News

Alibaba's US launch threatens Amazon, eBay

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group officially launched its 11 Main U.S. retail site this week, threatening, eBay, Amazon, Etsy and other online sellers.

How Apple's iOS 8 boosts shoppers' buying power

Consumers will more easily be able to buy products via their iPhones with Apple's new iOS 8 platform. The updated system will be available in September.

One way that iOS 8 boosts buying power is allowing the iPhone's camera to snap photos of credit cards to automatically populate credit card information fields. "That means no more arduous copying out of your card number, cardholder name and expiration date every time you want to complete a transaction online," TechCrunch reported. "Instead, it's a single-click thanks to optical character recognition, and it works automatically with existing Web forms, so there's no work required on the part of Web developers."

Will PF Chang's data breach speed EMV?

Many banking and security professionals would argue that the P.F. Chang's credit card data breach discovered on June 10 is a reason for quick EMV migration in the U.S. However, others say EMV is not the be-all, end-all for retail fraud.

EBay denies closing local delivery

While a news source claims that eBay may have to shut down its eBay Now local delivery service, eBay says that is not the case.

Facebook, Amazon, PayPal duke it out

The online payments war continues after Amazon said earlier this week it was launching a PayPal competitor.

Sam's Club first to launch chip-and-PIN card

Sam's Club will become the first major retailer to adopt chip-and-PIN, or EMV technology, with the launch of a new card—co-branded with MasterCard. The card, along with a new rewards program linked to it, will be officially rolled out June 23.

Sears names new supply chain president

Sears Holdings is seeking to grow e-commerce and in-store sales by bolstering supply chain and fulfillment.

Shoppers stop buying online after breaches

Online retail sales may be hampered because of online and offline data breaches over the past few months, according to a new survey. 

Overstock.com, Apple pave way for more Bitcoin use

While Bitcoin's use by U.S. retailers is controversial, two new developments signal the virtual currency's future success.

Who is to blame in Target card breach?

Target this week said its security efforts were not to blame for the massive credit card breach late last year, contradicting what the retailer previously stated.

Multichannel, tracking customers in-store top priorities

While in-store analytics are vital, many of the 124 global retailers surveyed by in-store analytics firm Brickstream also said they are focusing on multi-channel retail.

In the report released Wednesday, June 4, survey respondents reported a timeline of within a year to four years for becoming fully multi-channel, with supermarkets and department stores ranking as early adopters. More than 80 percent of retailers said stores and e-commerce are the most dominant sales channels, while 73 percent of those surveyed said mobile is the most important channel and 66 percent named social as the most vital channel.

Dark stores offer online fulfillment solution

U.S. retailers looking to use stores for online order fulfillment could have a new role model from across the pond. Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury in the U.K. have been using "dark stores" to fill up to 4,000 online orders a day.

Target gets serious about its digital transformation

Target has formed a digital advisory group to assist as it tries to fight back from the very damaging data breach and mismanaged Canadian market entry. The Minneapolis-based retailer has enlisted technology executives from outside the traditional retail space to help chart a path along its digital transformation.

Pointing to a recent Deloitte study identifying digital interactions with brands as influencing more than $1 trillion in retail sales, Target has declared digital transformation one of its top three priorities.

"We need to accelerate our digital transformation and become a leading omnichannel retailer," said interim CEO John Mulligan during a recent earnings call. "To do this, we will move quickly to become more flexible in how we serve our guests, eliminating barriers that prevent them from shopping with us where and when they want."

The council consists of four leaders from tech companies: Match.com CEO and OkCupid founder Sam Yagan, Orbitz Worldwide's Roger Liew, Bain Capital Ventures' Ajay Agarwal and Accompani CEO/former Google Analytics lead Amy Chang.

Lowe's discloses breach of employee information

Home improvement retailer Lowe's has sent notifications of a possible data breach that may have compromised the personal information of current and former employees.

Apple, McDonald's, Amazon top supply chain rankings

Apple is tops when it comes to supply chain performance, according to a new report by Gartner.

E-commerce, not POS, source of most retail breaches

For all the attention paid to point of sale systems as the cause of security breaches at retail, e-commerce breaches are really more common.

Amazon adding 10,000 robots to warehouses

Amazon has long been a fulfillment story rather than a retail one, but it's the consumer-facing side of its business that gets the bulk of attention. Not so much lately, as the spotlight turns to expanded delivery and automated fulfillment, now with robots.

EMV's new vulnerabilities laid bare

There is mounting evidence that chip-and-PIN, or EMV, won't save retailers from data breaches. A new report from the Security Group at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory analyzed the EMV protocol and found it still had serious vulnerabilities.

Biometrics, BLE help modernize POS systems

Point-of-sale systems are shaping up to be the new frontier of in-store technology, or the new frontline in the war against cyber thieves as several new systems purport to modernize payments.

U.K. fashion retailer New Look has been testing a system enabled with fingerprint technology from DigitalPersona. After a successful trial at six of the retailer's stores in February 2014, New Look will expand the use of biometrics to 16 locations by the end of 2014. There are longer-range plans to equip 100 stores by 2017.

New Look found biometrics a compelling alternative to passwords and an improvement on time and attendance accuracy, but found the system also helped with loss prevention and customer service.

Each New Look store has two to four POS terminals depending on store size. Biometrics did away with employees' tendency to clock in for each other and minimized payroll fraud, according to the company. Replacing six-digit passwords reduced the burden on IT for lost or forgotten passwords.