New Technologies Empower Seamless Eretail

By Staff
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 11:23 AM A new whitepaper by Juniper Research, “New Technologies Empowering Seamless Eretail,” notes that the retail market has undergone a radical transformation which has been driven by an increasing focus on consumers. Indeed, shoppers are now everywhere: in stores, online or both at the same time by checking the latest deals on their smartphones or tablets. This has put a crucial emphasis on customer convenience; forcing retailers, both in store and online, to offer more seamless and frictionless shopping experiences coupled with omnichannel payments. According to Juniper Research, by the end of 2019, eCommerce will have a significant role to play with 44 percent of the global population purchasing physical goods and 27 percent purchasing digital goods sales.

Men’s Grooming Market Is Poised for Growth

By Staff
Monday, November 18, 2019 2:56 PM Self-care, skincare, wellness: the trends that have captured the mindshare, and wallets, of U.S. women are inching their way into the world of men’s grooming, according to a recent post by Stella Rising blogger Elizabeth Timmis.

Per Mintel, nearly half of men feel that self-care fuels their overall well-being, and the growth in their personal care products exemplifies that. This industry is expected to increase 7 percent through 2023, with skincare and haircare flourishing in particular.

Television Ad Market Seen Declining in 2019, But Rebounding in 2020

By Staff
Friday, November 15, 2019 3:37 PM NEW YORK—The dollars spent on TV advertising in the United States will drop almost 3 percent this year, but will recover with a 1.0 percent increase in 2020—due primarily to the 2020 presidential election and Summer Olympics. However, even the bounce back next year will not hold off a long-term decline for ad spending on the biggest traditional advertising channel, according to a report from eMarketer

According to eMarketer’s latest U.S. advertising forecast, TV ad spending peaked in 2018 at $72.4 billion.

This year, TV ad spending in the U.S. will decline 2.9 percent to $70.3 billion, according to the eMarketer report. That means its share of total ad spending will drop below 30 percent for the first time. By 2022, TV’s share of the advertising market will drop below one-quarter of total U.S. ad spending, the research firm predicted.

TV spending will get a slight bump next year, due to political advertising and the 2020 Olympics. But the uptick will be short-lived, as TV spending will drop 1.0 percent every year thereafter, eMarketer said.

“TV ad growth can be heavily impacted by world events, so it’s possible that spending could return TV to $72 billion again,” said eMarketer forecasting director Monica Peart. “But it is unlikely that it will exceed that going forward, as ratings and viewership declines accelerate.”

U.S. Household Debt Climbs to $13.95 Trillion

By Staff
Thursday, November 14, 2019 1:55 PM Total household debt in the U.S., including mortgages, auto loans, credit card and student debt, climbed to $13.95 trillion in the third quarter of 2019, eclipsing the debt level at the height of the great recession in Q3 2008 by $1.28 trillion in nominal terms, a recent feature in Statista.com said. 

That’s according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s latest Report on Household Debt and Credit, which also shows that the delinquency rate, in this case the percentage of the total household debt balance that is at least 30 days past due, is significantly lower than it was back then (4.8 percent vs. a peak of 11.9 percent at the end of 2009), indicating that today’s debt burden isn’t as worrisome.

Standing at $9.44 trillion, mortgages still account for the lion’s share of the total debt balance, with student loans a distant second at $1.50 trillion. While credit card debt “only” amounts to $0.88 trillion, 8.3 percent of total credit card debt is 90+ days delinquent, trailing only student loans (10.9 percent) in that unfavorable category.

Apple Pay Dominance Drives Mobile Payment Transaction Volume

By Staff
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 10:19 AM Apple Pay’s dominance, as well as increasing retailer adoption of proximity mobile payment technology, is driving transaction volume growth in the U.S., according to the latest forecast from eMarketer.

eMarketer estimates U.S. proximity mobile payment transactions will total $98.88 billion in 2019, growing 31.8 percent to $130.36 billion next year. By 2021, the total transaction value will reach $161.41 billion.

Much of this growth is due to Apple Pay, which currently captures the largest share of the proximity mobile payment market in the U.S. eMarketer estimates there will be 30.3 million Apple Pay users in 2019, which makes up 47.3 percent of U.S. proximity mobile payment users and 13.7 percent of U.S. smartphone users.

By comparison, Google Pay and Samsung Pay make up 19 percent and 16.8 percent of proximity mobile payment users, respectively, and 5.5 percent and 4.9 percent of all smartphone users, respectively.

Coresight Research Says Spending by Chinese Outbound Tourists Rose in 2019

By Staff
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 9:43 AM Coresight Research has published a report that details the results of its fifth annual survey of Chinese overseas tourists’ travel, spending behavior and preferences. The top six takeaways from Coresight’s 2019 survey are:

1) Growth in the total number of trips taken by Chinese tourists has been driven by more people traveling, with our survey finding the average number of trips per traveler declined in 2019.

Lux Research Picks Five Transformative Technologies and Trends

By Staff
Monday, November 11, 2019 4:06 PM Lux Research recently released its annual list of technologies and trends that will transform the way we live, work, and play over the next decade. You can view the list in its entirety by referencing the accompanying infographic.

5G networks claim the top spot in Lux's "20 for 20" report, 12 spots over 2019's iteration. In fact, 11 of the 20 technologies on this list did not even appear on the previous year's list, and six of the nine returning technologies moved up in ranking.

Dollar Stores’ Performance Stands Out in Tough Retail Environment

By Staff
Friday, November 8, 2019 9:43 AM NEW YORK—In what many analysts are calling a record year for U.S. retail store closures, dollar stores appear to be doing great, according to recent analysis of the sector by eMarketer. “Not only are major players opening a significant number of new locations, but more consumers are regularly shopping for groceries at dollar stores than any other time in the past five years,” the report noted. “But dollar stores, which have been praised as survivors of the ongoing retail apocalypse, could face new pressure from Amazon come 2020.”

According to data compiled by Coresight Research, the top three U.S. retailers with the most store openings in the January-April period of 2019 were all dollar stores. Collectively, Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar opened more than 1,500 new locations.

Note, though, that while Dollar Tree Inc.—which owns both Dollar Tree and Family Dollar—announced the closing of several hundred Family Dollar locations set for 2019, the combined opening of more than 500 new locations helped offset the loss. Dollar General Corp., which is Dollar Tree Inc.’s main competitor, has an even more aggressive growth plan, opening close to 1,000 new locations in the first four months of 2019, Coresight Research reported.

On the flip side, conventional and specialty retailers such as Payless ShoeSource, Gymboree and Charlotte Russe lead the way in terms of the most stores shuttered in the January-April period of 2019.

ECP and Parent Survey from Harris Poll Shows the Significant Need for Myopia Education

By Staff
Thursday, November 7, 2019 12:01 PM SAN RAMN, Calif.—One in four children in the U.S. is myopic, but according to The Harris Poll survey results released yesterday by CooperVision, only 33 percent of parents know what that term means, or how it can affect their children’s future eyesight. This corroborates the finding that 97 percent of ECPs agree parents should know more about the ways they can help protect children’s vision. The survey was conducted among U.S. eyecare professionals (ECPs), including optometrists and ophthalmologists, and more than 1,000 U.S. parents with children between 8-15 years old regarding their knowledge of myopia.

According to the research, two-thirds of eyecare professionals (66 percent) have seen an increase in the prevalence of pediatric myopia in their practice over the last 5 to10 years. This aligns with data from the American Optometric Association (AOA) showing myopia has become increasingly prevalent in recent years in the U.S., with an increase of 25 percent in the past 40 years.

Around one quarter of parents (26 percent) have a nearsighted child, and about three quarters of those children were diagnosed between the ages of 3 and 12. But even though this condition is increasing, and the severity is getting worse, there are many misunderstandings surrounding myopia, what it is and why it is important for children to have their eyesight checked regularly by an ECP.

Share of Young Adults Not Working or in School Is at a 30-Year Low in U.S.

By Staff
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 12:01 PM The share of young adults who are not engaged in work or education has gone down gradually in recent decades and is now at its lowest point in 30 years (13.7 percent), according to a recent survey from Pew Research Center.

The downward trend in this figure—sometimes referred to as the “disconnection rate”—reflects in part the nation’s tight labor markets and falling unemployment, but also higher levels of engagement among young women. In 2018, only 14.4 percent of 18- to 24-year-old women were neither working nor enrolled in school, down from 21.7 percent in 1989. 

A similar share of young men (13 percent) were not working or going to school in 2018. This is up marginally from 11.2 percent in 1989, but the share has fluctuated substantially over that period, peaking at 18.6 percent in 2010 in the aftermath of the Great Recession. 

More young women are in school or working today compared with 30 years ago in part because fewer of them are mothers. Some 12.5 percent of 18- to 24-year-old women lived with a child in 2018, down from 25.0 percent in 1989. This is largely attributable to the dramatic decline in teen births in recent years. Young women who are mothers are more likely to be disconnected from education and work.

Demand for Specialists Drives Physician Recruitment Shortages

By Staff
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 9:28 AM In a continuing trend, hospitals, medical groups, and other health care facilities are seeking more medical specialists and fewer primary care physicians, according to an annual report tracking physician starting salaries and other recruiting incentives.

Prepared by Merritt Hawkins, a leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare, the 2019 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives tracks a sample of 3,131 physician and advanced practitioner recruiting engagements that the firm conducted from April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019. Now in its 26th year, the report indicates that in the 12 months covered by the report, Merritt Hawkins has been conducting a growing number of search assignments for medical specialists while conducting fewer searches for primary care physicians relative to recent years.

How Robotics Is Transforming the Retail Value Chain

By Staff
Monday, November 4, 2019 3:01 PM Retailers are using robotics to transform their operations by automating and simplifying the processes involved in production, warehousing and logistics, and last-mile delivery. In store, robotics is used for inventory management and shopper services.

These topline observations are offered by Coresight Research, which has published a new report that takes a deep dive into how robotics is transforming the retail value chain. As Coresight notes, robotics is increasing efficiencies and enabling greater speed to market, customization and new ways to engage with shoppers.

Deloitte Survey Forecasts Strong Holiday Sales for Retail

By Staff
Friday, November 1, 2019 9:38 AM NEW YORK—It’s looking like a cheerful holiday season for retail in 2019, according to a Deloitte holiday retail survey. This year’s survey marks the 34th time that the firm has issued a holiday sales forecast, and this year’s shopping season looks to be as good as or better than most past holiday seasons.

In the survey, which polled 4,410 respondents across the United States, Deloitte found that the per-household holiday expenditure in 2019 will average $1,496, with the top 20 percent of households accounting for 60 percent of total dollars spent.

The survey also found that shoppers of all ages are more likely to shop on Cyber Monday than Black Friday, and are expected to spending 59 percent of their holiday budget online, compared with 36 percent in store. Deloitte projects that e-commerce sales will rise 14 percent to 18 percent, significantly outpacing the 11.2 percent gain in 2018. Sales are projected to fall in a range of $144 billion to $149 billion. Use of smartphones for holiday shopping is expected to grow 6 percent, with other device use remaining flat.

A few other key takeaways from the Deloitte survey:

• The bulk of holiday spending ($596) will go to experiences and celebrations—including entertaining at home, socializing away from home, travel and restaurants.
• Promotions will influence 81 percent of consumers this holiday season.
• Approximately two-thirds of consumers (66 percent) will allocate spending to experiences.

Many Predict Jump of More Than 10 Percent of Women ODs by 2030, WIO Survey Says

By Staff
Thursday, October 31, 2019 9:47 AM The respondents of a recent Women In Optometry Pop-up Poll were varied on their responses of the percentage of women in the profession in the year 2030. Thirty-nine percent saw a jump to 56 percent to 60 percent in the next decade; that's up more than 10 percent from 44 percent women now. Twenty-four percent of poll participants said they believed there would be 51 percent to 55 percent women ODs in the year 2030, and 18 percent said 61 percent to 65 percent women ODs.

Expanded scope of care and medical services and myopia management were two areas that ODs rated as strong positives in the future of the industry. Co-management, offering specialty services, an expanding Medicare population and refraction services all also rated as areas of potential in 2030.

Managed care reimbursement poised itself as the strongest negative impact on the profession, according to respondents, and many others cited health care reform, private equity and online competition as other disruptors.

Click here to read the full story from Women In Optometry.

Majority of Americans Say Parents Are Doing Too Much for Their Young Adult Children

By Staff
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 2:23 PM Financial independence is one of the many markers used to designate the crossover from childhood into young adulthood, and it’s a milestone most Americans (64 percent) think young adults should reach by the time they are 22 years old, according to a new Pew Research Center study. But that’s not the reality for most young adults who’ve reached this age.

The share of young adults who could be considered “financially independent” from their parents by their early 20s—an assessment based on their annual income—has gone down somewhat in recent decades. A new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data finds that, in 2018, 24 percent of young adults were financially independent by age 22 or younger, compared with 32 percent in 1980.

Looking more broadly at young adults ages 18 to 29, the share who are financially independent has been largely stable in recent decades. Overall, young men are more likely than young women to be financially independent, but this gender gap has diminished significantly.

Click here to read the full story from Pew Research Center.