TECHNOLOGY

Amazon adds a twist to its Whole Foods Market grocery delivery service

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon just made a big move in the grocery deliver battle.

On Wednesday, Aug. 8, the online giant launched grocery pickup, a service that enables Prime members to pick up their order at a local Whole Foods Market store within an hour — without leaving their car. The program is currently offered in Sacramento and Virginia Beach. More cities will be added throughout 2018.

Prime members place their order via the Prime Now app and choose the pickup option at checkout. Customers use the app to alert their local store that they are on their way, and associates begin preparing the order. Upon arriving at the store, customers park in a reserved pickup spot, and a Prime Now shopper will place groceries into their car within minutes.

Customers can choose free pickup within an hour on orders of $35. A $4.99 fee applies orders ready within 30 minutes.

“Amazon, synonymous with home delivery, is leveraging its grocery brick-and-mortar investment as it battles for a greater share of wallet,” said Sylvain Perrier, president and CEO of Mercatus, a provider digital grocery solutions.

Curbside delivery is another option Amazon is using to get groceries into shoppers’ hands faster. The online giant also offers free two-hour deliveries from Whole Foods stores in 24 cities.

The curbside service also takes a swipe at rivals Walmart and Target, as well as supermarket operators, including Kroger, Publix and H-E-B, which also offer drive-up grocery pickup options.

“Not only at Amazon and Whole Foods, but among grocery retailers in general, there’s a great deal of experimentation going on to see what sticks with consumers,” added Mercatus’ Perrier. “What’s becoming clear is there’s no one path to retaining customer loyalty. To compete today, grocers need to offer a selection of services and fulfillment options that cater to a variety of shopper preferences.”

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TECHNOLOGY

DTLR takes the next step in its cloud-based transformation

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

DTLR is standardizing its technology infrastructure to drive a more unified commerce experience.

Following its merger with Sneaker Villa (known as Villa) in August 2017, DTLR (formerly known as Downtown Locker Room) has been working toward streamlining and standardizing its technology infrastructure. By extending its partnership with Aptos, DTLR is now ready to enhance its omnichannel operations and provide a differentiated shopping experience to its growing customer base.

The urban-focused athletic footwear and apparel retailer’s existing cloud-based solutions will seamlessly integrate with new Aptos on-demand solutions, a move that will accelerate implementations, increase speed-to-market and improve its agility. For example, a new order management system will integrate with DTLR’s existing point-of-sale solution, delivering a unified view of all in-store and digital touch points.

The order management system will also act as a centralized commerce hub to profitably manage all orders throughout their lifecycle. The configuration also allows DTLR to introduce advanced omnichannel shopping scenarios, including buy-online, pick-up-in-store and ship-from-store capabilities.

“DTLR takes great pride in offering customers an authentic experience every time they interact with our brand,” said Glenn Gaynor, DTLR CEO. “To continue to provide this, we have renewed and standardized our investment in Aptos technology, including adding the powerful Aptos Enterprise Order Management solution. We’re confident in Aptos’ ability to support our brand as we enhance customer loyalty in communities nationwide.”

DTLR operates 237 stores in 19 states and Washington, D.C., as well as e-commerce websites for the DTLR and Villa brands.

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TECHNOLOGY

Stolen personal data tops consumer worries

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

American consumers worry more about their personal data being stolen than their wallet.

This was according to new data from cyber-security and application delivery solutions provider Radware, which reported that 55% of consumers said data theft ranks above the theft of their wallet (23%), car (10%), cell phone (6%), and house keys (6%).

Retailers need to take consumers’ fear of data theft seriously, especially since cyber-attacks significantly impact customer loyalty and a company’s brand reputation. Less than one-in-four (23%) of Americans said they would continue to do business with a brand after a breach. Meanwhile, 10% said they would no longer do business with that organization, and the majority (68%) said they would need to be convinced that the business fixed the security issue before returning.

The good news is that retail executives understand this threat. More than 40% of companies ranked customer loss as the top threat to their business from a cyber-attack. Retail executives in particular view customer loss as the top threat, with more than half (58%) noting that customer loss was top of mind, the study revealed.

“It’s no surprise that data theft ranks so high in the minds of Americans as a major risk,” said Anna Convery-Pelletier, chief marketing officer for Radware. “It’s easy to buy a new car or a new cell phone, but having private data exposed can have permanent consequences for both the consumer and the brand where the breach occurred. When an organization does not properly secure its network, it is putting its brand reputation in jeopardy and risking its customer base.”

Consumers are most concerned about their hackers gaining access to their Social Security Number, booty that hackers buy and sell for around $2. Yet, full medical records can sell for up to $1,000.

Americans were less concerned with the theft of their banking information (18%), credit card number (9%), health records (9%), private cryptocurrency key (4%), passport information (3%), and driver’s license (2%). These types of records and data, which are often traded and sold on the Internet or Darknet, can easily make their way into the hands of malicious actors, the study reported.

“Some of your most private information can be bought and sold on the internet for less than the price of a cup of coffee,” added Convery-Pelletier.

“While Americans don’t realize how much of their personal information might be stored by the businesses they interact with daily, a breach can quickly put consumer identity, credit, and other information at risk,” she said. “The onus is on organizations to invest in the right technology and services to improve their security posture and prevent these massive breaches from happening in the first place.”

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