TECHNOLOGY

Study: Online retailers at risk of losing $2.1 billion this holiday season

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

More unauthorized product ads are hijacking the consumerexperience — an issue that will cost retailers precious revenue this holiday season.

As unauthorized product ads are injected into consumer browsers — and appear on retailer sites — consumers are distracted from the retailer’s offerings. This disruption – known as online journey hijacking – cuts directly into retailers’ revenue, an issue that could cost companies $2.1 billion this holiday season.

This was according to “The Impact of Online Journey Hijacking on E-Commerce Q4 Sales in the U.S.,” a report from Namogoo.

According to the study, 15% to 25% of all e-commerce customer sessions are exposed to unauthorized ads while browsing retailer sites, and this could increase to 20% to 30% of all sessions during peak shopping seasons. In addition, 80% of the displayed ads during peak season are competitive product ads, sending a retailer’s traffic directly to its competitors.

Meanwhile, hackers are sharpening their malware just in time for the holiday season. Specifically, malware developers are pulling out all the stops to increase their reach and optimize their ads to generate more clicks and revenue, there report said.

As the holiday season heats up, online journey hijacking will likely remain steady at the 15% to 25% in September/early October, and increase exponentially during busy shopping periods such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas.

“Amazon isn’t the only threat to retailers this holiday season. Online journey hijacking is a serious issue for online retailers, not just from a revenue standpoint but also in terms of brand experience and loyalty,” said Chemi Katz, co-founder and CEO of Namogoo. “The amount of lost revenue resulting from such tactics is astronomical and can be devastating, particularly at such a pivotal shopping time as the holiday rush.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Study: Even younger shoppers like stores

BY Marianne Wilson

More than three-quarters of consumers are shopping at bricks-and-mortar stores just as much as or more than they did a year ago.

That’s according to Consumer View, a new quarterly report from the National Retail Federation. NRF is working with Toluna Analytics to produce the report, which is designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to stores, online channels, customer loyalty, technology and other issues.

According to the report, 21% of consumers surveyed are primarily online shoppers (defined as those who purchase more than half of their items online). Seventy-nine percent said they purchase half or less of their items online. Among Millennials and Generation Z, 34% are primarily online shoppers, but the majority still make most of their purchases in stores.

The survey found that consumers like technologies that transform the store experience. For consumers who had tried buy online, pick up in store, 68% said it improved their shopping experience. Similarly, 66% of those who had tried in-app store navigation and 65% of those who had used mobile payment while shopping said it had a positive impact.

Other innovations have made less of an impression, with 44% saying in-store digital displays had no impact on their shopping experience and 43% saying the same about the use of tablets of smartphones by store associates.

Of those surveyed, 86% buy their groceries mostly or entirely in-store, as do 65% for home improvement items/tools, 64% for personal care/beauty products and 57% for home decor/furnishings. Clothing is split with 49% shopping in stores, 13% shopping online and 38% shopping equally in stores and online. The findings for consumer electronics are largely the same.

Books, music and video games were the only category where consumers purchase the majority or all their items online (37%), with 27% shopping mostly or entirely in stores and 36% split.

Among shoppers overall, 69% said they go to a store because they need something right away and 65% wanted to see an item before purchasing. Among Millennials, 55% go to stores as a social activity, 50% to pick up an item bought online and 44% to talk to a sales associate. In both groups, 66% said they go to stores simply because they prefer to shop in stores

“This report shows that the bricks-and-mortar store is still the cornerstone of American retail and likely will be for many years to come, as consumers seek authentic interaction and experiences with retailers,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. “Despite the changes in our industry, there is an appeal to seeing and touching merchandise in person and being able to engage with fellow human beings that has yet to go away. Even younger shoppers see the value of the store.”

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Amazon doubles down on Echo—and then some

BY CSA STAFF

Amazon’s Echo is in expansion mode just in time for the holiday rush.

The online giant on Wednesday announced five new Echo products, along with several other new gadgets. And none of the items cost more than$150, TechCrunch reported. The new items include Echo Plus, which will do double duty by also serving as a hub for smart home devices.

The new Amazon products were announced at a critical time, according to TechCrunch, as there are rumors that Google is about to announce updates to its Google Home line, including an Echo Dot – like smaller Google Home.

“Google was already playing catch-up and now it’s nearly inconceivable Google or Apple will be able to catch Amazon,” the report said.

Click here to read more.

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