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.
Continue reading “Worried About Online Scammers? Robots Can Help”
Think 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.
Continue reading “B2B Customers Want To Buy Online With Any Device. So Why Can’t They?”
What 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.
Continue reading “Three E-Commerce Fraud Challenges To Beat In 2018”
The stereotype is widespread: Younger consumers are spooked by parents’ debt misadventures, stressed by college loan repayments and leery of buying on credit, even as they endlessly document their purchases on Instagram and splurge on trend-based products and experiences.
This vision is understandably distressing for retailers. After all, Millennials and Generation Z, whose ages range from teens through the mid-30s, together comprise 50% of the U.S. population. If such a large segment of consumers are disinterested in traditional bank or store credit options, big-ticket purchases may slow. (Why own a car when you can Lyft?) Furthermore, shoppers who spend hours a day on social media may perceive little need for physical stores, except as pickup locations for items sourced online.
Continue reading “The New Rules For Retail Credit: What Younger Shoppers Really Want In 2018”
Stress on brick-and-mortar retailers reached its peak in 2017 with the doomsday, “retail apocalypse” narrative. Heavily publicized store closings, dips in big chains’ stock prices and the rise of e-Commerce outlets like Amazon painted a deeply negative picture for retailers. However, data from Fung Global and research by the IHL Group (Debunking The Retail Apocalypse) illuminated an alternative view.
While retail is indeed changing, there is evidence to suggest that businesses, both big and small, can thrive in 2018 and beyond — if they evolve and adapt to these changing times. Driven by one underlying theme — focus on technology investment and spending — retailers that have adapted are not only surviving, but thriving. Here are six key traits we see in the retailers that are doing it right:
Continue reading “6 Ways To Thrive In The Changing Retail Landscape”
A profound movement is being orchestrated by the big retailers to deliver AR. From Apple, Google, Microsoft, Alibaba, eBay and Amazon, more and more retail giants are offering new augmented and virtual reality experiences to customers.
The frontrunners are already in full swing and it’s important to understand that you don’t need to be as big as these guys to start somewhere. It’s time for smaller retail brands to pay attention. Here’s why.
Continue reading “The WHO, WHY And HOW Augmented Reality Will Dominate Retail In 2018”
The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) continues to be an important topic of conversation for U.S. companies and retailers nationwide. Since its inception, the GDPR has raised a number of questions as to whether businesses are properly ready to comply. The GDPR was adopted on April 27th, 2016 and allotted a two-year post-adoption grace period for retailers to strategize and implement their compliance approach.
With only three months remaining, it has been reported that an estimated 61% of U.S. businesses are not ready for the regulation, and that only 67% of European-based businesses have begun moving into the implementation phase of their GDPR compliance program1. The potential fines have many concerned about compliance as the May 25, 2018 date of enforcement approaches, but businesses struggle with fully understanding the regulation and thus fail to launch a comprehensive plan.
Continue reading “How The GDPR Affects American Retailers, And What Businesses Can Do To Minimize Their Risk”
The threat of fraud is significant, persistent and ever-changing, and an unfortunate reality for online merchants trying to grow revenue. Sophisticated and organized fraudsters are patient enough to play the long game for a big score, smart enough to impersonate real customers and frequently switch strategies. Juggling the need to satisfy customer expectations for quick, frictionless transactions while responding to changing threats is a major challenge for merchants. But it’s necessary to build a lifetime relationship with customers.
Several especially troubling trends in e-Commerce fraud emerged this past holiday shopping season. Here are three of the top threats and tips for defending against them.
Continue reading “Three Emerging E-Commerce Fraud Threats (And How To Defend Against Them)”
We’ve all heard the news of a “retail apocalypse,”and we’ve seen the reality of it across emptying malls, struggling department stores and failing brands. Headlines say Amazon will dominate them all, and that the advent of the new consumer — digitally-savvy, convenience-seeking and e-Commerce-loving — will eventually mean an end to brick-and-mortar.
There is no question that retail is under threat, but the idea that we are heading towards the extinction of stores altogether is inherently incorrect. While Amazon is the threat, they are also the reason why we should not be counting out the physical channel. They’ve launched Amazon Books, experimented with Amazon Go and acquired Whole Foods.
Continue reading “Retail Needs A Revolution — Here’s What It Looks Like”
Every day there seems to be a hot new technology grabbing headlines, promising to transform the buying journey by improving customer experiences. With technology evolving at lightning speed, how can retailers keep up with the technology explosion and keep their eye on critical business priorities? Here are some tips to stay ahead of the curve and invest wisely.
Continue reading “5 Ways Retailers Can Stay Ahead Of The Technology Explosion”