ECOMMERCE

Study: Most consumers believe their payment data is at risk

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Consumers across the globe agree that the volume of criminals trying to steal their credit and debit card data is increasing — and retailers aren’t equipped to fight back.

This was according to “Consumer Payment Card Data Security Perceptions, from Transaction Network Services (TNS). The study interviewed 1,037 U.S. adults, 1,002 Australian adults, and 1,010 U.K. adults between May 4-8.

Eighty five percent of adults in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia believe there are more cyber-criminals just waiting to grab their payment card data. More than two-thirds are concerned about the security of their payment card data, and 38% feel their private credit or debit card data has been put at risk by a data breach, irrelevant of whether they subsequently were a victim of fraud.

“While the payments industry has made significant advances in protection in recent years, criminals continue to find increasingly sophisticated ways to target valuable payment card data,” said Lisa Shipley, executive VP and managing director of TNS’ Payment Network Solutions. “One in five respondents in our survey confirmed their credit or debit card data had been used fraudulently in the last two years, so this highlights that we must continue to drive forward with new security measures.”

One of these solutions is encryption. A majority of consumers are in favor of the security measure, with 74% saying they believe this would securely protect their personal data.

“Our survey unveils high levels of concern about the security of payment card data and strong feelings among consumers that banks, retailers and other organizations involved in the payment card industry need to do more to protect their personal data,” Shipley added.

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C-SUITE

Duluth Holdings names former Nordstrom exec as CFO

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A casual clothing and workwear retailer has ended its hunt for a new finance chief.

Duluth Holdings has appointed Dave Loretta as senior VP and CFO. Loretta will succeed retiring CFO Mark DeOrio.

Prior to joining Duluth Trading, Loretta launched and operated his own company, Pacific Time, LLC, a unique food and beverage business, from 2014 to 2016. Prior to managing his own firm, Loretta held various roles at Nordstrom.

He began his tenure at the department store giant as controller and manager of financial planning and analysis for Nordstrom.com in 1999. In 2002, he became Nordstrom’s corporate VP and treasurer overseeing treasury, investor relations and corporate development.

In 2009, Loretta became president and CFO of Nordstrom Bank, where he led all financial and operating functions for its proprietary card operations. Here, he was responsible for financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting and long-range strategic planning as well as operational leadership.

Before joining Nordstrom, Loretta was director of planning and analysis for Restoration Hardware. Here, he developed a companywide budgeting, forecasting and reporting process for the retail stores, catalog direct mail and e-commerce.

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ECOMMERCE

Study: Optimistic buzz connected to Amazon, Whole Foods Market deal

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Customers that shop at both Amazon and Whole Foods Market are the most upbeat about the online giant’s purchase of the natural foods grocer.

This was according to a new GfK report that was conducted among 1,000 US adults (ages 18 and above) using KnowledgePanel, the company’s probability-based online panel that represents the adult U.S. population. Responses were collected from June 23-26.

According to data, 38% of current Whole Foods shoppers, and 31% of Amazon shoppers, feel positive about the acquisition. Those who already shop at both Amazon and Whole Foods are the most upbeat of all, with 43% declaring themselves optimistic about the deal. These levels are much higher than the sentiment of overall U.S. shoppers (23%).

Meanwhile, positive feelings outweigh negative by roughly three to one among current shoppers at one or both retailers. In the general shopper population, upbeat shoppers outweigh downbeat ones by more than two to one.

GfK found that three in four Whole Foods shoppers have made at least one Amazon purchase in the past month — significantly higher than the average (50%) among non-Whole Foods shoppers. There is also a higher incidence of Amazon Prime membership among Whole Foods shoppers than among U.S. consumers as a whole (50% versus 37%).

Only a small proportion (23%) of those who feel optimistic about the acquisition currently shop at Whole Foods — and only 9% of the total U.S. population is engaged in grocery e-commerce activity. This suggests a huge opportunity for the combined companies to grow both Whole Foods’ market share and the e-grocery business in general, according to the report.

Among those who are positive about the alliance hope for convenience and technological innovation. Four in 10 (42%) would like to see free grocery delivery for Amazon Prime members. One-third (34%) hope Amazon will bring technologies in-store that make shopping easier; and 25% believe they will be able to get high-quality fresh foods online.

“Even at this early stage, we see a great deal of optimism around Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods,” said Wendy Wallner, executive VP of GfK’s Retail industry practice in North America.

“Those who already shop with one or both companies see a variety of opportunities for amped-up convenience and selection,” she added. “The partnership makes sense to them; they want to buy Whole Foods’ products online, and they trust the quality – typically the biggest barrier with purchasing fresh groceries online.”

Half (49%) of Whole Foods shoppers hope the alliance will lead to lower grocery prices. The same percentage also want to see their local Whole Foods outlet remain open. In fact, they hope that Amazon will open more outlets, and 44% do not want to see current store employees laid off. They want to see local businesses thrive and hope that sales associate morale will not suffer.

“To fulfill the promise of this alliance, the two retailers need to pay close attention to their customers’ hopes and concerns, and avoid missteps that could deflate the high expectations of these early days,” added Wallner. “In particular, Amazon needs to recognize that Whole Foods shoppers are much different from mainstream shoppers, and that it needs to rise to this occasion by maintaining the grocery chain’s brand values and high quality standards.”

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