Study: Gens Y & Z prefer credit cards over other forms of payments
Following suit of older generations, younger shoppers want to pay for purchases with credit cards.
Specifically, Gen Z (ages 18-24) and Gen Y (ages 25-34) are comfortable using credit to make purchases, and overwhelmingly prefer credit cards to monthly payment options, according to new data from Vyze, a provider of cloud-based financial technology solutions.
A majority of Millennials (80%) and 71% of Gen Z preferred a credit card with 0% interest for six months over a fixed monthly payment plan. Over half (53% of Gen Y, and 55% of Gen Z) will forgo using cash for a credit card that offers 5% cash back.
Gen Z and Gen Y adults are also fairly comfortable with managing a credit card balance. Nearly seven in 10 younger shoppers reported being at least somewhat comfortable carrying a balance on a credit card, and nearly one in 4 are “very comfortable” with the practice.
One important difference between the two generations: Gen Z could benefit from more information and a helping hand. This generation is the least likely to know their credit score (only 42% have a rough idea vs. 73% of Gen Y). They are also more likely to say they don’t have the financial information they need to make a decision about whether to apply for credit online or in the store (47% vs 26% of Gen Z respondents).
According to the study, retailers and lenders have the opportunity to better serve younger shoppers by providing more information on interest rates and promotions, as well making sure credit options are transparent and easy to use. While more than four in 10 Gen Z shoppers characterize retail credit cards as “helpful” or “builds credit,” the remainder find credit equally “complicated” or “misleading.”
While limited by strict regulations around how to present information, companies can make the credit experience less overwhelming. Two suggestions: simplify the experience and add transparency into offers and promotions.
“Despite the hype about Millennials and Gen Z, it turns out there’s not a radical difference between these groups when it comes to credit,” said Doug Filak, chief marketing officer of Vyze.
“Instead, a relatively traditional view emerges across the board and these consumers are right where we’d expect them to be based on age and experience,” he said. “Our advice to retailers is to adjust their programs without overcorrecting based on a mistaken sense that these shoppers are drastically different, for example by simplifying and clarifying credit applications versus moving away from traditional credit entirely.”
Report: Online giant testing its own delivery service
Amazon’s new program could give carriers like United Parcel Service and FedEx a run for their money.
The online giant is experimenting with a program that rivals services handled by longtime partners UPS and FedEx. Specifically, it is dabbling in a program designed to make more products available for free two-day delivery and relieve overcrowding in its warehouses, according to Bloomberg.
Handling deliveries itself, Amazon oversees pickup of packages from warehouses of third-party merchants selling goods on Amazon.com and their shipment to customers’ homes. Besides giving the retailer more flexibility and control over the last mile of delivery, the pilot program is slashing operating costs through volume discounts, and reducing congestion in Amazon’s warehouses, the report said.
The company is not giving up its partnerships with UPS and FedEx, but the new service enables Amazon — not the seller — to control how a package is sent, Bloomberg reported.
The pilot program is modeled after a similar service it runs in India. The project, which is dubbed “Seller Flex,” was deployed in West Coast states on a trial basis earlier this year, and is eyeing a broader rollout in 2018.
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Shoplifting: How to prevent ‘blind spots’ in the store layout
Though many types of theft deterrent equipment exist, one of the most effective and affordable approaches is preventing retail shoplifting is by avoiding “blind spots” in the store layout.
In this regard, one of the hardest places for supermarket or mass merchandise cashiers to control and easily view has been under the shopping basket, which is usually blocked by a basketful of other items above it. Failing to ring up items under the basket before customers leave the store can be extremely costly to retailers.
To prevent such losses, one nationally recognized mass-market retailer has already installed over 90,000 bottom-of-the basket (BOB) mirrors in an effort to limit this type of shrinkage in their business. The inventive mirrors are comprised of lightweight acrylic and the mirror mounts opposite the standing cashier to provide a clear, unobstructed view of the bottom of the cart without requiring the cashier to move or stoop, which also expedites checkout.
To accommodate a range of needs, many additional mirror and dome options are available as well. This range includes various mirror and dome sizes, shapes, and angles of visibility. Compared to conventional glass mirrors, shatter resistant acrylic mirrors are much more durable, lightweight, and fade-proof with top quality metalizing.
Specialized mirrors and domes can also help to eliminate the visual blind spots that occur at retail aisle corners, intersections, and other locations of big-box “warehouse style” stores where collisions between forklifts and employees or customers is possible.
For instance, convex detection mirrors have wide-angle visibility, while presenting a 20% brighter image than glass mirrors for greater clarity. A recently developed hybrid convex-dome mirror can even provide three times the viewing area of standard convex mirrors when a wider viewing angle is required.
Mirrored domes in a variety of configurations can provide the greatest visibility around corners and anywhere the widest unobstructed view is necessary. Quarter domes (90° provide viewing for corner intersections, 180° mirrored half domes improve viewing at T-intersections, 270° mirrored domes enable viewing in all directions (when mounted on an outside corner of a 4-way intersection), and 360° mirrored domes enhance viewing at 4-way or circular intersections.
When theft deterrence is the primary focus in retail environments with grid ceilings, specialized, darkened domes and globes can be positioned and mounted with surveillance camera inside, or left empty. Shoplifters, who will not know which domes are “live” will be discouraged from stealing regardless, and will be caught on video when cameras are used.
While retailers will continue to fight inventory loss with a variety of techniques, they do not want to miss out on innovations in mirror and dome technology that could help cost effectively curtail theft.
John Mangiameli is executive VP at Se-Kure Controls. Se-Kure Domes & Mirrors is a wholly owned subsidiary of Se-Kure Controls, and is a manufacturer of domes and mirrors for retail applications including bottom-of-the-basket and convex mirrors, as well as smoky globes and domes for surveillance systems.