Study: Shoppers drawn to smart devices stay abreast of security
A majority of Americans want to use connected devices to make purchases, yet they are keeping a keen eye on securing personal data.
This was according to a new study, “How We Will Pay,” from Visa and pymnts.com. The study was conducted among approximately 2,600 smartphone users aged 18 and older within the United States in May 2017. According to the study, 75% of consumers already have at least one connected device, in addition to their smartphones, computers or tablets. Yet, connected device ownership is on the rise.
The average consumer owns 4.4 connected devices, including game consoles (47%), activity trackers (41%), smartwatches (15%), voice-controlled assistants (14%), connected thermostats (9%) and virtual reality headsets (7%). Additionally, connected consumers make more purchases across more product categories than those with just one connected device. The apparel and footwear categories lead the way.
In 11 out of 19 product categories ranging from healthcare to accessories to food, 50% or more of the consumers studied made online purchases through a device within a week of the study. The top three categories included travel services, household repair and entertainment.
Eighty three percent (83%) of shoppers recognize IoT devices save them time and reduce friction when making purchases — subsequently creating an unattended checkout experience, regardless of device or platform. Within this seamless purchase experience, usage of auto-pay at the pump and in-store top the list (40%).
Despite the speed and convenience provided by connected devices, consumers still place high value on trust and security. Importantly, the more connected a consumer is, the greater their concern is about their financial safety. Their top concerns: data privacy, (more than 75%), and order verification and accuracy (69%).
Respondents also place a greater trust in banks and networks to enable payment via connected devices. Over 65% cited card issuers and bank card networks as the institutions they trust most to enable those experiences. This was over retail channels, social networks and mobile device manufacturers, the study revealed.
“The category of payment-enabled devices is still in very early days, yet this research shows just how much consumer interest and understanding is starting to build for what these experiences can offer,” said Jim McCarthy, executive VP, innovation and strategic partnerships, Visa. “As we work with our banking partners to make it easier to put payment credentials onto devices, a few new consumer use cases will inevitably break-through and start to really change the game.”
Sears makes amends with top supplier
The public feud between Eddie Lampert, chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings, and a top supplier seems to have been resolved.
In his May 15 blog, Lampert took aim at some of the chain’s vendors in a blog post. It read:
“There have been examples of parties we do business with trying to take advantage of negative rumors about Sears to make themselves a better deal – a deal that is unilaterally in their interest. In such a case, we will not simply roll over and be taken advantage of – we will do what’s right to protect the interests of our company and the millions of stakeholders we serve.”
Lampert also called out — and then sued — One World Technologies, a China-based subsidiary of Techtronic Industries in the blog. He accused the company, which is the maker of Craftsman tools, of trying to cut a deal "that is unilaterally in their interest.”
On June 5, Lampert updated the blog post with a notice that said the dispute has been solved. “The matter has been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both parties and we look forward to continuing our relationship with One World,” according to the post.
While the matter has been resolved, Sears continues to struggle. While the embattled retailer reported its first quarterly profit since 2015, it attributed this gain largely to the sale of its Craftsman brand, and lower expenses due to its $1.25 billion cost-cutting plan.
Overall, Sears posted net income of $244 million in its first fiscal quarter ended April 29, compared with a loss of $471 million in the year-ago period. However, Sears posted a loss of $230 million when adjusted for special items, compared with a loss of $199 million a year earlier.
As for revenues, the company continues to bleed. Revenue fell 20.3% to $4.3 billion in the quarter, down from $5.4 billion last year. The retailer said the year-over-year decline was primarily driven by having fewer Kmart and Sears full-line stores in operation, as well as an 11.9% drop in same-store sales.
The embattled chain also revealed on Wednesday, May 31, that its Kmart division was the victim of a security incident. This was the chain’s second attack in less than three years.
To read the full blog and update, click here.
Sears exclusively launches British lifestyle brand
Sears is freshening up its offering through a new partnership.
The department store retailer now features the Regatta Great Outdoors collection in 11 New England-based stores. The brand, which is based in Manchester, England, features active, performance, outdoor, and leisure wear. This is the brand’s first U.S. retail store debut.
The company was established in 1981, and has grown into a popular outdoor clothing, footwear and equipment brand among European shoppers. Sears was attracted to Regatta due to a synergy of values: quality, value, a design-focus and passion for the customer, according to the retailer.
"Our members' tastes change quickly so we are always looking for partners who can help keep our assortment fresh," said David Pastrana, president of Sears Apparel.
"Regatta is a long-established apparel leader that knows its customer well and was selective about who they made their U.S. debut with,” he added. “Sears is proud to be Regatta's exclusive home, and we welcome American shoppers to discover this great brand."
The Regatta Great Outdoors collection is now featured in 1,800-sq.-ft. shops inside the following Massachusetts Sears locations: Saugus, Burlington, Auburn, Peabody, Braintree, Natick and Hyannis. It is also being featured in stores in Salem and Nashua, New Hampshire, Warwick, Rhode Island, and South Burlington, Vermont. The collection will be available online this fall.