There’s retail…and then there’s retail done right

If there’s anyone who’s taken over the retail world by storm – reflecting the colossal potential that can unfold in the global FMCG arena – its internet of things giant, Alibaba. Having recently announced its target to hit a gross merchandise volume of $1tr by 2020, the online goods guru credits its success so far to a ‘New Retail’ business model, one that sees the merger of physical and digital commerce, with the ultimate digitisation of retail operations at its core.  In a world where we continually hear about the death of the high street (yawn) and bricks and mortar retailers losing out to expanding e-commerce giants, Ubamarket is a firm fan. Our existence is proof of this! The fundamentals of a premium-hybrid experience lies in the fibres of our founding DNA. Our premise revolves around the convergence of the two channels rather than the replacement of one with the other; a mantra many a times spoken..but nailed by only a few -hence our overt appreciation and metaphoric clapping for pioneers Alibaba. I mean it takes one to know one.

The truth is, consumers still like to shop in-store, and this doesn’t just apply to older generations who grew up in a world without online shopping. A study by IBM and the National Retail Federation reveals 98% of generation Z consumers shop in store, with over two thirds (67%) stating offline is their default shopping method. Even Amazon – which now accounts for 37% of online spend – understands the value of physical shops as it prepares to expand its Amazon Go stores following its multi-billion dollar acquisition of Whole Foods.

The shift from physical to digital shopping is not a linear, one-dimensional trend; it is a dynamic evolution of multiple facets, all encompassing the digitisation/appification and many other “ations” of the entire shopping experience. We’re really looking forward to updating you on how the masters of retail at Ubamarket Towers are NAILING the formula, so stay tuned for our next launch in early October, packed with more experience enhancing features that sit in the palm of your hand AND the tips of your fingers!

Science and Data to Solve Food Waste

Tackling the nation’s food waste challenge is high on the list of priorities for the team at Ubamarket HQ, we’ve built a selection of nifty features to ensure your double-ups and repeat purchases are kept to an absolute minimum. The Independent revealed this week how the UK’s supermarkets are using particle physics! to help solve the problem: The world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider. Morrisons is using it to make much more accurate predictions about exactly what stock it needs, and drastically reduce the amount of food that is thrown into landfill.

By using a clever algorithm, billions of pieces of data on past shopping transactions and stock levels, along with other information such as live weather forecasts, are fed into the system, which then makes around 16 million decisions every day for Morrisons. It gives shop managers the exact probability of how much of each of the tens of thousands of individual products will be sold on a given day. The algorithm then learns as more data is gathered each day – read on here:

Ubamarket’s technology enables retailers to swat-up on behavioural insights of shoppers in store that are only available through the app. In early October, we’re going to be releasing a report that unveils exactly what these data insights are, including where and when our basket size doubles, to the aisle that turns us off the most. Stay tuned for more on this, and our exciting launch that’s around the corner!  

Small is Mighty – We Attend the Launch of ACS Local Shop Report 2017

This week, Ubarmarket Founder Will Broome attended the launch of the ACS Local Shop Report 2017. And what a day it was! Providing a comprehensive overview of what the UK’s convenience stores really mean to Britain’s retail landscape, the dominating outcome was small is most definitely mighty. The day’s panel discussions and research insights looked at the convenience stores trading in the UK, the staff that work in those stores and the customers they serve, contextualising the invaluable role the small shop plays towards society and the wider economy. The statistics were enlightening and are neatly pulled together in this short video:

Key findings from the day include that there are now just over 370,000 jobs in the convenience sector and 49,918 convenience stores in mainland UK, 74% of which are run by independent retailers.

Further stats include:

  • Sales have risen by £500m in the past year to £38bn – which makes this sector of the economy comparable in scale to other large UK sectors like recruitment, defence, and oil & gas
  • 20% of independent convenience store owners work more than 70 hours a week, while 19% take no holiday throughout the year
  • Convenience store retailers have invested over £858m in the last year on improving their stores, extending the range of services available to customers and making their businesses more efficient

Panel guests from across the nation attended the day’s events, with one of the key outcomes being that Intense competition & rising sales show that convenience stores have never been more relevant to both society and the progression of our retail economy. The full report can be found here:

Ubamarket has always been a long-standing supporter of the UK convenience store, basing some of our founding principles on the convenience model – Wednesday’s insights have fuelled our support even further and we look forward working with small shops across the nation!