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FORECAST European online retail sales will grow at a 12% compound annual growth rate over the next fi ve years, according to a new Forrester online retail forecast released in March that covers 17 European Union (EU) countries. It predicts this will amount to €171 billion (£142.5bn) in e- commerce sales by 2016. Martin Gill, Forrester analyst and author of the report, writes that European web buyers continue to look to the internet for convenience, value and choice – however some categories are growing faster in popularity than others. For instance, online grocery sales will top €9bn per year in the UK by 2016 – by far the highest volume of online grocery sales in Europe. Additionally, clothing will continue to be one of the strongest categories across the region, with growth rates well above the market average. Overall, the report said online

sales growth across Europe will continue to outpace offl ine sales in terms of percentage growth, though some distinct regional differences will persist. In Europe’s largest online markets – France, Germany, and the UK – online buying penetration is reaching mainstream levels.

These more mature Northern European markets will experience a slowdown in growth as online shopping hits saturation point and web sales grow to represent a signifi cant portion of overall retail sales — more than 14% in the UK by 2016. Immature but fast-evolving markets in Italy and Spain are predicted to remain the fastest growing. The EU forecast also points to the importance of mobile as a channel to bridge the gap between the online and offl ine worlds.




recognition and quick response (QR) code service through its instant mobile checkout Simply Tap.


The launch has been marked by a promotion with Thorntons using outdoor advertising. An image of an Easter egg appearing at several poster sites across central London allow Simply Tap users to try out the technology and buy one of a selection of Easter eggs for just 1 pence. Matt King, head of Thorntons

Direct, said: “Mobile payments have a signifi cant future within the Thorntons business. Buying chocolate has always been about a mix of excitement and impulse so the Simply Tap service lends itself well to this. It complements all of our existing sales channels and adds punch and measurable impact to any communication with customers.” To date, QR codes have been used

for information purposes, typically directing customers to websites. MMN is the fi rst to make them transactional. Users are able to download the application from either the Apple App Store or Android Market and complete a one-off registration

obile Money Network (MMN) recently launched a transactional image

◆ Global young people’s travel specialist STA Travel consolidated its entire UK card transaction processing business with direct-to-market merchant acquiring business First Data Merchant Solutions in late 2011, having previously used a combination of acquirers.

process. Consumers can then buy direct from retailers signed up to MMN without the need to fi ll in forms and share their personal details. MMN is backed by Carphone

Warehouse and Monitise and has Sir Stuart Rose, former Marks & Spencer chief executive as its non- executive chairman. Retailers already partnering with MMN and lined up to use the new technology include HMV, Goldsmiths, the Hut Group and Pretty Green as well as Thorntons and Carphone Warehouse.


Day Lewis Pharmacies, the UK’s largest independent pharmacy group, has selected TNSPay payment processing services to serve its Croydon head offi ce and 186 pharmacies throughout the South and South-East of England. For payments processing, the company formerly used standalone bank

terminals to process retail payments in their outlets. The business then turned to TNS for its TNSPay payment gateway. Integrated with Day Lewis’s point- of-sale system, the service also provides the company with more effective reporting and enhanced management information. Consolidating all card payments across the estate to a central processing service allows for easier reconciliation. Raymond Barclay, head of sales and marketing at Day Lewis, commented:

“The TNS team was able to provide us with a great deal of comfort around their ability to deliver a secure solution that would satisfy our PCI [Payment Card Industry] requirements. TNS’ reputation and record for service availability were also key contributing factors in our decision-making process.”

◆ Amscreen, the UK’s largest nationwide digital media network owner, has

announced a deal with Vodafone that will see the global mobile operator supply wireless connectivity across Amscreen’s European network. A Vodafone SIM card will be built into every digital sign in Amscreen’s extensive network giving universal and reliable access to a range of machine-to- machine (M2M) services.


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