THE REAL IMPACT OF A TRADE WAR
The potential for a trade war with China is escalating, which could hit retail hard. China's retaliation resulted in a 25% tariff on up to 128 American products.
While clothing and and shoes aren't on the tariff list, which mainly focuses on U.S. agriculture, trade groups like the NRF and Retail Industry Leaders Association have expressed concern that the tariff will negatively impact consumer wallets. "American families should prepare to pay more for summer clothes, shoes, back-to-school gear, home décor, holiday shopping — this will hit every season and every category," said Hun Quach, vice president of international trade for RILA.
The complexity and value of retailers' global supply chains are essentially being disregarded in the administrations tit-for-tat with China. As the situation evolves, uncertainty for businesses will increase, while consumer spending confidence takes a hit.
RETAIL'S BREACH EPIDEMIC
Facebook isn't alone in failing to safeguard consumer data. In a two-week span, data breaches have compromised millions of customer's information--particularly cardholders.
The introduction of chip-enabled credit cards in recent years has decreased breaches affecting store checkout systems, but online credit card processors and third-party vendors are increasing e-tailers' susceptibility to digital incidents.
With the exception of Target's data breach in 2013, when their sales took a major hit, most retailers generally have experienced few consequences, and movements like #DeleteFacebook have yet to cross over to the retail industry. As data leaks increase, will retailers invest in the security of their online operations, or should we accepted infringements on consumer privacy as the norm?
AMAZON'S PEER-TO-PEER OFFERING
Amazon isn't new to digital payment services, as its Amazon Pay offering is utilized by millions of customers and accepted at various outside retailers. And while Venmo boasts 7 million monthly users with $10 billion in transactions in the fourth quarter of 2017, its makes sense for the Bezos Empire to move into Venmo's market and offer its own peer-to-peer capabilities.
Consumers have a strong rapport with Amazon, trusting the digital marketplace with their money. As Amazon continues to push its banking endeavors, financial providers will need to combat the invasion with increased customer relation efforts.
The combination of peer-to-peer payments, (which can be used on Alexa, the virtual assistant), branded checking account products, and credit card offerings, gives Amazon a digital competitive advantage. Using its own financial services eliminates the middle man, bumps up its margins, and ultimately creates a one-stop shop for customers.
INSTAGRAM'S INFLUENCER UPSET
Here they go again. Facebook is upsetting users and brands at a domino rate. Recent policy updates have trickled down to its star child company, Instagram, eliminating the app's existing API. This decision imparts grave consequences on influencer monetization platforms like Liketoknow.it.
What does this mean? Third parties relinquish access to follower lists, relationship information, and user engagement data regarding "likes" and posted media. Analytic companies that provide follower demographics no longer have access to Instagram data. Influencers who discarded traditional blogs to rely on Instagram and apps like Liketoknow.it will be caught between a rock and a hard place in their content monetization.
Facebook's policies have shaken up the influencer industry, who isn't equipped to counter drastic changes. "They don’t have another platform to provide affiliate links or generate sales, so they are just scrambling,” says Texas-based influencer Ashley Robertson, who blogs as The Teacher Diva.
THIS WEEK'S BRIGHT SPOT
Adidas is taking the initiative to level the playing field for women, encouraging gender equality. In collaboration with Lean In, an organization founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, the activewear brand contributed to launch of #20PercentCounts.
The hashtag is a moniker of the first of three campaigns to raise public awareness about gender inequality and grim workplace realities. On average, women are paid 20 percent less than men for performing the same job.
Adidas continues to spread awareness by including this statistic on its shopping bags and promoting the campaign at its U.S. retail stores and e-commerce sites.