Study: Retailers face omni-channel barriers
New York — Organizational, operational and technology challenges are hampering retailers’ efforts to meet customers’ demand for a seamless shopping experience across all channels and touchpoints. According to a new research study from Accenture and Hybris Software, retailers view omni-channel maturity as a key brand differentiator for their companies, and improving their ability to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience across all channels as a top priority.
The study, "Customer Desires Vs. Retailer Capabilities: Minding the Omni-Channel Commerce Gap," conducted by Forrester Consulting, shows that nearly all (94%) of retail decision makers surveyed as part of the research said that their companies face significant barriers to becoming an integrated omni-channel company. The study is based on an online survey of more than 1,500 multi-channel shoppers and 256 decision-makers from retail and manufacturing organizations across the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany.
According to the survey, 40% of retailers reported that they are having difficulty integrating back-office technology across all of their channels. Nearly half (47%) of the customers surveyed said they use in-store-pickup options to avoid online shipping costs, 25% so they can collect their orders on the day of purchase and 10% simply because they find it more convenient to pick items from a store than having them shipped to their home.
"Thirty nine percent of customers surveyed say they are unlikely or very unlikely to visit a retailer’s store if its website does not provide physical store inventory information," said Chris Donnelly, global managing director of Accenture’s retail practice. "Additionally, the research also shows that retailers who struggle to implement robust seamless capabilities online also experience challenges meeting customer expectations in offline channels. So this is a particularly big challenge that requires immediate attention."
Sally Beauty card data may have been exposed
Denton, Texas – Fewer than 25,000 customer credit card numbers may have been exposed in a recent security breach at Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. The retailer said in a statement that an investigation by Verizon indicates credit card data may have been taken by hackers.
“We take this criminal activity very seriously,” said Sally Beauty. “We continue to work diligently with Verizon on this investigation and are taking necessary actions and precautions to mitigate and remediate the issues caused by this security incident. In addition, we are working with the United States Secret Service on their preliminary investigation into the matter.”
Sally Beauty initially reported a “recent breach” on March 5, 2014, and at that time said it did not believe there was any loss of consumer or credit card data. However, Sally Beauty also said at that time it would continue to investigate and actively monitor the situation. The retailer said it will not speculate on the scope or nature of this incident until a comprehensive forensic investigation is complete, and will notify affected customers and continue updating the public on the progress of the investigation.
Report: Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba plans U.S. IPO
Hong Kong – Chinese e-commerce platform provider Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is reportedly planning a U.S. initial public offering (IPO). According to Bloomberg, Alibaba has received approval from Hong Kong regulators for its proposed governance structure.
Unnamed sources indicate Alibaba will work with Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc. on developing and launching the IPO. Alibaba’s market capitalization may reach $200 billion, which would make it the second-most-valuable Internet company after Google and more valuable than Facebook.
Alibaba reportedly has not yet decided details of the IPO, such as initial share price, how many shares it will sell, what exchange it will be listed on or when the IPO will take place. The company has proposed that its partners nominate a majority of the board of directors, which could not take place in a Hong Kong filing. Alibaba may file an IPO on China in the future.