TECHNOLOGY

Online giant targets its newest shopper: teens

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon’s new program gives teenagers purchasing power.

The online giant is giving teens between the ages of 13 and 17 their own login to use on the Amazon app. The service, which requires parental consent, enables teens to shop or stream content without supervision. However, parents still have the power to approve all orders or set pre-approved spending limits – a move that keeps parents informed of shopping habits, while still giving the young shoppers a level of autonomy.

Here’s how the service works: Teens send an invitation to their parent through either SMS or email. The parent will choose a payment method and shipping addresses for their teen to use when placing orders. The teen then receives an invitation to create their own username and password, and then download the Amazon App to start shopping.

Once their account is established, teens can begin to browse the app. When they place an order, parents will receive a text or email showing the item, cost, shipping address and payment information. Teenage shoppers can also include a personalized note like, “this is the book I need for class.”

Parents can approve the order by text or they can visit their orders page to further review the order. They also have the option to skip the approval step and set pre-approved spending limit. Parents receive itemized notifications for every order, and can cancel and return any item in accordance with Amazon’s policies, the online retailer said.

The program also allows parents to share their Prime membership with their children, at no additional cost.

“We’ve listened to families and have built a great experience for both teens and parents,” said Michael Carr, VP, Amazon Households. “For teens who have a parent with a Prime membership, they can also access Prime benefits at no additional cost, including fast, free shipping, Prime Video and gaming benefits with Twitch Prime.”

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FINANCE

Luxury handbag retailer to change its name

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Eager to better reflect the company’s increasing diversity, Coach is changing its name.

Coach will become Tapestry Inc., on Oct. 31. The company, which owns the brands Coach, Kate Spade New York and Stuart Weitzman, will continue to define itself as a New York-based house of modern luxury lifestyle brands.

The decision came on the heels of the company’s acquisitions of Stuart Weitzman in 2015 and Kate Spade & Company this past summer. However, this transition has been three years in the works, according to Coach’s CEO, Victor Luis.

“Three years ago we laid out our vision to transform Coach, and announced our intention to grow beyond the Coach brand,” Luis said.

“We are now at a defining moment in our corporate reinvention, having evolved from a mono-brand specialty retailer to a true house of emotional, desirable brands, all leveraging our strong operational foundation,” he said. “Each of our brands has a unique proposition, fulfilling different fashion sensibilities and emotional needs within the very attractive and growing $80 billion global market for premium handbag and accessories, footwear and outerwear. At the same time, our brands are also built upon the shared values of optimism, inclusivity and innovation.”

The leadership team at Coach partnered with brand agency Carbone Smolan Agency on all aspects of the rebrand, the company said.

When searching for a new name, Coach wanted something that reflected its values. It also wanted to express the cultural diversity of the company and its brands today, as well as in the future, the company said.

“In Tapestry, we found a name that speaks to creativity, craftsmanship, authenticity and inclusivity on a shared platform and values,” Luis said.

“We believe that Tapestry can grow with our portfolio and with our current brands as they extend into new categories and markets,” he added. “The name embodies our creative brand-led and consumer-focused business, while also representing the deep heritage of the group. Most importantly, we are establishing a strong and distinct corporate identity, which enables our brands to express their individual personalities and unique language to consumers.”

To further reflect the transition, the company will change its New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol from COH to TPR on Oct. 31. The company’s Hong Kong Depositary Receipts are traded on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited under the symbol 6388.

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D.Hoolihan says:
Oct-12-2017 09:00 am

Very disappointed! I don't like the new name, doesn't sound any better than Coach!

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ECOMMERCE

The brands with the best online performance and shopability are…

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

When it comes to the top 10 brands that offer the best online experiences, only three traditional retailers make the grade.

Automobile supplies company Summit Racing (scoring 99.10), Saatva Mattress (98.67); Birchbox (98.66); Toyota, (98.25), and Whole Foods Market (98.24) round out the top five retailers that offer the least downtime and minimal disruption for shoppers. Only two other physical retailers, J. Crew (97.47) and J.C. Penney (97.45) made it into the top 10 brands in this category.

This was according to the “Online Health & Usability Index — the OSHU Index.” The study from Shoppimon, trends KPIs such as site speed, server downtime, business downtime (the percentage of time a purchase cannot be completed on the site), and technical issues. The index compares online stores within nine vertical industry categories: apparel, automotive supplies, beauty, consumer electronics, department store, food & beverage, health & wellness, home & garden, and jewelry.

Among the Top 10 OSHU Index Overall Winners, no business had downtime of more than .1%, and all had 0% server downtime during the time evaluated. Among this diverse group of brands, seven of the nine aforementioned vertical categories made it into the Top 10. The strongest performing vertical categories are automotive, beauty, and food and beverage industries, with two online stores each. No jewelry or consumer electronics sites made it into the top 10, data revealed.

“Top performing online stores on the Shoppimon OSHU Index like Summit Racing, which earned the top spot on our inaugural ranking, are able to maintain lightning fast speed with minimal downtime and disruption for shoppers,” said Roy Rosinnes, CEO and co-founder of Shoppimon.

“With a full load time of 0.36 seconds and zero business downtime, Summit Racing deserves kudos for providing a great brand experience for consumers as well as maximizing bottom line sales.”

Amazon is noticeably missing from the overall Shoppimon OSHU Index. Besides taking into account that Amazon “behaves as a huge online mall — with many independent, and separately managed stores, open for shoppers to visit 24/7,” according to the study, the company’s often lauded customer experience still fell short among its ranked competitors.

Based on a small sample of Amazon stores that measured whether Amazon’s “gold standard” customer experience extends to its onsite shopping performance, the Amazon stores Shoppimon evaluated received an average OSHU Score of 92.08. While this is nearly 4 points ahead of the average score of the full index, it is still 6 points behind OSHU’s Top 3, data revealed.

Broken up by category, J. Crew, ASOS (96.94) and Talbots (96.78) lead the pack in online apparel experiences. Birchbox, Lookfantastic (97.13) and Beauty Bay (97.02) outshine their beauty competitors, and J.C. Penney, Marks & Spencer (96.86) and Sears (96.62) lead online department store experiences.

When it comes to shopping online for food and beverages, Whole Foods Market, Nuts.com (97.14), and SodaStream (94.97) lead the pack. While online jewelers didn’t place in the overall top 10 overall online experiences, Ritani (96.83), Tiffany & Co, (94.16) and Zales (92.81) lead the charge in customer experience for their segment.

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