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Bricks and Mortar Retail in Store E-commerce

WPP furthers shopping offering with acquisition of mobile app platform NN4M


By John Glenday, Reporter

March 3, 2021 | 3 min read

WPP’s relentless expansion has continued with the acquisition of NN4M, a mobile commerce shopping app platform that counts Selfridges, River Island, Nestle and The Body Shop among its clients.


WPP furthers shopping offering with acquisition of mobile app platform NN4M

The alpha-numeric business will be folded into Wunderman Thompson.

What’s the deal?

  • NN4M specializes in crafting native shopping apps for high street retailers, enhancing the mobile experience at the likes of Selfridges, River Island and Mothercare, while also helping advertisers to improve the in-store experience.

  • The Edinburgh-based business employs 50 people and prides itself on the delivery of market-leading features and functionality to lend its clients a competitive edge.

  • This skill set has proven attractive to WPP, which has prioritized mergers and acquisitions to rapidly scale high-growth sectors such as marketing technology and e-commerce.

  • Embedded within Wunderman Thompson Commerce, NN4M will play a significant role in bolstering WPP’s multichannel output.

Why it matters

  • WPP has led a succession of technology and digital acquisitions in recent weeks, evidenced most recently with the takeover of Brazilian software business DTI Digital – part of a strategy to prioritize investment in fast-growing sectors and regions.

  • This high-risk approach comes despite the ravages of Covid-19, which has severely undermined the global economy, but WPP remains confident that a swift rebound could see net sales return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022.

  • Such optimism brings the break-even point forward a full year from previous predictions and is founded on the booming e-commerce and digital services that have taken up much of the slack from a shuttered real-world economy.

  • Chief exec Mark Read has laid out a four-point plan to put WPP in the fast lane to that promised land, including a recruitment drive to hire an additional 10,000 staff and £600m of planned operational efficiencies.

  • WPP’s favorable outlook is not universally shared, with eMarketer anticipating that global e-commerce growth will ’decelerate substantially this year’, albeit still growing by a healthy 14.3%.

  • This is attributed to a rebound in traditional bricks-and-mortar sales, which is expected to bounce 5.1% in 2021.

  • Read remarked: “The actions that we have taken have positioned us well and we are already working with 76 of our top 100 clients on e-commerce. There are significant new growth opportunities for WPP as clients demand simple, integrated solutions that combine creativity with technology and data expertise.“

Bricks and Mortar Retail in Store E-commerce

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WPP plc is a British multinational communications, advertising, public relations, technology, and commerce holding company headquartered in London, England. It was...

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