Monthly Archives: November 2017

Supermarket apps are new retail battleground

Mobile data platform Ogury has announced a new study which uses data analysis from mobile phones to show the increasing importance of mobile apps for UK supermarkets.

As expected, Ogury point out that there is a significant difference between the most engaging apps and websites. It says that M&S has the most engaging app, actively engaging with 56 per cent of its users. Aldi comes a close second with 55 per cent of user engagement. Asda comes third with 45 per cent of grocery shoppers with the app engaging with it actively; however the average session duration is higher than the top two products with an average time of 6.5 minutes per visit.

On the other hand, Tesco has the most engaging website. It engages 71% of UK online grocery shoppers – significantly higher than any of the other top UK supermarket websites. However, the Tesco app only engages 36% of its app owners, much less than the most popular supermarket apps.

“It’s clear that both low and high priced sellers are getting good traction online – on apps and on websites,” says Ogury. “M&S comes second after Tesco for website shopping, with 26% of online shoppers visiting M&S’s website for groceries, whilst M&S and Aldi – the two most used shopping apps – clearly represent the two ends of the spectrum (low and high priced goods).”

Photo Caption: Aldi has the second most popular supermarket app.

Photo Credit: Aldi

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Plaguing insects with bittersweet tastes to protect crops

Scientists are developing a new pest control technique which uses their feeding preferences against them.

“Taste-based feeding traps using natural products could be an eco-friendly, cost-efficient and sustainable alternative to synthetic insecticides in the future,” Dr Stefan Pentzold from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, told the EU’s Horizon website.

“Despite their essential role in the insects’ food intake, survival and reproduction, relatively little is known about taste receptors, especially in beetles,” he explained. “This is surprising given their importance as agricultural and forestry pests, their global distribution and huge species numbers as herbivorous insects.” Insects use hairs on their legs, as well as mouthparts and antennae to taste their food before eating, allowing them to sense the chemical signature of their preferred plants. However, some insects have internal taste organs or use smell to find their food.

Israel-based company EdenShield is developing a green alternative to pesticides based on extracts of the native plant lavender cotton (Achillea fragrantissima) which is found in the Judaean Desert. The company hopes that this natural insect repellent will help grower protect crops against greenhouse pests such as whitefly and thrips. They are developing Gatekeeper, a spray product containing natural plant extracts, with help from EU funding.

Photo Caption: Achillea fragrantissima

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