Agile Innovation Update – July 2015

Each month we bring you the FreshMinds Agile Innovation Update. This month we’re looking at the launch of Apple Pay, the future of the high street, further innovation in the delivery space and using crowdfunding to foster innovation.

Banks react as Apple Pay comes to the UK

After months of anticipation, Apple Pay has come to the UK. The service allows iPhone and Apple Watch owners to make payments by simply tapping their device against a contactless payment machine. The long awaited launch has been supported by many of the major retail banks, including HSBC, First Direct, Nationwide, Santander and Metro Bank. Interestingly, new research from Forrester suggests that many iPhone owners are still showing signs of initial scepticism towards Apple Pay: only 27% would trust Apple to provide a mobile digital wallet and are instead more likely to trust a bank (41%) or a credit card network (40%). In light of this, the decision made by many banks to support mobile payments provider Zapp as well as Apple Pay, looks to be a wise strategy. Zapp’s Pay by Bank app will enable users to make mobile payments from within their own bank’s banking app and will be available from October 2015.

Retailers need to adapt to keep their place on the British high street

According to FreshMinds’ new research, almost two thirds (63%) of consumers think that the high street has lost its appeal. The research, which sought to uncover what the high street will look like in 2025, uncovered strong discontent with the high street in its current form with almost half of consumers (46%) believing that big brands are responsible for ruining the high street. These figures may make alarming reading for some large retailers. But should they be worried? Whilst we are far from seeing the end of big retailers on the British high street, it’s clear that adapting and responding to consumers’ changing needs is essential. In our newly launched research report we highlight 5 strategies that big brands can take to do this.

Sony looks to crowdfunding to foster innovation

Sony has set up its own crowdfunding platform in Japan in a bid to foster greater innovation within the business. The new platform, named First Light, is designed to raise money to fund internal projects and new ideas suggested by employees. The products developed as part of the initiative will be publicly available to buy or preorder on the crowdfunding platform. In this way, First Light will provide Sony with an innovative and low-risk means of testing demand for brand new products with early adopters. As companies come under further pressure to bring products to market faster, will we see more brands embracing crowdfunding as part of their innovation process?

Brands ramp up innovation in the delivery space

Last month we reported that Starbucks and Apple are exploring innovative same-day delivery solutions. But they’re not the only brands innovating in this space. Amazon, which made waves in 2013 with news of its drone delivery trials, has announced that its Prime Now service will bring one-hour delivery to parts of London. The company is also rumoured to be considering a new delivery concept, where members of the public would be paid to drop off deliveries on route to other destinations – an approach which is already being harnessed by Uber and Instacart. As expectations for quick and seamless delivery rise, innovation in this space looks set to continue.