A selection of newsworthy and noteworthy stories from the industry covering everything from M&S’ Sparks loyalty scheme, Collabs by Shopify, H&M’s aggressive marketplace strategy, Meta’s Threads and the potential impact of Temu’s UK launch.

M&S launches members’ prices for Sparks loyalty scheme

Following in the footsteps of Tesco and other major retailers, M&S are trialling reduced prices for customers who have joined their Sparks loyalty programme.

Source: Retail Week

UBQ Comment:

As the cost of living crisis shows no immediate sign of abating, consumers are continually searching for value. While this trial will only be running for a fortnight, with increased pressure from discount retailers, don’t be surprised to see this as a permanent initiative at M&S.

We have long been champions of this approach and find it hard to believe that it has taken the UK so much time to embrace it. In Italy, this has been a widely adopted strategy for over 15 years, with successful implementation by renowned retailers like Esselunga.

Introducing ‘Collabs’ by Shopify: Uniting UK brands and creators in an innovative new service.

Shopify Collabs has been launched in the UK by the leading ecommerce platform, Shopify. This exciting new service aims to empower creators by allowing them to monetise their social media channels, while also providing brands with a fresh and effective sales and marketing opportunity.

Source: Shopify

UBQ Comment: With hundreds of thousands of users already enjoying its benefits in the US, this service presents a great opportunity for creators to monetise their platforms and for brands to tap into new customer bases. Shopify looks to be on to a winner with this initiative.

H&M entices a larger customer base through the expansion of their third-party brand collection

In order to combat increasing online competition, H&M is enhancing its third-party offerings both online and in stores, aiming to attract a larger customer base.

The fashion retailer’s parent company had already unveiled plans for its marketplace last year, with the intention of rivaling popular brands like Asos, Zara, and Shein. Since then, they have incorporated 70 additional brands into their platform, expanding across six different markets.

Source: Internet Retailing

UBQ Comment: H&M is taking advantage of growth through an aggressive marketplace strategy. UBQ has recently launched its own marketplace strategy assessment to reflect this growing industry.

Why Meta has released Threads

As Elon Musk has been preparing for his rumored showdown with Mark Zuckerberg, Meta’s CEO delivered a surprise blow this week by unveiling Threads, the company’s formidable contender to Twitter.

Source: The Economist

UBQ Comment: With many motives behind the launch of a Twitter competitor, one significant factor is the abundance of text data present on platforms like Twitter and Reddit, which can be utilized to train AI models.

Meta’s intention is to establish its own repository of text-based data by utilizing this new app to train its models. Despite other startups’ failed attempts to fill the void left by Twitter’s issues, Meta should be optimistic about the success of Threads.

Will Threads replicate the past mistakes of Meta, like Facebook Dating and gaming initiatives, or will it reach the same level of success as Instagram Stories and Reels, soaring to new heights?

What will be the impact of Temu’s highly anticipated launch in the UK?

Ever since its debut in September 2022, Temu, a US-based shopping app, has swiftly claimed the title of the most sought-after shopping platform in the United States, amassing a staggering 19 million downloads in the first quarter alone.

Will Temu, often referred to as the “TikTok of commerce,” enjoy the same level of popularity here in the UK?

Source: Charged Retail

UBQ Comment:

Contrary to its main competitor Shein, which was ranked as the sixth most popular online fashion retailer in the UK in 2021, Temu distinguishes itself as an Amazon-style marketplace that primarily sources its products from Chinese suppliers.

What makes Temu truly unique is its diverse range of offerings, going beyond just clothing to include exciting products like electric milk frothers and bunion correctors, all prominently featured on its homepage.

With an abundance of flash deals and generous discounts, free delivery and returns on all orders, without any minimum spending requirements, Temu could seriously impact Amazon’s market dominance.e Facebook Dating and gaming initiatives, or will it reach the same level of success as Instagram Stories and Reels, soaring to new heights?

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