotions such as shame, fear and disgust, a new study reveals.

Researchers from the Universities of Birmingham and Edinburgh, and ESCP Business School, in London, theorize how individuals’ responses to ‘affective atmospheres’ depends on their personal circumstances, mood, time of visit and who they experience it with.

The experts visited highly atmospheric neo-Pentecostal services and Afro-Brazilian religious ceremonies in Brazil and collected ethnographic data in the field. The researchers created three poems which could help marketers better understand how consumers react to marketing and retailing tactics, noting how responses can be negative despite marketers’ efforts.

Published in Marketing Theory, the study elaborates on how personal experiences interweave with cultural and socio-political factors to make consumers feel a certain way. The study uses poetry to apply personal experience to theories of how individuals register ‘affective atmospheres’ that envelop and yet do not belong to them.

Study author, Dr Pilar Rojas-Gaviria, Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Birmingham, comments: “In recent years, we have been immersed in complex and challenging affective atmospheres. For instance, Covid-19 presented us with many potent affective atmospheres which make us feel certain emotions: anxiety, fear, guilt, loneliness. However, while it is possible to talk of the atmosphere of a pandemic, it is clear that we do not all feel the same way and that we are all affected differently; it is not ‘the great leveller’ which some suggested.

“Creating powerful poetry helped us to understand the impact of affective atmospheres on consumers’ experiences. We must acknowledge that consumption involves a myriad of complex emotions that meld both pleasure and pain. These emotions hold meaning in our path to achieve more inclusive and fairer experiences in times of distress such as global pandemics or economic crisis.”

Study author Dr Chloe Preece, Associate Professor at ESCP Business School in London comments: “This consideration of how we land in given atmospheres opens up new thinking about nebulous and unpleasant emotions. Consumer research tends to glorify extraordinary experiences, yet consumption is not only about purchase satisfaction and mood boosts. In fact, one could argue, most consumption, not least the weekly grocery shop, can be boring and unpleasant. And now facing the weight of inflation and the possibility of an economic recession, fear and distress are sadly an important part of these banal atmospheres.”

Study author Dr Victoria Rodner, Marketing Lecturer at Edinburgh University comments: “We found that what can be pleasurable experiences for some, can be deeply unpleasant for others. This can help marketers understand how the atmospherics of retail and service spaces shape the consumer experience.”

Poetry in marketing has proven to be an effective research method to challenge conventional thinking and was the chosen method in this study.

The study shows that rather than enveloping consumers uniformly, consumers land in atmospheres in a much more nuanced way than current theories account for – due to people’s backgrounds, experiences and socio-economic status.

Marketers, therefore, need more flexible understandings of how consumers land in the atmospheres curated by retailers. Consumer research has tended to glorify extraordinary experiences, but the researchers argue there is also a need to consider more mundane experiences. Examining how consumers react to atmospheres can also demonstrate how certain products and services are created in the marketplace.

Learn from the best at the eTailing Summit in July

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The final seminar lineup at the upcoming eTailing Summit has been confirmed, with industry thought leaders ready to share their latest insights with you on July 5th – register today for free to secure your place!

In addition to seminar access, your pass includes a corporate ‘speed-dating’ itinerary of one-to-one meetings with new innovative and budget-saving solution providers, plentiful networking opportunities, plus lunch and refreshments throughout.

The seminar line-up in full:-

“I can steal your sh1t!”

If you dare to join my audience, I will steal your information in front of you – then I will point you in the right direction to do something about it.

• Could you stop a Mind Reader from stealing your passwords?
• Stopping online scammers and fraudsters quickly and easily!
• Your tech may be secure, but are your people? In our growing online world you need both!
• The public speaker that will steal your sh1t!
• The more we go online, the more robust your people need to be!

Presented by: Paul Newton, Owner, MentalTheft

………………………………………………………………….

“The next generation: ethics and responsibility in the age of smart payments”

Drawing on her experience as a financial campaigner, Alice discusses the changing and merging landscapes of social media, e-commerce and payments with an emphasis on the changing demands of Gen Z and Millennials

– Blurring boundaries
– The demands of Gen Z and Millennials
– Smooth payments vs safe payments
– Buy Now Pay Later
– How to do it right

Presented by: Alice Tapper, Campaigner, Author and Founder, Go Fund Yourself / #regulateBuyNowPayLater

………………………………………………………………….

“How to leverage social media to gain trust”

Distrust is now society’s default emotion, and the biggest threat to marketers and business leaders. As a small company trying to win, or a big company fighting for relevance, you should be focused on winning the trust of your customers, employees, and shareholders. My advice? Start with social media.

Presented by: Duarte Garrido, Global Head of Social Media, Coca-Cola HBC

Tuesday 5th July

Hilton London Canary Wharf

Click here to claim your fully complimentary pass to this July’s eTailing Summit.

Among the companies already registered to attend are:-

1855 The Bottle Shop Pte Ltd
Baby Mori
Ceva Animal Health
FaceGym
Harrods
HUX London
Odysea Limited
Odysea Limited
Revlon
The Hut Group (THG)
Thought Fashion
Victoria Beckham

If you have any questions about the eTailing Summit, please contact Liam Cloona on 01992 374089 / l.cloona@forumevents.co.uk.

Do you specialise in Affiliate Marketing or Payments Processing? We want to hear from you!

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Each month on eCommerce & Payments Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on different parts of the market – and in June we’ll be focussing on Affiliate Marketing and Payments Processing.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help eCommerce management buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re an Affiliate Marketing or Payments Processing specialist and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Liam Cloona on l.cloona@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our features list in full:

Jun – Affiliate Marketing / Payments Processor
July – Email Marketing / Payment Service Provider
Aug – Google Shopping / Chargeback Systems
Sep – Personalisation / Artificial Intelligence
Oct – PPC / Account Issuing & Merchant
Nov – SEO / Payment Solution Software
Dec – Customer Experience / IT Security

For more information on any of the above, contact Liam Cloona on l.cloona@forumevents.co.uk.

37% of transport and warehousing companies up their rates as costs rise

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The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) Business Insights report shows transport and storage companies were forced to pass on higher costs to their customers in April – and the home delivery specialist ParcelHero warns this will raise retail prices and the cost of home deliveries.

ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., said: “It’s not only households that are facing steep rises in costs. Transport, logistics and warehousing companies have also faced significant increases in the cost of energy and materials, and many are being forced to pass these on to their own customers.

“In all, 37.3% of transport, distribution and warehousing companies reported they were increasing their rates in April. That’s because 56% of companies in this sector faced significant rises in costs during March.

Jinks says it is obviously shoppers who will pay the price for rising supply chain costs, and they will end up spending more for food and goods in the next months. With that in mind, he adds that both consumers and retailers might be heartened to learn that 25.3% of transport, delivery and warehousing companies said they planned to keep on absorbing increased costs themselves, rather than pass them on, or even reduce costs.

“This underscores the fact that transport and storage sector companies are by no means the worst offenders when it comes to quickly passing on costs,” said Jinks. “A sizeable 45.1% of accommodation & food services companies and 42.6% of construction companies said they were increasing the price of their goods and services in April.

“The impact of the rise in costs does not end there. A total of 17.5% of transport and warehousing companies said their turnover decreased in March. However, problems for some companies were opportunities for others in the sector and 15.1% actually reported increased turnover during the month.”

Jinks says there was also some good news for employees in the transport and warehousing sector: The ONS’ latest business wave report says that, even though costs for companies were rising fast, none of the businesses said they were planning redundancies, and only 4.2% planned any significant decrease to staff working hours.

“Many haulage and courier companies operate on relatively low margins, so the sector has little protection or wiggle room against increases in fuel and equipment costs,” said Jinks.

To find out more about how logistics companies and their partner retailers are innovating to reduce costs and maximise the potential of technology,  see ParcelHero’s study on ‘Dark Stores’ and the High Street of the future at: https://www.parcelhero.com/research/shop-of-the-future