German Media Giant ProSiebenSat1 Buys E-commerce Marketer Kairion; Number of Retail Insolvencies in the UK on the Rise

RetailTechNews rounds up some of the biggest stories in the European retail technology space. In this week’s edition: German media giant ProSiebenSat1 buys e-commerce marketer Kairion; Number of retail insolvencies in the UK on the rise; and New functionalities to give QR codes a second wind.

E-commerce Marketer for ProSiebenSat1

German media group ProSiebenSat1 is strengthening its ad tech portfolio in the e-commerce segment. With the takeover of e-commerce marketer Kairion, the media group wants to raise its profile in the online retail area.  

Kairion is a Frankfurt-based e-commerce marketer, previously part of Cocomore. The company aggregates the advertising environments and data of online shops. Following the acquisition, Kairion will become part of ProSiebenSat1’s Advertising Platform Solutions, the ad tech arm of the media group.

Jens Mittnacht, Advertising Platform Solutions CEO, ProSiebenSat1, comments on the acquisition: “Kairion combines a target-group-specific approach with a high level of expertise in the area of data and, thus, offers not only high coverage for digital promotional offers, but also valuable target group insights, such as purchase intent data. Our addressable TV technology will also benefit from this, allowing us to now offer our advertising partners more control over their campaigns, which is even more targeted and, thus, more efficient. “

Kairion allows advertisers to directly extend their branding campaigns to online retailers by showing users advertising messages on the back of real-time targeting based on their buying interests.

The purchase price of Kairion has not been disclosed. 

Rising Number of Insolvencies in Retail Sector

According to Deloitte, the number of retailers having to go into administration increased from 92 in 2016 to 118 in 2017. The 28% increase is the first increase in five years. Particularly notable, according to Deloitte, is the number of insolvencies among large multi-site retailers with more than ten stores. Such administrations rose from 11 in 2016 to 17 in 2017.

“We have seen a significant increase in retail insolvencies in the last twelve months, including some well-known names. We see insolvencies in higher value categories, such as furniture, as a leading indicator that falling consumer confidence, and a drop in consumer spending, is starting to bite. This has implications for retail sub-sectors with a lower price point, which typically take longer to feel the impact of reduced consumer spending”, says Dan Butters, restructuring services partner at Deloitte.

“Successful retailers over the coming months are likely to be those that have already proactively addressed the cost challenges alongside focused pricing and sourcing strategies to maximise margins. We also expect online retailers to continue to thrive, driven by two factors: their clear cost advantage against traditional physical retailers and the continued use of sophisticated data analytics to target consumers directly.”

The largest number of retail administrations in 2017 were recorded in London (31), followed by the North West (26), and the South East (23). Across all industry sectors, including retail, the total number of administrations in England and Wales increased by 2%, from 1,110 companies in 2016 to 1,134 last year.

QR Coupons to Enjoy a New Boom

Retailers may look forward to getting more customers into their stores, thanks to a new boom in QR code coupons. According to an estimation by Juniper Research, 1.3 billion QR coded coupons were redeemed via mobile in 2017. Until 2022, this number is set to rise to 5.3 billion. 

The increase is driven by hardware manufacturers offering more and more devices with in-built QR functionality. Apple is pioneering the QR revolution, including QR code readers as part of the camera application on iPhone devices. Juniper estimates that over one billion mobile devices will access coupons through QR codes by 2022: “Apple’s addition of QR code reading facilities directly addresses a major barrier for use in Western markets. The lack of an in-built reader had been a hindrance, with consumers needing to download a separate QR code scanner app”, explains the study’s author, Lauren Foye.

Another development driving mobile usage in retail is the digitisation of offers on the back of new innovative technologies. For example, Juniper expects mobile-enabled loyalty cards to double, with nearly four billion cards set to be active by 2022, up from two billion in 2017. The use of chatbots and voice assistants will also drive increasing consumer loyalty, helping retailers and advertisers deliver offers and incentives to consumers or addressing customer queries.