Amazon reveals culprit of stolen customer email addresses
Amazon confirmed that an employee leaked customer data to third-party sellers.
In September, the online giant started investigating reports that some of its employees in the United States and China have been leaking data to a third-party seller in exchange for money. Now, Amazon has notified affected customers that one employee pulled off the inside job, according to Engadget, which cited the Wall Street Journal.
The online retailer already fired that particular employee, and banned the seller who received the email addresses. The company also said no other customer information other than those addresses were disclosed. Amazon didn’t reveal if the former employee acted alone, or if they were one of many, the report stated.
Armed with customers’ email addresses, sellers can directly ask customers to change or pull negative reviews, since “Verified Purchase” reviews affect products’ placement on search results pages, Engagdet revealed.
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Fast-fashion retailer makes a big move to merge online and offline experiences
H&M will play a bigger role in its evolving digital experiences — including payments.
Through a partnership with payments provider Klarna, the fast-fashion retailer will further integrate its digital and physical stores to deliver a seamless, personalized and engaging shopping experience. The partnership will also encompass digital payments in-store and via its app.
By connecting all touch-points, including the H&M app and H&M Club, the company’s digital loyalty program, the retailer is merging in-store, mobile and online payments, simplifying deliveries and returns, and supporting the company’s “try-before-you-buy” “Pay Later” service. The goal is to create a relevant and convenient experience across 14 H&M markets.
The U.K. and Sweden will be first regions to get the technology. Both are expected to go live in 2019, according to the company.
“We want to make it possible for customers to move freely between the various channels and choose how they want to shop and experience our offering online and in-store,” said Daniel Claesson, head of business development H&M Group.
“This partnership will bring tailor-made payment solutions to our customers and accommodate evolving shopping patterns and needs,” he added. “This includes the possibility to ‘try before you buy,’ which is very relevant to online fashion retail today, and to pay with their mobile phone directly through the H&M app both in-store and online.”
Further showing its commitment to the technology, H&M group is investing in Klarna. The deal will enable the retailer to contribute to the ongoing development of technology.
“This partnership is rooted in a shared obsession about just how good that shopping experience should be,” said Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO and co-founder of Klarna. “Together we have worked hard on developing a unique solution for in-store and online that will delight customers, drive economic value and build loyalty.”
Online holiday spending to increase by double digits over last year
Black Friday and Cyber-week promotions will be paramount in driving this online holiday spending even higher than last year.
Digital holiday sales are expected to increase by 14% from last season, growing from $133 billion in 2017 to $151 billion in 2018. Many of these sales will happen early in the season, and will be largely driven by promotions, according to early findings from Forrester Research’s holiday retail forecast.
According to data, more than one-third of the year’s e-commerce sales will stem from the holiday season. In addition, online holiday retail sales will account for over 32% of total United States e-commerce sales in 2018.
During this time, U.S. online shoppers are expected to spend an average of $785 each, which is 11% more than the 2017 holiday season.
“In the U.S., e-commerce during the months of November and December will account for 20% of overall retail sales. This is a higher concentration of online penetration compared to the other 10 months of the year,” Forrester’s principal analyst Sucharita Kodali said during Forrester’s podcast, Retailers, Don’t Give Customers “Socks” This Holiday Season.”
To grab this wallet share early, many companies will offer more Cyber-week and Black Friday promotions.
“Interestingly, only one-third of holiday sales will happen in December, while two-thirds will happen in November,” she added. “That is an amazing statistic as these sales will push much activity, and have conditioned shoppers to behave very differently. A lot of that shopping is shopping for self. These might be big purchases you have had an eye on, and you want to make sure you’re getting the most value for your money.”