Dogs aside, what's been going on in ecommerce, then?
Iconic British retailers collapse
This week has seen the closure of two British retailing institutions, with a whopping 12,000 jobs in peril, as BHS and Austin Reed lock shop following failed rescue attempts.
Finding no buyer, BHS' closure marks "the biggest collapse in British retail since Woolworths closed its doors in 2008, and the latest sign of a brutal shake-out triggered by the insurgency of online rivals and an influx of more stylish budget fashion brands," reported the FT.
Austin Reed fell into administration last month, amid a "challenging" retail market and cashflow issues. However, its brands will live on having been bought by the owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill.
#GoogleSummit teases big changes to AdWords
Google has a “whole new vision for AdWords and Analytics” in a “mobile-first world”, following their recent Performance Summit, in which saw smartphones and mobile computing firmly on the agenda.
At the summit, Google announced several big changes to the AdWords platform, including new plans for expanded text ads, responsive display ads, adjustments to bid modifiers and the introduction of search ads in Google Maps.
Changes are expected to launch by the end of this year, or early next year, with Google teasing: “We encourage you to start planning for this upgrade before it rolls out later this year.”
Wish you were there? Watch the entire summit to get a detailed view of the new "upgrade" to AdWords:
Source: Practical Ecommerce
"Serial returners" are pushing up prices
"Reverse logistics" - fashion lingo for when brands have to cover postage when customers return items - is being blamed for pushing up prices in the UK retail industry.
So-called "serial returners" are putting a "massive" financial strain on brands, and are causing costs to rise, according to research carried out by Savvy Marketing.
Savvy found that 63% of women have returned an item of clothing in the past six months, compared to an average of 56% for all shoppers.
Free returns are a vital part of any online retailers' proposition, but brands argue that costs have to be recovered from somewhere.
This cost is expected to have risen considerably alongside a surge in smartphone usage, which has led to shoppers making more impulse purchases.
Online deliveries up 10% in April
Consumers are spending more online and shopping more frequently, with online deliveries increasing 10% year-on-year in April, according to an IMRG index.
The index also recorded a consistently high rate of delivery satisfaction as orders arrive on time. In April, 94.7% of orders were fulfilled in-line with shopper expectations.
Source: Essential Ecommerce
European ecommerce set to hit £380bn in 2016
Ecommerce in Europe was up 13.3% in 2015, compared to the year before, with indicators suggesting that sales are set to break the €500bn (£380.9bn) milestone this year.
Sales in 2016 are expected to grow by 12%.
Around 296m online shoppers, from 48 European countries, spent an average of €1,540 (£1,173) on the internet last year.
The report found that UK retailers took more than a third of all European online sales last year, with the top ten ecommerce countries in Europe accounting for 85% of all sales.
The UK leads the pack, with 34.5% of all sales, totaling €157.1bn (£119.7bn), or €3,625 (£2,761) per shopper.
The top three, the UK, France and Germany accounted for 61.9% of all European online turnover in 2015.