Tag: online shopping

Death by Amazon

By Rebecca Ungarino for Market Insider

A new “Death by Amazon” index released by the investment-research firm CFRA tracks the stocks its analysts believe could be short-seller targets given their vulnerabilities to competition from Amazon.

The index is full of home goods and electronics retailers like Party City and Bed Bath & Beyond, some of which have seen their entire market value wiped out in recent years.

Investors are familiar with the Amazon effect by now.

The e-commerce juggernaut announces that it is preparing to enter into an industry – be it medication, brick-and-mortar grocery, entertainment, or others – and the stocks of companies in the new target market fall as jittery investors are struck with the fear that irreversible disruption is coming.

So the investment-research firm CFRA created a new index, “Death By Amazon,” that tracks the stocks its analysts think are particularly vulnerable to Amazon’s expansion and offerings.

“The equally weighted index serves as a retail performance benchmark and short-selling idea generation tool for our clients,” CFRA analysts Camilla Yanushevsky and Todd Rosenbluth wrote in a report to clients earlier this month.

To pinpoint the 20 constituents the analysts believe are poorly positioned to compete against Amazon’s efforts in various industries, they evaluated the companies’ “Share of Voice” data that comes from web-traffic analytics company Alexa Internet (which is owned by Amazon as its other Alexa-named product).

That measure shows the percentage of searches for a keyword across major search engines in the past six months “that sent organic traffic to the respective site.”

For example, the analysts compared how much traffic was going to a national jewelry retailer’s website when consumers search for the term “jewelry” versus how much traffic was going to Amazon for the same search term.
With this kind of analysis, you get an index full of brick-and-mortar retailers whose products are available on Amazon – and apparently less popular through online searches – from floor tiles to party supplies.

To be fair, it’s not the first Death by Amazon index. Bespoke Investment Group had already created its Death by Amazon index, tracking the same theme.

Here are all the stocks listed, in alphabetical order, with how their “Share of Voice” scores for various products stack up against Amazon:

  1. At Home Group
    1-year performance: -40%
    % below all-time high: -46%
    Share of Voice score for “seasonal decor”: 4.2%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “seasonal decor: 19.6%
  2. Barnes & Noble Education
    1-year performance: -38%
    % below all-time high: -74%
    Share of Voice score for “textbook”: 1.3%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “textbook”: 6.9%
  3. Barnes & Noble
    1-year performance: -0.1%
    % below all-time high: -84%
    Share of Voice score for “books”: 23.2%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “books”: 12.2%
  4. Bed Bath & Beyond
    1-year performance: -16%
    % below all-time high: -80%
    Share of Voice score for “cookware”: 2.4%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “cookware”: 23.3%
  5. Best Buy
    1-year performance: -14%
    % below all-time high: -19%
    Share of Voice score for “electronics”: 1%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “electronics”: 8.1%
  6. Big 5 Sporting Goods
    1-year performance: -71%
    % below all-time high: -88%
    Share of Voice score for “fitness equipment”: 0%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “fitness equipment”: 11%
  7. Big Lots
    1-year performance: -6.5%
    % below all-time high: -41%
    Share of Voice score for “cookware”: 0%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “cookware”: 23.3%
  8. Dick’s Sporting Goods
    1-year performance: +15%
    % below all-time high: -43%
    Share of Voice score for “sports deals”: 18.7%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “sports deals”: 24.5%
  9. GameStop
    1-year performance: -31%
    % below all-time high: -87%
    Share of Voice score for “video games”: 7%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “video games”: 17.1%
  10. Kirkland’s
    1-year performance: -49%
    % below all-time high: -81%
    Share of Voice score for “home decor”: 5.4%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “home decor”: 10.8%
  11. Office Depot
    1-year performance: -19%
    % below all-time high: -95%
    Share of Voice score for “office supplies”: 33.1%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “office supplies”: 9.8%
  12. Overstock.com
    1-year performance: -67%
    % below all-time high: -86%
    Share of Voice score for “dresser”: 1.3%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “dresser”: 9.9%
  13. Party City
    1-year performance: -49%
    % below all-time high: -65%
    Share of Voice score for “party supplies”: 22.5%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “party supplies”: 13.2%
  14. PetMed Express
    1-year performance: -40%
    % below all-time high: -60%
    Share of Voice score for “pet supplies”: 5.1%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “pet supplies”: 13.7%
  15. Pier 1 Imports
    1-year performance: -65%
    % below all-time high: -97%
    Share of Voice score for “home decor”: 8.3%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “home decor”: 10.8%
  16. Signet Jewelers
    1-year performance: -49%
    % below all-time high: -87%
    Share of Voice score for “jewelry”: 3.8% for kay.com, 2.9% for jared.com, and 0.12% for zales.com
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “jewelry”: 10.7%
  17. The Michael’s Companies
    1-year performance: -43%
    % below all-time high: -67%
    Share of Voice score for “drawing supplies”: 13.1%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “drawing supplies”: 24.5%
  18. Tiffany & Co.
    1-year performance: -5%
    % below all-time high: -31%
    Share of Voice score for “jewelry”: 6%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “jewelry”: 10.7%
  19. Tile Shop Holdings
    1-year performance: -36%
    % below all-time high: -85%
    Share of Voice score for “tile”: 2.1%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “tile”: 22%
  20. Williams Sonoma
    1-year performance: +7%
    % below all-time high: -42%
    Share of Voice score for “cookware”: 16.7%
    Amazon’s Share of Voice score for “cookware”: 23.3%

By Wendy Knowler for Herald Live

Credit card fraud has been rapidly outpacing all other forms of bank fraud in recent months, with many older people being sweet-talked by fraudsters posing as bank officials into revealing their one-time-password (OTP) over the phone.

The Ombudsman for Banking Services, Reana Steyn, issued a warning about the alarming trend, revealing that 58% of the bank clients who complained about falling victim to credit card fraud in the past three months were older than 61 and 11% were older than 80.

“Not long ago credit card fraud was number five in our list of complaint categories, and now it’s number two, comprising 19,45% of all complaints,” Steyn said.

“That’s up from about 12% in December. At this rate it will soon overtake internet banking fraud to occupy the top spot.”

In a typical scenario, a bank client gets a call from a fraudster claiming to be phoning from their bank. In most cases, the fraudster already has the person’s credit card number.

The fraudster has gone onto an online shopping site – two of their favourites are Takealot and Foschini, Steyn said – and, poised to buy with victim’s credit card, they convince them that in order to help the bank prevent them from falling victim to fraud, they must please read out the OTP which has been sent to them via SMS.

The victim complies, and then the shopping begins.

The fraudsters also con people into believing that the bank will give them extra bank loyalty rewards points if they answer a few questions, Steyn said.

In the process of that Q&A, they’re asked for their OTP.

In one case, a fraudster asked a woman if she would like to convert her bank rewards points into cash. With that benefit in mind, she read out her OTP.

Alarmed at getting similar calls on the same day, she phoned her bank, but had already been defrauded of R11,200.

“Credit card fraud is a growing concern as banking systems increase in speed and efficiency,” Steyn said. “At the same time, fraudsters apply more sophisticated tactics to defraud and rob customers of their hard-earned money and savings.

“All bank customers, particularly the elderly, need to be knowledgeable and vigilant about their preferred banking channels.”

What not to do:

  • Never share personal and confidential information with strangers over the phone.
  • Banks will never ask you to confirm your confidential information over the phone.
  • If you receive an OTP on your phone without having transacted yourself, it is likely that it is a fraudster who has used your personal information. Do not provide the OTP to anybody. Contact your bank immediately to alert them to the possibility that your information may have been compromised.

How to complain:

  • Lodge a formal, written complaint directly with your bank’s dispute resolution department.Ask for a complaint reference number from your bank.
  • Allow the bank 20 working days in which to respond to your complaint.
  • Obtain a written response from your bank and if you are not satisfied with the outcome, please log the complaint with the Ombudsman for Banking Services.

By Olivia Tambini  for Tech Radar

Google is testing a new feature that allows people to buy products while browsing Google Image search results.

Known as ‘shoppable ads’, these sponsored posts are placed within image search results, and allow retailers to “highlight multiple products available for sale” within an image, according to a post on the Google Ads blog.

Google says the feature is only being tested on “a small percentage of traffic with select retailers, surfacing on broad queries like “home office ideas”, “shower tile designs”, and “abstract art”.

Should the tests go well, it could soon be possible to do your shopping from Google Images by hovering over a sponsored ad with a price tag icon in the bottom right corner, which will then show you the prices and brands of the items in the image.

It looks like the new feature will work in a similar way to Instagram’s shoppable tags, making it quicker than ever to buy products online.

Whether users will appreciate the proliferation of shoppable ads across social media and now search results will, of course, remain to be seen.

By Deena M. Amato-McCoy for Chain Store Age

Walmart is enhancing its new website with two new services that will streamline how customers browse and make purchases across its home furnishings offering. On Thursday, the discount giant will begin testing its 3D virtual shopping tour, a service that enables customers to virtually browse a curated apartment. The service features nearly 70 items from both national brands and Walmart’s private label offerings.

Walmart will also enable customers to buy a completely decorated room. In July, the discounter is launching “Buy a Room,” a service that will allow customers to add a group of items to their online shopping cart, and buy a complete look.

Initially, the service will highlight dorm living, and feature five curated collections. Each room will feature up to 20 of the most popular items college students need to outfit their living space.

“While we are launching these new features for dorm rooms and small space living, we know that they could have applications elsewhere and will continue to listen to customer feedback to determine how to implement them more broadly on the site,” said Anthony Soohoo, senior VP and group general manager, home, U.S. e-commerce, Walmart.

For example, Walmart plans to continue build out its home assortment, and plans to add a new coastal style, he added.

The new solutions are an extension of Walmart’s new digital home furnishings shopping experience. This is one of many elements featured on Walmart’s redesigned website, which was introduced in February.

Walmart’s new dorm room shopping experience comes on the heels of Amazon’s own push for the upcoming back-to school shopping season. On Wednesday, the online giant launched its redesigned “Back to School” and new “Off to College” stores, two concepts that feature low-priced classroom supplies and dorm room essentials. Both online sections feature a curated selection of merchandise, and streamlined searches to locate items.

Online shopping grows in SA

By Joseph Booysen for Business Report

Although traditional retail stores dominate the South African market, consumers are choosing the online option for cheaper technical goods purchases.

According to the latest research report by GfK (Growth from Knowledge), South Africa, E-commerce 360:Navigating the Technical Goods E-Commerce Market in South Africa, e-commerce retailers grew their share of the South African technical consumer goods market by 52 percent last year, accounting for 6.9 percent of total consumer spending by rand value for the year.

This meant they had nearly doubled their share of the market since since 2015.

Cherelle Laubscher, a senior retail manager at GfK South Africa said e-commerce in South Africa was still in its infancy compared to European markets, where a quarter of technical goods spending goes through digital channels.

“However, growth in South Africa is strong and shows no signs of declining as bargain-seeker flock online to buy technical consumer goods like smartphones, IT, consumer electronics, and major home appliances,” said Laubscher.

She said although traditional stores dominated the market, they were not growing the value of the sales they generated in technical goods as quickly as the digital players and e-commerce retailers were seeing strong growth in smartphones, panel televisions, small domestic appliances, gaming consoles and laptops.

According to the report, survey respondents cited better prices, attractive promotions and wide product selections as major reasons for shopping online rather than at at a traditional store, while by contrast, experiential factors such as getting to see and feel goods motivated shoppers to go to physical stores.

GfK South Africa’s point of sale data showed that the consumer perception that e-commerce prices were lower than in-store prices was accurate. More than two-thirds of the top 100 sellers among technical goods products in South Africa were cheaper through digital stores that at physical retailers.

Across the top 100 products, online prices were an average of 4.7 percent cheaper.

Odette Jardim, a client solutions manager at GfK South Africa, said 45 percent of connected consumers in the survey claimed to increasingly use the internet to buy products online compared to the previous year (2016).

“However, a consumer journey often straddles both physical and digital channels, meaning that the most successful retailers should have an omnichannel strategy,” said Jardim.
Meanwhile, Kevin Tucker, PriceCheck chief executive, said although South African consumers might be lagging in the amount of online shopping they did compared to the US, for instance, with increased innovation and tech security, South Africa would continue to see growth.

“South Africa has seen a boom in cutting-edge e-commerce innovation, and this needs to be celebrated,” he said.

Tucker said although the e-commerce industry had grown by 25 percent in South Africa, only 1.5 percent of online consumers ended up making a purchase.

“Online spending in South Africa is expected to reach R53 billion by the end of 2018, up from R37.1bn in 2017, according to research conducted by PayPal. There is clearly huge untapped potential in this industry,” said Tucker.

The latest online shopping trends in SA

Price comparison platform Price Check has carried out research on some of the trends in online shopping and found very interesting results.

CEO of Price Check, Kevin Tucker, has highlighted the major trends which emerged in their research.

Consumer demographics
Approximately 2.5-million people a month use Price Check. South Africans love shopping according to the notable shopping seasons, and patterns differ vastly at peak times like Black Friday and Christmas.

The 25-34 age group is the dominant online shopper in South Africa. However, across the board people are moving online – it is changing the way we as consumers shop. People of all ages are looking for groceries and home deliveries.

Tucker says the searches between male and female are somewhat similar. In general females search for pharmaceuticals and health and beauty products. They also enjoy cellphones and gadgets.

Replacement parts, such as phone covers and battery chargers, are also very popular.

Noticeable trends
“We found that cellphones dominated the searches. South Africans seems to be passionate about finding deals for cellphones,” says Tucker.
South Africa has a larger number of prepaid cell phone users than contract users, and thus consumers are funding their own phones.
“The value-leader is Huawei, across all their different models.”

Interestingly, what tops the list is also a search for DSTV decoders. People are trying to save a couple of rands on DSTV decoders, which doesn’t really vary much.

Source: Cape Talk

Amazon introduces accounts for teens

Traditionally, teenagers who needed to buy notebooks or new sneakers on Amazon either had to ask their parents to do it for them, or log onto their parents’ account, where Mom and Dad’s viewing history would be on full display (“Fifty Shades Darker? Eww, Mother!”)

Amazon never really had clear rules regarding a minimum age for making purchases, simply stating in its service terms that anyone under 18 “may use the Amazon Services only with involvement of a parent or guardian,” and that you must be 21 to buy alcohol.

Now Amazon is giving teens ages 13 to 17 more autonomy – and let’s be real, hooking them onto the colossal shopping catalog early – by introducing teen accounts.

Parents choose a payment method and shipping address, and decide whether they want to be able to approve every order their teen makes or set a pre-approved spending limit. Then, to start shopping, teens must download the Amazon app, and create a login.

When they’re about to buy something, their parents will receive a text or email with the item, price and an optional note from their kid, saying something like, “Dad, can I get these pants for my ski trip?” or “I really, really need glitter slime.” Parents can reply “Y” for yes, or they can review the order further on the site.

Parents with Prime membership can share “select benefits” with their teen, including free two-day shipping on more than 50 million items, Prime Video and Twitch Prime. Teens and parents can sign up for a teen account at amazon.com/forteens.

By Michelle Woo for Lifehacker

Retailers are continually tackling shopping cart abandonment, but according to Q1 2016 research, the digital shopping cart abandonment rate is high worldwide, at a startling 74,3%.

Data from SaleCycle, which represents activity among the company’s clients, revealed that Asia-Pacific has the highest abandonment rate in the world, at 75,9%—though no region differed from the global average by more than 2,8 percentage points.

By and large, retailers are constantly looking at ways to overcome shopping cart abandonment. According to research from Listrak, more top 1 000 retailers have sent a shopping cart abandonment message in 2015 compared to prior years.

Additionally, US merchants are using retargeting to reach shopping cart abandoners. In fact, Multichannel Merchant found that more than half of US companies, including B2B merchants and retailers, said they used retargeting for this purpose.

This makes abandoned shopping carts a reason to have another touchpoint with customers – and the success rates of triggered e-mails based on abandoned carts, for example, also suggest abandoned carts can be a positive.

Source: www.emarketer.com

Online shopping is a convenient way to find, compare, and purchase items in South Africa.

However, as security breaches increase and attacks grow more sophisticated, buyers need to take greater care with their personal and banking information.

Besides standard security precautions such as keeping your operating system, anti-virus, and browser up-to-date, you should also keep the following security tips in mind.

Watch out for scam specials
If you get a promotional e-mail from a retailer, even one you are familiar with, never click on a link – ever.

That’s the advice from Adam Levin, author of Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves.

Levin said two problems could occur:

The destination the link points to could contain malware used to steal your passwords.

You could be directed to a clone site that looks like the retailer’s, which is used to harvest your identity and credit card details.
Levin said shoppers must go directly to a shop’s URL and avoid following links from promotional messages.


Read reviews
Before using a store for the first time, Levin said buyers must read independent reviews to ensure the site is reputable.


Check the security certificate
Shoppers should always check an online store’s security certificate.

This can be done by clicking the lock icon next to the site’s URL in the address bar.

You can also take this a step further and test a site’s Transport Layer Security (TLS) using a tool such as the Qualys SSL Labs server tester.
Using public Wi-Fi or computers
While TLS helps protect against the dangers of unsecure networks such as public Wi-Fi, it is best to avoid shopping over public connections.

Similarly, users don’t know what software might be watching their activity on a public computer, so it is best not to use one when shopping online.
Re-using passwords
Another security mistake is using the same password on two or more Web sites.

This is to guard against an attacker only needing to get hold of a single password to get into multiple websites where you have registered accounts.
Saving billing information
If someone gets their hands on your password for an online shopping site and you have saved your credit card information, they might be able to buy items with your money.

Sites which save card and CVV numbers are prime examples.

Digital voucher codes or gift cards are a popular purchase among attackers in this instance.
Source: www.mybroadband.co.za

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