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We make it easy for you to keep up to date with what's happening in the world of retail. Check out what we are reading this month and why.


Retailers grapple with e-commerce’s drag on profits: report

Pure-play e-retailers are twice as likely as brick-and-mortar retailers to report that they’re unprofitable (44% versus 20%) and are nearly twice as likely to say they are struggling to make the investments necessary to improve profitability (69% versus 39%), according to a survey of global retail leaders conducted by Ipsos for Publicis Sapient and Salesforce.


How Apple's entry into buy now, pay later could impact the competition

Apple is officially launching Apple Pay Later as part of the iOS 16 Apple Wallet update. The Apple Pay Later model is similar to existing services such as Afterpay and Klarna which have been credited with helping brands grow significantly. Key players have scaled back or experienced a slowdown in growth as the market becomes more saturated – it will be interesting to see how Apple’s entry will impact the market.


Taco Bell Defy

Brooklyn Park is now home to Taco Bell defy where they have re-imagined the typical drive-through experience. Previous one-window models are known to cause queues during busy lunch rushes as cars funnel through. This store however, has four drive-through lanes. Customers place their order at a kiosk and their order comes to them via a vertical lift system with the entire process only taking only 2 minutes.


First look at Amazon’s first ever physical store – Amazon Style

Dedicated to apparel and accessories – Amazon Style sells a range of brands from Calvin Klein to Levi’s as well as brands that have never been in a physical store before such as Amazon Essentials and Amazon Aware. This store seamlessly blends technology into the shopping experience with machine learning to help customers find clothes and personalize recommendations as well as QR codes so customers can find out what is currently on sale. Shoppers can use the Amazon Shopping App to scan items into a fitting room or send to the counter to purchase.


H&M tests smart mirrors at COS stores in a bid for a more personalized experience

Smart mirrors will be located in fitting rooms as well as on shop floors. These mirrors can identify customers’ products, including size and colour as well as provide personalised product styling recommendations. The smart mirrors on the sales floor enable virtual try-on and styling as well as new checkout, delivery and returns.


Could Zara’s decision to charge a fee for returns to drop-off points create a domino effect across the industry?

A McKinsey & Co study highlighted that identifying the root cause of returns as one of the first steps retailers must take to reduce returns. However other studies indicate that 7 in 10 retailers do not have a good understanding of the root cause of their returns.Retailers can’t (and shouldn’t) eliminate returns, but they can (and must) reduce them: improve internal processes to reduce the operational anomalies and errors that lead to preventable returns, and offer shoppers a best-in-class returns experience.A bold move or just what the industry needed?


A report details those Aussie retailers using biometric facial scanning on customer store entry

We aren’t entirely sure that Choice’s characterisation of the use of this technology is entirely accurate but check out who is using this technology to capture customers’ biometric data.


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