TECHNOLOGY

Analyst: Across the board adoption of Amazon Prime not imminent

BY Marianne Wilson

Approximately 80% of low-income households will not opt for Amazon's new discounted Prime program.

That's according to a broadlines and hardlines retail report by Gordon Haskett Research Advisors analyst Chuck Grom, which looks at Amazon, Walmart, Dollar General and Dollar Tree as Amazon announced discounted Prime membership for those on federal assistance. Here are excerpts from Grom's report:

With news out that Amazon will be offering a 45% membership discount for those on federal assistance interested in Prime ($5.99/month vs. $10.99/month currently), shares of Walmart, the dollar stores (Dollar General, Dollar Tree), and other retailers (largely auto part retailers) that cater to the low-end consumer have been under duress. In order to evaluate the potential success of the new initiative, we conducted a 500 person survey (over the past 24 hours) focusing on the low-end consumer (less than $40,000 household income) around current Prime penetration and willingness to join at both the old and the new discounted rate (key takes herein).

Two points: First, 26% of those surveyed were already Prime members (lower than our national avg. estimate of two-thirds). Second and more importantly, roughly 80% of consumers not willing to pay the current $10.99 monthly fee would still not pay the lowered $5.99 rate. This is much higher than we would have expected, and suggests across the board adoption is certainly not imminent.

Said differently, while the Prime news certainly falls into the “risk bucket” for the low-end retailers, we see the concerns (and recent negative stock reactions) as a bit overblown and view the pullbacks in Dollar General and Dollar Tree, in particular, as an opportunity on the long side.

For additional thoughts/survey results, click here.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Are you hiring seasonal employees this year?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
TECHNOLOGY

Beauty retailer steps up augmented reality offering

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Sephora is upgrading its app-based digital makeover experience.

The beauty chain is expanding the functionality of its Sephora Virtual Artist, an augmented reality-based feature on its mobile app that enables shoppers to digitally try on make-up. The app’s new Cheek Try On service allows users to virtually try on over 1,000 shades of cheek color, including blush, bronzer, contour, and highlighter shades available in single colors and palettes.

As users choose their favorite shades, a list of the top matching colors available from Sephora is quickly returned to the user. Matches can be immediately tried on in Virtual Artist then purchased in app.

The Sephora Virtual Artist also enables users to virtually try on an assortment of lip colors and false eye lash styles. The tool integrated the ability to try on thousands of shades of eyeshadows earlier this spring.

The retailer has made other enhancements to its Virtual Artist service, including integrating its virtual try-on services with its library of “Expert Looks.” Once customers test their preferred cheek shades, they can pair their favorites with lip and eyeshadow colors and false lash styles. Users can then save their favorites to “My Looks” and share them with friends.

Sephora’s app also added a “Color Match for Virtual Try On” feature. The service uses artificial intelligence to detect and accurately estimate the shade in any photo and match it with a lip, eyeshadow or cheek products available at Sephora.

The Color Match feature dovetails into the beauty retailer’s Color Match for lip, a service available within the Sephora Virtual Artist bot on Facebook Messenger. By adding the feature into the Sephora app, users can use their smartphone camera to snap a selfie. AI deciphers the image, and suggests a predominant color. Customers can pick any color from the list of available matching shades, and make a purchase through the app.

iOS users can download the app in Apple Store. Android users can access it in Google Play.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Are you hiring seasonal employees this year?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
TECHNOLOGY

Harris: Retailers take top spots in social responsibility poll

BY Marianne Wilson

Consumers rank Wegmans, Publix Super Markets, and Amazon.com as the top three companies when it comes to corporate social responsibility efforts.

That's according to The Harris Poll Reputation Quotient, which has identified movement, trends and insights in a changing corporate reputation landscape for the past 18 years. This year marks Publix's third consecutive year with an "excellent" social responsibility rating and it is Wegmans' second time in the category. Other retailers receiving "excellent" corporate social responsibility ratings are Lowe's, and L.L. Bean.

"Long gone are the days when acting in a socially responsible manner was optional," said Carol Gstalder, senior VP, The Harris Poll. "The expectations have evolved from simply acting responsibly, to how companies create social value for their stakeholders."

Only eight of the 100 companies measured achieved "excellent" CSR ratings this year. This is the most ever in the 18 years Harris Poll has measured CSR as a major dimension of corporate reputation, but it falls far from expectations, according to Harris Poll.

"Achieving an excellent social responsibility rating is a high bar," said Gstalder. "It wasn't that many years ago when we didn't see any companies attain this level of recognition for their efforts. So while this progress is a testament to how much more active some companies are in their CSR endeavors, it also demonstrates how much more work is needed."

According to Harris Poll's research, employee treatment (39%), ethics (38%) and respectful treatment of customers (35%) are the most important corporate social responsibility issues. These are followed by providing affordable and accessible products and services (29%) and safety (28%).

Forty-five percent of consumers agree that companies develop corporate social responsibility programs because it is the role they believe they should play as leaders in their communities and is primarily motivated by their responsibility to do what's right. Conversely, 40% of consumers say that when companies develop corporate social responsibility activities, they only do so to bolster their image and are primarily motivated by publicity possibilities — they are not truly focused on the effectiveness of their social responsibility efforts.

"Not only is it important to act in a socially responsible manner, but companies' actions must be authentic and true to your company's values," said Wendy Salomon, VP of reputation management and public affairs at The Harris Poll. "Fake it and consumers see right through your ulterior motives, risking negative marks against your corporate reputation."

In other findings:

• Compared to Baby Boomers, Millennials are significantly more likely to proactively try to influence family and friends' perceptions about a company because of something they learned about how the company conducts itself. Forty-one percent of millennials say they do this, up from 37% in 2016, and considerably higher than the 25% of baby boomers who say they do this.

• More than half (51%) of Millennials say they have participated in a conversation with others (in person or online) about how a company conducts itself.

• Both Millennials (69%) and Baby Boomers (82%) are concerned about the increasing amount of personal information companies capture about their customers. But more millennials (46%) than Baby Boomers (36%) have decided not to do business with or not purchase products from a company because they were concerned about how their personal information was protected.

Here are the top 10 social responsibility rankings from the poll:

1. Wegmans

2. Publix Super Markets

3. Amazon.com

4. Tesla Motors

5. USAA

6. Lowe's

7. UPS

8. L.L. Bean

9. Walt Disney Company

10. Whole Foods Market

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Are you hiring seasonal employees this year?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...