TECHNOLOGY

This is the fastest growing retail channel among Americans

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Mobile commerce (m-commerce) continues its rapid adoption among Americans, but its growth is poised to reach even farther.

This was according to “WorldPay’s 2018 Global Payments Report” which revealed that m-commerce is growing at 15% annually in the United States, making it the fastest growing shopping channel.

The U.S. is not the only place where m-commerce is primed for growth. Currently accounting for 38% of the more than $1.3 trillion in global e-commerce sales, m-commerce is set to grow a staggering 19% during the next five years. In 2018, the largest markets in the world for m-commerce are China ($750 billion), U.S. ($210 billion), U.K. ($63.8 billion), Japan ($34.5 billion) and South Korea ($28.8 billion).

The rise of m-commerce could also be due to Americans’ growing preference for e-wallets. Although plastic still holds dominance in the U.S., e-wallets are set to overtake credit cards as the most popular online payment method by 2020.

As the fastest growing payment method among Americans, e-wallet usage is increasing 25% annually. However, the U.S. still pales in comparison to China’s e-wallet adoption – led by Alipay and WeChat Pay – which accounts for 65% of e-commerce purchases.

Other key findings include:

Millennials: What motivates Millennials culturally, politically and socially also motivates their attitudes about business. Local drivers have the biggest influence on these motivations – meaning merchants must appreciate the extreme diversity of the global Millennial population to truly understand what fuels their purchases and payment behaviors.

The Now Economy: From binge watching an entire TV series to same-day delivery, greater consumer preference for immediate experiences is clear. This appetite for instant gratification in commerce is extending beyond just delivery and into payments, including “buy now, pay later.”

Invisible payments: Checkout-free in-store shopping, virtual assistants, and connected cars are just some of the latest examples of how invisible payments are making shopping effortless. The purpose of these seamless transactions is convenience, reducing unnecessary friction at checkout while easing the necessary friction of authentication using emerging and biometric technologies.

“As new devices hit the U.S. market, smartphone ownership is higher than ever. And with overall better functionality, it’s never been easier to make a purchase from the palm of your hand,” says Casey Bullock, general manager, North America, global enterprise e-commerce at Worldpay. “U.S. consumers are turning from their desktop to their phones to make purchases. Merchants must find ways to optimize their mobile payment and shopping experiences, whether through their mobile app, mobile wallet or an improved mobile checkout.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Flipkart CEO resigns amid ‘misconduct’ allegations

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Another retail CEO is coming under fire based on allegations that coincide with the far-reaching #MeToo movement.

On Tuesday, Binny Bansal announced his resignation as CEO of Flipkart Group, effective immediately. Despite being described as “an important part of Flipkart since co-founding the company,” the chief executive is the subject of an independent investigation by Flipkart and Walmart into an allegation of “serious personal misconduct.”

While the probe did not find evidence to corroborate the complainant’s assertions against Bansal, “it did reveal other lapses in judgement, particularly a lack of transparency, related to how Binny responded to the situation. Because of this, we have accepted his decision to resign,” according to a joint statement from both companies. Bansal, who has been contemplating a transition for “some time,” denies the allegation.

Going forward, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, who is currently CEO of the company’s Flipkart division, will expand his responsibilities and oversee additional Flipkart businesses, including apparel sites Myntra and Jabong. Ananth Narayanan will continue as CEO of Myntra and Jabong, and will report into Krishnamurthy. Sameer Nigam will continue as CEO for PhonePe, Fxipkart’s financial technology company, as CEO. Both Krishnamurthy and Nigam will report directly into the board.

“As we look ahead, we have full confidence in the strength and depth of leadership across the company. We remain committed to investing for the long-term and are supportive of the leadership team’s desire to evolve into a publicly-traded company in the future,” the statement said.

Walmart purchased Flipkart in a $16 billion deal in August, a move that made the discount giant the largest shareholder in the company with a 77% share. It was the discounter’s largest acquisition to date.

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Whole Foods to introduce holiday perks—but not for everyone

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon is leveraging Whole Foods Market this Thanksgiving to promote Prime.

Starting Nov. 14, all customers will be able to purchase select organic and no-antibiotic turkeys. However, Prime members will get even lower prices on both. The offer runs through Nov. 22, or while supplies last.

Shoppers can reserve their turkeys at Whole Foods by scheduling their order online. Prime members will be eligible for the lower prices when they check out in store. Prime members are also entitled to savings on organic cranberries and Bonafide Frozen beef broth, plus an additional 10% off of “hundreds of sale items” throughout the store, according to Amazon.

Whole Foods is also making delivery with Prime Now available on Thanksgiving Day, up to 2 p.m. in some cities. In addition, curbside pickup will be available until 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving, according to the company.

To encourage shoppers to enroll in Prime, Amazon is offering customers $20 off their next Whole Foods in-store purchase of $20 or more when they sign up for the loyalty program. New members can try Prime free for 30 days.

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