Looking for a Personalized Shopping Experience in Coronavirus Times? 5 Online Retailers You Need to Know Now

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Everyone’s doing it — shopping online. As the pandemic continues to escalate, e-tailers will have access to more consumer dollars than ever before. However, brands and retailers that offer enhanced shopping experiences with free services such as personal stylists to fit specialists are likely to grab a bigger share of this burgeoning market.

While most sites attempt to make the buying process as seamless as possible by posting lengthy lists of frequently asked questions (FQA) and answers, others take shopping to the next level with live chats by online or by phone, with knowledgable customer service representatives.

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Meanwhile, some continue to lure shoppers with free shipping offers and liberal return policies. In one go-the-extra-mile example, Lands’ End noted a customer recently discovered an item purchased in 2000 that was misplaced during a move. The company took it back and

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Delivery giant to hire 10,500 amid UK online shopping surge

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Delivery giant Hermes says it will create 10,500 jobs in the UK after seeing a surge in demand from people shopping from home during lockdown.

This will include 1,500 full-time roles across its delivery network and head office, and 9,000 freelance couriers.

Hermes also said it would not accept any money from the government’s job retention bonus scheme, designed to help struggling firms.

It comes as a raft of companies make job cuts due to the pandemic.

Hermes boss Martijn de Lange said: “The pandemic has expedited the already phenomenal growth of online shopping and we see no sign of this changing.

“As a result, it is important that we have the right infrastructure and people in place to support this. This is good news for the many people who have sadly had their income affected and we are pleased to be able to support the UK economy with so

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Could this new virtual shopping service save John Lewis?

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Hannah Betts hits the (virtual shops) testing John Lewis's new online personal shopping service
Hannah Betts hits the (virtual shops) testing John Lewis’s new online personal shopping service

I am sitting in my flat in my pyjamas sipping tea while my two new best friends guide me through an Aladdin’s cave via Zoom. “The challenge we set ourselves,” beams one “was to build Hannah’s Dream World, full of your favourite clothes, accessories, make up, perfume, boyfriend styling and décor.”

Behold: an array of jewel-coloured satin dresses, the yellow handbag I have been searching for for years, and the cream lace bra I have been too housebound to seek out. All I have to do is click my fingers – or rather my laptop – and this cornucopia will be chauffeured over. As fantasies go, this is pretty much the dizzy height of them.

Four weeks after the British high-street re-opened, the world and his wife – in particular his wife – do not seem

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UK launches first zero-waste online grocery shopping service

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Loop is one of the most ambitious attempts yet to eliminate plastic waste from the household shop. Photo: Loop/PA
Loop is one of the most ambitious attempts yet to eliminate plastic waste from the household shop. Photo: Loop/PA

A zero-waste shopping service is launching to deliver groceries and household essentials in reusable packaging to homes across the UK.

Loop offers 150 products that usually come in single-use plastic packaging from 35 major brands, with more to be added in the future, that are delivered in fully reusable packaging which can be returned, cleaned and refilled through the scheme.

Customers ordering online from the Loop website are charged a deposit fee on each piece of refillable packaging which is fully refundable when the empty item is returned, and the products are then delivered by courier DPD in a reusable container.

Hailed as the “milkman reimagined,” customers can schedule a pick-up of their empty containers from the doorstep — which can be combined with the next delivery — to be cleaned

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Can shopping malls survive the coronavirus pandemic and a new slate of permanent store closings?

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Just when many shopping malls had finally figured out how to adapt to the era of digital retail, the coronavirus pandemic upended everything.

Having seen their recent move toward dining, entertainment, fitness and personal services come to a screeching halt – a pivot that was supposed to help them survive the Amazon age – malls throughout America are suddenly running out of time.

With J.C. Penney trying to avoid liquidation, smaller retailers closing or requesting rent relief, and venues like theaters still temporarily shut down due to COVID-19, anywhere from 1 in 4 malls to 1 in 2 could go out of business altogether, analysts projected.

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“The whole business model of a mall, which is about pulling in as many people as you can and getting them to stay for as long as you

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How Ocado went from understated British grocer to an $18.4 billion tech giant, as the coronavirus pandemic confirms the future of grocery shopping is online

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"Bots" are seen on the grid (or "The Hive") of Ocado's "smart platform" in Andover, Britain, on May 1, 2018.
“Bots” are seen on the grid (or “The Hive”) of Ocado’s “smart platform” in Andover, Britain, on May 1, 2018.

REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

  • As grocery stores worldwide experienced stockpiling, long lines, and health worries amid the coronavirus pandemic, millions of people turned to shopping online.

  • It has been a goldrush for the British company Ocado, an online-only grocery marketplace that also operates technology for supermarket giants worldwide.

  • Ocado was the best performing stock on the FTSE 100 in the second quarter of 2020, and, in May, Ocado raised over $1 billion to grow its services.

  • It is now betting big on its US expansion, hoping to convert Americans to grocery shopping online.

  • Huge challenges remain, though. Many Americans are still reluctant to buy food they can’t see in person, and some fear the current online pandemic-driven boom could prove a one-off.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus pandemic

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Buy now, pay whenever? Lockdown lift for online shopping loans

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By Nikhil Nainan

(Reuters) – Browsing online during lockdown, Jessica Friend spotted a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses she liked, but the price tag made the 30-year-old Ohio resident think twice.

What persuaded her to click ‘buy’, Friend said, was the short-term credit offered by Afterpay, which split the $260 payment into four interest-free instalments.

Afterpay is among a handful of alternative credit firms which offer small loans, mostly to online shoppers, and make their money by charging merchants a 4%-6% commission.

These buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) firms have benefited from a shift to online shopping during the coronavirus crisis in countries including the United States, where state aid has also boosted retail sales.

“I’m more inclined to use them because they make it easier to afford to get the things I want all at once … and when I want to splurge on something,” Friend said of the loans.

Some investors are

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