It was a week full of battles; Spotify hit back at Apple following the release of their Apple Music, stating that it now has 75 billion users, Jawbone sued FitBit for apparent patent infringement, and Apple announced that it was going to introduce an ad blocking system that would potentially affect several media companies such as Google and Microsoft.
In addition to this, the launch of Apple Pay in the UK has been announced to take place next month – though it’s been up and running in the UK over nine months now. Waitrose is among UK retailers signed up to offer its customers the option to use the mobile payments system, and high street banks such as Santander, HSBC and NatWest have also signed up.
Facebook has just begun a rollout of ‘Place Tips’ for free to businesses. The ‘Place Tips’, sent to companies upon request, take the form of Bluetooth beacon devices which can detect when a Facebook user is within a set distance, meaning they are able to target them with content. Facebook has been conducting a trial of Place Tips in New York City since the start of the year, where more than 100 businesses have taken part.
Data from OC&C Strategy Consultants, PayPal and Google, has suggested that online sales in the UK, US, Germany and China will grow by £320billion to £645billion between now and 2018. It is predicted that this growth will be driven by the increasing power of smartphones, and greater investment in digital operations by retailers. The trend is expected to benefit British firms in particular, with UK brands being the most popular among German shoppers, and the second most popular in the US and China.
Marks & Spencer has announced that is contemplating introducing a card based loyalty programme for its customers. The loyalty card would potentially be named ‘Sparks’ and would reward food and clothing customers with exclusive benefits and personalised offers rather than awarding points for every pound spent.