Today’s Clear Digital Digest looks at some recent stories regarding Pret A Manger and Amazon, reviews today’s new ONS retail data and learns how the data revolution is transforming the world of cricket.
PRET A MANGER: ALL YOU CAN DRINK
AMAZON’S PROFITABILITY: INCREASINGLY DRIVEN BY ITS ADVERTISING
Well worth a read is this fascinating article about Amazon and its profitability, courtesy of Ben Evans.
RELEASED TODAY: ONS RETAIL SALES UPDATE FOR AUGUST
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have today released their latest retail sales figures for August. We reviewed July’s data in a Digital Digest last month, so here’s a quick update, one month on…
When my subscription copy dropped through my letterbox this week, I was surprised to see The Cricketer magazine (now in its centenary year) highlighting “The Data Decade” on its front page.
With the relevant articles exploring how increasing use of digitised data has fundamentally changed recent cricket coverage and some future predictions on how this may evolve, it’s a timely reminder than even such a traditional pastime as cricket is experiencing unprecedented change with its own digital/data revolution.
But this also demonstrates that there is still a place for more traditional media…yes I do still read some print magazines as well…
Today’s Clear Digital Digest round-up looks at:
OCADO LAUNCHES WITH MARKS & SPENCER: PERCY PIGS FOR ALL (WELL, SOME…)
Ocado launched their much publicised partnership with Marks & Spencer on Tuesday (Percy Pig branded vans et al) and with such a highly anticipated launch, perhaps unsurprisingly there were teething troubles as some disgruntled customers were not happy that their day one orders were cancelled. Those of us who have been around the block won’t be surprised that there were one or two problems with a new service launch, and time will tell how short-term or significant these issues were.
However, Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner was perhaps bullishly tempting fate the weekend before when he told the Sunday Times: “They [Waitrose] have done an advert saying ‘we’ll take it from here’ or something. Well, they can’t take it from here because they don’t have the technology, the infrastructure or the systems.”
“Taking it from here” referred to the fact that previous Ocado partners Waitrose were already running their own parallel Waitrose.com delivery service, generally despatched from local Waitrose stores rather than Ocado’s regional distribution hubs. Waitrose also recently announced plans for a 12 week trial with Deliveroo, joining brands such as Morrisons and the Co-Op already on the platform in selected locations.
Sainsburys also continue to expand and promote their similar new ChopChop service, as the choice and variety of grocery home delivery options expands to keep up with this year’s step change in customer demand.
VINTAGE/USED ITEMS CONTINUE TO DRIVE SALES ON EBAY AND DISCOGS
There were two updates from key marketplaces this week, both showing the increasing appetite for vintage/second hand items, a trend we explored in much more depth in our recent deep dive on “The UK Marketplace Sector – And The Role Of Community”.
eBay UK have stated that sales of used goods jumped 30% between March and June this year leading to an overall 10% rise in the first half of 2020 compared with last year. Secondhand and vintage fashion is by far their biggest category, but sales of secondhand chairs, sofas and TVs also shot up by 41%, 30% and 17% respectively during June and July compared with February and March.
Music community Discogs (the 10th most visited marketplace in the UK) have also released their mid-year report this week. In the first six months of 2020, 4.3m orders were placed globally through the Discogs marketplace (+30% year on year) for a total of 7.7m items (+34% YOY). Vinyl records remain by far the largest sellers for Discogs, with 5.8m sold (+34% YOY) although CD sales also grew by a similar amount, with 31% YOY growth for the 1.7m sold.
As the chart above shows, Discogs sales growth really accelerated as lockdown fully kicked in around the world, although January and February were already showing healthy sales growth. This is in line with more recent trends for Discogs, who sold a total of 14.6m records in 2019, growing by 34% on 2018. We explored the Discogs marketplace – and the community that underpins it – in more detail in our recent deep dive “Discogs: The Digital Success Story Of The Vinyl Revival”.
NETFLIX TRIALS FREEMIUM
Netflix this week revealed plans to offer some of its original movies and shows to non-subscribers. Free films available include Bird Box and The Two Popes, while original series include Stranger Things and Our Planet. The real hook to this new initiative is the fact that it’s only the first episode of each show that is available, although Netflix newbies can still get a month’s free trial to then continue watching.
This type of freemium model seems to make perfect sense for a lower risk trial for anyone that hasn’t yet succumbed to Netflix’s charms; as we reported last month, 43% of UK households currently subscribe to Netflix, ahead of Amazon Prime Video’s 35%. A full list of “free” Netflix shows and movies is available here.
In a week when the future of another certain Argentinian footballing genius remains up in the air, this tweet raised a chuckle (and makes perfect sense with the final touch)…
Lead blogger and founder of Clear Digital: talking about ecommerce, digital, marketing and media.