Retail Employment Dips In March Following February Surge

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0aaretailjobsAlthough retail employment slipped by 6,400 in March, job numbers were ahead for the year and stronger than a year ago, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said.

Industry employment in March 2018 was 30,800 higher than unadjusted March 2017 figures and followed the addition of 42,400 jobs in February. The three-month moving average in March showed an increase of 14,200 jobs, as compared to an increase of 10,600 jobs in the three-month moving average for February.

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Data Breach At Chatbot Service Potentially Affects 100,000 Sears Consumers

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UPDATE: Best Buy confirmed in a statement that a number of customers may have had their payment information compromised during the [24]7.ai payment breach.

Best Buy has not revealed the number of potential customers affected by the breach, indicating “a small fraction of our overall online customer population could have been caught up in this [24]7.ai incident, whether or not they used the chat function.”


Sears confirmed that one of its customer support services experienced a security incident in fall 2017 that may have exposed credit card information of nearly 100,000 Sears customers. The incident also affected Delta Airlines consumers.

[24]7.ai, an AI-powered chatbot platform that provides online support services to Sears and Kmart, notified Sears of the breach in mid-March 2017, the retailer revealed in a blog post. Sears immediately notified the credit card companies to prevent potential fraud, and launched an investigation with federal law enforcement authorities, banking partners and IT security firms.

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Pitney Bowes Unveils Software And Data Marketplace

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0aSS PitneyBowes ImagePitney Bowes, a location intelligence technology provider, has released the Software and Data Marketplace. The platform enables data buyers to visualize, test and download data before it is purchased.

The Marketplace will provide users with data catalogs for sample categorical data, such as address, boundary, demographic, geoenrichment, point of interest and street data. With this data, clients can develop a deep understanding of their customers in order to better manage risk, improve decision making and increase customer engagement.

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The Missing Link In Personalization: Only 13% Of Retailers Identify Most Profitable Shoppers

While as many as 77% of retailers say they have an established process to identify their most loyal customers, only 13% say they can accurately identify those that are most profitable, according to the BRP 2018 Customer Loyalty Special Report. Up to 39% of retailersdo have processes in place to identify profitable customers, but admit that their efforts still need improvement. Another 27% project that they will be able to identify these shoppers within three years.

Retailers that want to maximize customer profitability as well as loyalty are leveraging personalization efforts across a number of different areas:

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Chatter Research Leverages AI-Powered SMS To Amplify Customer Feedback

Chatter Research is an AI-powered customer feedback solution, designed to help retailers enhance their shopper experiences by replacing traditional online surveys with conversational commerce.

With the platform, retailers can interact with individual consumers using conversational surveys over SMS text messaging, leveraging a data insights engine that analyzes each shopper’s feedback in real time. Average conversations take between two and three minutes.

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Worried About Online Scammers? Robots Can Help

Shopping online is all well and good until you get ripped off. Maybe the “pristine vintage couch” you bought on Craigslist turned out to be a moth-eaten relic from IKEA. Maybe the “Bruce Springsteen concert tickets” you snagged for $30 each really were too good to be true. Or maybe you sent your credit card information to a vendor who seemed trustworthy, and now your bank is blowing up your phone with stern warning calls. We all know that shopping via classifieds and online marketplaces can be a little sketchy — but did you know that robots are already well on their way to making this particular experience a lot safer?

You’re already using AI for Spotify and Netflix, but you might not be aware that AI has recently entered the world of retail and e-Commerce, too. In a collaboration with IBM’s Watson, North Face uses natural language processing to help their customers find the “perfect jacket for your next adventure.” The subscription shopping service Stitch Fix uses visual search to analyze a customer’s Pinterest boards, giving them data about that customer’s tastes in clothing. Flipkart, India’s largest e-Commerce provider, recently launched an AI personal shopper called Mira, which asks customers a series of questions about what they want from a product to help refine search.

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B2B Customers Want To Buy Online With Any Device. So Why Can’t They?

0aaMichiel Schipperus Sana Commerce

0aaMichiel Schipperus Sana CommerceThink about the last time you made a purchase. Maybe you went into a store to buy a new sweater, found one that you liked and tried it on. Being the savvy consumer that you are, even if you loved the sweater, you may have checked online before buying it to see if you could get a better price or waited for Black Friday and purchased it online then. 

Much like B2C, B2B buying increasingly has its own flavor of omnichannel purchasing. Your client may be on location with a sales rep, on a computer at work or using their mobile phone during their commute. In today’s digital society, it’s increasingly common for multiple channels to be involved in a single purchase, and that’s exactly the kind of customer experience that an omnichannel approach supports and encourages.

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Three E-Commerce Fraud Challenges To Beat In 2018

0aaRafael Lourenco ClearSale

0aaRafael Lourenco ClearSaleWhat will e-Commerce fraud prevention look like in 2018? Because the fraud landscape is evolving so quickly, the one sure prediction is that there will always be new challenges for merchants. But the rewards are worth the effort: the worldwide e-Commerce market was valued at $2.3 trillion for 2017, and 2018 should see even more growth. Here are three issues that will be front and center for online sellers in the year ahead.

The 2015 EMV transition in the U.S. led to a spike in Card Not Present (CNP) fraud. But two years after the EMV shift, fraud is still on the rise. The value of e-Commerce fraud in the U.S. alone is projected to rise from $10 billion in 2014 to roughly $19 billion in 2018. This explosive growth in CNP fraud puts it first among card fraud methods in the U.S., despite the fact that Javelin’s Fixing CNP Fraud study found that the transition to EMV will have a negligible effect on the volume of fraudulent e-Commerce in the United States through 2018.

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Toys ‘R’ Us Shuts Down E-Commerce Site As Liquidation Continues

While many Toys ‘R’ Us stores are still operating as they hold going-out-of-business sales, the retailer wasted no time officially shutting down the online presence for Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us.

The retailer issued a statement on the front page of toysrus.com, notifying shoppers that they can no longer purchase toys, games or other items from the site:

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Walmart Health Care Ambitions Could Include Swallowing PillPack For ‘Under $1 Billion’

Less than a week after reports circulated that Walmart was in preliminary talks to acquire health insurance company Humana, the retail giant is making progress toward possibly buying another health care company. Walmart is in talks to acquire PillPack, an online pharmacy startup, for “under $1 billion,” according to CNBC.

The deal could still fall apart, but discussions between the two companies have been ongoing for months, the report said.

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