Archive

Archive for the ‘retail’ Category

Health and Wellness in America: The Consumer Perspective

September 10, 2014 Comments off

Health and Wellness in America: The Consumer Perspective
Source: Nielsen

Health is trending in the U.S. From superfoods like kale to new exercise fads like yoga and CrossFit, healthy habits are on the tip of the American public’s tongue. So with health and wellness going mainstream, have people really changed their habits?

Consumers aspire to better health and healthier eating, but wanting and doing are two different things. More than one-third of American adults are still obese according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And half admit that healthy eating is a challenge, especially in the face of rising food costs.

Despite setbacks, however, the desire to achieve an improved quality of life is driving consumers to pursue specific health and wellness behaviors, such as consuming healthy foods or reading package labels. By identifying unmet consumer nutrient needs, finding foods that address consumers’ health concerns and understanding different consumer segments’ varied habits, retailers and manufacturers can help consumers overcome the obstacles they face when it comes to health and wellness and improve their lifestyles.

About these ads

Enabling Physical Analytics in Retail Stores Using Smart Glasses

September 9, 2014 Comments off

Enabling Physical Analytics in Retail Stores Using Smart Glasses
Source: Microsoft Research

We consider the problem of tracking physical browsing by users in indoor spaces such as retail stores. Analogous to online browsing, where users choose to go to certain webpages, dwell on a subset of pages of interest to them, and click on links of interest while ignoring others, we can draw parallels in the physical setting, where a user might “walk” purposefully to a section of interest, “dwell” there for a while, “gaze” at specific items, and “reach out” for the ones that they wish to examine more closely and possibly purchase.

As our first contribution, we design techniques to track each of these elements of physical browsing using a combination of a first-person vision enabled by smart glasses, and inertial sensing using both the glasses and a smartphone. We address key challenges, including energy efficiency by using the less expensive inertial sensors. Second, during gazing, we present a method for identifying the item(s) within view that the user is likely to focus on based on measuring the orientation of the user’s head.

Finally, unlike in the online context, where every webpage is just a click away, proximity is important in the physical browsing setting. To enable the tracking of nearby items, even if outside the field of view, we use data gathered from smart-glasses-enabled users to infer the product layout using a novel technique called AutoLayout. Further, we show how such inferences made from a small population of smart-glasses-enabled users could aid in tracking the physical browsing by the many smartphone-only users.

E-Commerce: Evolution or Revolution in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods World?

September 9, 2014 Comments off

E-Commerce: Evolution or Revolution in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods World?
Source: Nielsen

Across the globe, shoppers are increasingly turning to the web to buy the things they need. Online shopping offers certain conveniences—from delivering your order right to your door to broad selection and low prices—that brick-and-mortar stores can’t. But for certain categories, traditional retail stores still hold the cards.

The most popular e-commerce categories, not surprisingly, are non-consumable—durables and entertainment-related products. Almost half of global respondents in an online survey intend to purchase clothing or make airline or hotel reservations using an online device in the next six months. On the other hand the online market for buying groceries and other consumable products is comparatively smaller. The hands-on buying nature and perishability of these goods limits the usefulness and practicality of buying online.

Nevertheless, the global audience is willing and eager to shop the web. Online purchase intention rates have doubled in three years for 12 of 22 measured categories. While consumable categories will continue to trail non-consumable ones, the frequency of purchasing these products is increasing e-commerce’s appeal. And beyond buying, digital is an increasingly important research and engagement platform.

Free registration required to access report.

USPS OIG — eCommerce Customer Registration

August 28, 2014 Comments off

eCommerce Customer Registration (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General

Background
The U.S. Postal Service’s Customer Registration application allows customers to create accounts through USPS.com to purchase products and services through over 40 eCommerce applications such as Every Door Direct Mail, Premium Forwarding Service, Click-N-Ship, and the Postal Store. Customers must provide personally identifiable information to create an account. There were over 24 million Customer Registration users as of June 2014 and revenue totaled about $1.2 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2013.

Our objective was to determine the effectiveness of controls used to safeguard the eCommerce Customer Registration process and reduce online credit card fraud.

What the OIG Found
Controls used to safeguard the eCommerce Customer Registration process and reduce online credit card fraud need improvement. Management has not established a threshold for fraud-related chargebacks (transactions rejected by credit card companies) for the four eCommerce applications in our review. As a result, management cannot objectively measure when to increase oversight and controls to reduce fraud.

Of the four applications, Click-N-Ship’s credit card fraud-related loss of $4.6 million was above the industry’s recommended threshold for acceptable levels of credit card fraud in FY 2013. In addition, management did not always ensure all credit card company chargebacks were validated.

Further, seven of the eight Customer Registration controls we tested worked as management intended. However, we identified one vulnerability that could permit a cyber criminal to impersonate a valid user and obtain postage using stolen credit card data. Finally, we did not identify any critical or high-risk vulnerabilities when conducting over 3,000 additional tests of the USPS.com login page.

What the OIG Recommended
We recommended management establish a threshold for credit card fraud and develop a policy defining chargeback roles and responsibilities. We also recommended management maintain chargeback research results from all eCommerce managers and configure eCommerce applications to prevent the noted security vulnerability.

The Digital Future: A Game Plan for Consumer Packaged Goods

August 25, 2014 Comments off

The Digital Future: A Game Plan for Consumer Packaged Goods
Source: Boston Consulting Group

“The best way to predict the future is to create it,” Peter Drucker observed. The digital revolution puts the ability to do just that within the reach of almost any company.

Consumers are already there. Aided by digital innovators ranging from behemoth Amazon to start-ups such as Blue Apron and Dollar Shave Club, consumers are rapidly changing—and, in their eyes, improving—the way that they live. They are embracing technologies, devices, and services that make everyday tasks such as shopping, cooking, and even commuting quicker, easier, more fun, and more efficient. They order online, they get suggestions and reminders on their smartphones, and they marry disparate services such as menu planning, ordering, and delivery in ways that even the service providers had not anticipated.

Consumers relish digital innovation for the simple reason that it makes their lives better, which is why digital technologies have disrupted industry after industry—media, travel, and retail, to name a few. Digital technologies empower change driven by consumer demand. Consumer packaged goods (CPG) stand directly in their path.

Consumer Cash Usage: A Cross-Country Comparison with Payment Diary Survey Data

August 20, 2014 Comments off

Consumer Cash Usage: A Cross-Country Comparison with Payment Diary Survey Data
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

We measure consumers’ use of cash by harmonizing payment diary surveys from seven countries. The seven diary surveys were conducted in 2009 (Canada), 2010 (Australia), 2011 (Austria, France, Germany, and the Netherlands), and 2012 (the United States). Our paper finds cross-country differences — for example, the level of cash use differs across countries. Cash has not disappeared as a payment instrument, especially for low-value transactions. We also find that the use of cash is strongly correlated with transaction size, demographics, and point-of-sale characteristics such as merchant card acceptance and venue.

2014 Retail Credit Card Survey data

August 19, 2014 Comments off

2014 Retail Credit Card Survey data
Source: CreditCards.com

Higher APRs, more use-anywhere cards and fancier, tiered rewards are now prominent features of retail store credit card programs, according to the 2014 CreditCards.com Retail Credit Card Survey.

The chart below provides details of the 61 retail credit cards issued by the 36 largest retailers in the U.S. that offer cards. Both the retailers’ store-only cards and their general use (co-branded) cards are included.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 919 other followers