Customer behaviour

Consumers increasingly accepting of human-mimicking robots in customer service

As Google Duplex inches closer to becoming a reality, new research by Aspect Software has revealed that over half of consumers (52 per cent) would be comfortable communicating with a customer service robot that closely mimics human behaviour over the phone. While this indicates a growing acceptance of customer service technology that is increasingly human-like, […]

Netflix boosts subscriber numbers to nearly 140 million

Netflix ended 2018 with more than 139 million paid subscribers, adding 8.8 million members in the three months to 31 December. The streaming giant said the growth reflected the success of its original programmes, such as Bird Box and Roma. Netflix-original material now represents the “vast majority” of its most popular shows, executives said. Television […]

No tears at online retailer Boohoo as sales rocket

Sales at Boohoo grew strongly in the last four months of 2018, in another sign that people are choosing online shopping over the High Street. The online fashion retailer, which also owns the PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal fashion labels, saw revenues in the four-month period jump 44% to £328.2m. It revised its revenue growth forecast […]

Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM)

Holiday makers hold on ‘Sunshine Saturday’ as they prepare for spring bookings

New research on holiday booking habits from Monetate reveals that despite ‘Sunshine Saturday’ (the first Saturday in January) supposedly being the busiest travel booking day of the year, most UK consumers are not ready to commit to a trip just yet this January. Whilst 21% of UK consumers will be purchasing holidays this month, over half (53%) look for trips at other times in the […]

Amazon and eBay evict sellers amid VAT crackdown

Thousands of overseas sellers have been evicted from online marketplaces in the UK such as Amazon and eBay owing to a tax crackdown. Businesses, mostly from China, sold items including British flags, phones and fake eyelashes but evaded VAT. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) sends notices to seven different online sales sites if it discovers […]

More credit unions falling but membership growing

Nine credit unions went bust last year, the highest number of collapses since 2010 when 10 went into default. It brings the total that have gone under in the past decade to 73. Despite this, the number of credit union members has risen by 250% over the same period and more than two million people […]

High street bellwether Next online festive season jump as stores suffer

Next has reported a sharp rise in online sales over the Christmas period, while trading at its stores declined. In a continuation of recent trends, its online sales rose 15.2% in the period from 28 October to 29 December compared with a year earlier. By contrast, sales at its stores fell 9.2%. Next said strong […]

Unwanted gift returns to soar on ‘takeback Wednesday’ says Royal Mail

The number of online purchases being returned daily will rise by 80% on Wednesday, according to Royal Mail. The first working day of the year is when most UK consumers will return unwanted and ill-fitting Christmas presents. The most commonly returned items are clothing (72%), electrical goods (42%) and PC software or hardware (33%). Royal […]

More bad news for the high street as poor weekend weather dents Xmas trade

Bad weather and the lure of online shopping saw consumers shun UK High Streets on one of the busiest days before Christmas. Retail experts Springboard estimate numbers were 9% lower on Saturday, compared with the same time last year. Including shopping centres and retail parks, footfall was 7.3% lower. It comes as retailers face a […]