Follow the Smart Ghost Car

Jaguar Land Rover are developing a couple of clever/smart driver aides:

  • ’360 Virtual Urban Windscreen’
  • ‘Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation’

The windscreen expansion is achieved by having screens in the pillars linked to outward facing cameras.

The Ghost car navigation works on the premise thast we all like to follow rather than lead by projecting a ghost car & instructions onto the screen.

Their video gives the best portrayal of these two aides.

Iconic Peek Vision Agogo

Peek Vision are going from strength to strength.  This clever group, lead by ophthalmologists, have developed the portable eye examination kit (Peek) which, with the use of an adapter that can convert a smartphone into a piece of equipment that gives high quality images of the back of the eye and the retina. This can help to diagnose cataracts, glaucoma and many other eye diseases, which are ready for treatment.

Not only have they just won the 2014 Icon Award in the Socially Responsible Design of the Year category  but it looks as if they are on their way to raising their target of £70,000 over at the crowd funding Indiegogo platform  where, as we post, they stand at nearly £53,000.

“This campaign will help us to set up the industrial design and manufacturing process so that we can produce Peek Retina at scale. To create precision tooling will cost in the region of £40,000. The overall cost of set up will be around £150,000. Costs will be finalised once the initial industrial design phase is complete. There will then be a unit cost for each individual adapter produced.We are working with Wideblue  a leading manufacturing consultancy, and specialists in innovative optical engineering who will design and build Peek Retina with us.Peek received an award from and Mazda and we are putting this towards the set up costs.”

The “perks” you can receive in return for your funding include:

    • Digital Wallpaper for you desktop, phone tablet or whatever for £10
    • One of their adapters (which should fit most smartphones they reckon) for £60 (Eu only). Estimated availability October 2015.
    • A large distributor pack (this includes 100 adapters) which will help you get your distribution chain up & running for £5,000.

We’ll leave you with their video

Keep an “I” on our Week, Small Business Saturday edition

Our articles this week inevitably concentrsted on the spendfest both here & over there!

Whilst we have been out & about supporting our local retailers today we would remind everyone thst the campaign goes on beyond December 6 & of course encourages online activities as well as those uinvolving bricks mortar stalls and canpoies as well!

Small Business Saturday UK is well worth a visit, and we encourage you to download their Digital Pack.

We’ll leave you with their presentation:

Did the UK Spend 2/3 as much as the US online on Black Friday?

With bonanza figures appearing on both sides of the Atlantic it appears that it could be the case.

comScore have already released their desktop E-commerce spend figures for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday and they show increases of 25.6% and 17.5% over last year.

The M-commerce (smartphone & tablet) figures are still to come from comScore but we previously estimated they would reach $400 million this year which at an increase over last year of some 29% may be conservative!

Over here Giles Longhurst, general manager consumer insight at Experian, said: “Black Friday exceeded expectations for retailers, seeing a record breaking 180m website visits and an approximate £810m spent online in a 24 hour period.

This 60pc year-on-year increase in visit numbers to retail websites clearly shows that both British shoppers and British retailers have fully embraced the Black Friday trend. With such a massive amount of money and time being spent online, shoppers have really begun the Christmas retail season with a bang.”

Quite so!

So doing a little arithmetic we reckon the US Black Friday figure including our estimated M-commerce spend ($400) comes in at $1,905.

The UK figure of £810 at an exchange rate of $1.567 = £1 comes out at $1.27 billion which our calculator reckons represents 66.66% of the US figure.

To get another perspective on this if we look at the Office for National Statistics figures (non seasonally adjusted). The WEEKLY December 2013 figure was estimated to be £960.2 million. We calculate that the average increase this year through October is around 12% so if December also increases at this rate we could be looking at a figure of £1.1 billion or $1.7 billion or just under $0.25 a day.

This would, sort of, indicate that Black Friday was 5X the average daily figure. Hmmmmmmmmmm

Lies, damned lies & ……………. Comes to mind.

Subjectively we think the ONS figures are under scoped but possibly not to the extent being indicated

Happy Cyber Monday & Some Spendfest Perspectives

Well it’s here!

Estimates around the £650 million mark for UK online sales today come from Experian but we are somewhat sceptical. Apparently Black Friday may have reached £600 million.

Amazon have released some item sales figures which show an increase of 37.5% year-on-year on Black Friday (even their UK press release comes from Luxembourg!). Their best sellers “…have included the Kindle Fire HDX 7” range with £100 off selected models, as well as the Dolce Gusto Mini Me Coffee Capsule Machine, Toy Story Ultimate Action Buzz Lightyear, diamond jewellery and men’s watches.”

IBM have published their Thanksgiving & Black Friday report (pdf) about what happened over there.

One difference between the UK & the US is the increase between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Using comScores figures over the last nine years through 2013 shows an average increase of Monday vs Friday of just under 50% whereas using Amazon UK’s unit figures only shows a marginal difference of some 2.5% last year. The 2 days though both here & over there we think are the most popular online shopping days in the year although Experian thinks that Manic Monday (Decmber 8 ) over here may be the most hectic day of all!


Black Friday Live

IBM – ExperienceOne Benchmark


Thanks for giving us Black Friday

It is increasingly a Black Friday over here tomorrow and the Centre for Retail Research has told us thsat they are forecasting online UK sales of £363 million tomorrow. In the USA the situation is covered  particularly well by comScore to whom we are indebted for the majority of our figures.

Historically online desktop information has been prevalent and we’re staying with this for our basic forecast.

As mobile purchases become increasingly significant we have also done an estimate on this front.

Our forecasts owe much to comScores seasons overview on likely increases.

Elsewhere Visa reckoned that UK purchases on their cards could run at £6,000 a second tomorrow which on our calculator comes to about £518 million in a day. If they represented say a third of all purchases then a total of £1.6 billion might be spent. Allegedly one in four purchases is made online so that might amount to £400 million which is not a million miles away from the forecast we have been given.sounds too high to us! The US may reach $1.75 billion so on a per capita adjusted basis this just might be talking up to £200 million.

On any further discovery we will add to our UK stats.

Keep an “i” on our week – At the Races Edition

This week we produced our regular review of October’s Internet Retail Sales

October Internet Sales Decline and may be Flatlining

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) yesterday published the the monthly retail sales figures for October (pdf) Full details  are available on the ONS site.

Overall figures showed an increase in sales volumes of  0.8% (including fuel) on last month which according to Bloomberg was greater than its estimate of 0.3% obtained in a news survey of  23 economists. “Prices as measured by the retail-sales deflator fell an annual 1.5 percent in October, the biggest decline since 2002. Prices of auto fuel dropped 4.3 percent to the lowest level since 2010.”

The ONS on their preferred quarterly view noted continuing growth ” The three-month on three-month movement in the quantity bought showed continued growth for the twentieth consecutive month increasing by 0.4%. This was the longest period of sustained growth since November 2007 when there were 25 periods of consecutive growth..”

All the internet figures we quote are now the new seasonally adjusted statistics issued by the ONS. January 2014 was the one year in six when an extra week occurs statistically and we have annotated our headline graph to show an approximately comparable level of sales.

Our Internet sales headlines:

  • Internet sales fell back again this month (0.6%) for the fifth time this year.
  • The seasonally adjusted figures start from 2008 and in the 6 previous years a maximum of 3 monthly falls occurred in each of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
  • This is the seventh consecutive month when internet sales have been above 11%.
  • The Non Store Retailing sector which includes the likes of Amazon and other wholly online retailers seems to be levelling out rather than showing an increase and since its peak in May at over £360 million per week seems to be stuck in a range of between £352 – £357 million.
  • Internet food sales continue at close to their all time high again this month at 3.8% of all food sales. and reached  over £112 million for the second consecutive month.
  • For every £1 spent in the online retail sector 49 pence was spent on non-store retailing 36 pence in non food stores and 15 pence in food stores!
  • We do think the ONS needs to do more analysis of internet sales as already half are effectively categorised as sales by online retailers virtually irrespective of the underlying goods or services! These average YoY growth figures of over 20% but now show signs of  the beginning of negative growth.

October and year to date stats for internet sales:

  • Months sales 11.2% (11.3% last month 10.7 % a year ago) of all retail sales
  • Monthly year on year increase of 7.5% (9.2% last month 18.5% a year ago)
  • Year to date increase on 2013 is 12.1% (12.6% last month)
  • Moving Annual total increases (1) on September 2014 annualised +5.6% (2) on October 2013 +14.4%
  • The UK’s *largest online retailer is included in the group Non-store retailing and this sector shows growth of 9.2% on 2013 this month and accounts for nearly 50% of all online retail sales. This is an area which SHOULD just grow & grow unless further analysis is undertaken of this channel!

The ONS words this month are:

Key points

The proportion of sales made online fell by 0.1% to account for 11.2% of all sales in October 2014. Online sales increased by 7.5% compared with October 2013, this was the lowest year-on-year increase since November 2012 (6.9%).

Internet Sales in Detail

Seasonally adjusted Internet sales data are provided within this release. These seasonally adjusted estimates are published in the RSI internet tables and include:

  • a seasonally adjusted value index, and
  • year-on-year and month-on-month growth rates.

Internet sales are estimates of how much was spent online through retailers across all store types in Great Britain. The reference year is 2011=100.

Key Points:

Average weekly spending online in October 2014 was £719.6 million. This was an increase of 7.5% compared with October 2013. This is the lowest year-on-year increase since November 2012 when it was 6.9%.

  • The amount spent online accounted for 11.2% of all retail spending excluding automotive fuel, compared with 10.7% in October 2013.
  • The online spend in other stores decreased by 18.2% compared with October 2013. This is the lowest year-on-year spend in this store type since December 2011 when it fell by 20.5%.

Table 4 shows the year-on-year growth rates for total Internet sales by sector and the proportion of sales made online in each retail sector.

Internet Sales

Table 4: Summary of Internet Statistics for October 2014 (seasonally adjusted)

We have added our annotations to the ONS table – The bold categories/ figures in the table are the primary constituents of the total (ie (a) + (b) + (c) = All retailing). Dept. stores, Textile etc, Household etc and Other stores are simply an analysis of (b) All non-food.

We have also added the weekly Internet sales figures by sector and the proportion they represent of all online sales.

Sector summary

The non-store retailing sector comprises of stalls and markets, mail order and those retailers that sell mainly online.

+ Whilst the ONS will not confirm the names of specific retailers within categories they did say that retailers selling wholly online with no physical outlets would be included in the Non store retailing category along with eg online  mail order retailers.

Click to enlarge

The moving annual total, which we report, moved up again (it has increased EVERY MONTH since January 2009  to an all time high of £37.4 billion an increase in the month  of  0.5% annualised 5.6%. The average this year is 14%. The long term compound average growth rate is around 15%.

Click to enlarge

The published weekly figure was £719.6 million which was well below our expectations but we only just fell short of  the moving annual total which  came out £0.1 billion below our estimate.

The average monthly increase this year is now about 0.5% but has been negative in 3 out of the last 4 months. We are optimistically looking for a seasonal recovery above average an increase of around 0.75%  next month so we’re  going for £725 million in November and a moving annual total of about £37.7 billion.

We have again included our experimental graph (e & o e!) showing the relative internet and non-internet, moving annual total, sales from late 2009 by month. As before it highlights that high street sales have been and continue to go nowhere! As, we have mentioned before, the Boston Consulting Group forecast  in their report (The $4.2 Trillion opportunity) that this trend is likely to continue with the high streets market share contracting at around 2.75% a year from 2010 through 2016. Due to the exceptional 5 week month in Jan 2014 there is a 6 yearly jump to allow for the 53rd week!

Further details and explanations are either in the ONS release on the statistics or on their website. As previously mentioned a retail convention of a 4, 4, 5 week quarter is used by the ONS (March June September and December are 5 week months). To cater for the inconvenience of years not having 364 days every 6 years or so an extra week is included in the statistics. The ONS adds this in January which happened this year the previous one being in 2008.

Keep an “i” on our week, Blooming Early Winter edition

We had our regular monthly article on retail sales which shows them returning to all time highs again in September.

Our favourite violinist Lindsey Stirling released another of her impressive videos (Round Table Rival)a couple of weeks ago which we will leave you with:Incidentally her tour comes to the UK this week in London then Manchester.