Global Payments: Juniper Research predicts that the number of mobile wallet users worldwide will increase close to 30% between the end of 2017 and 2019, reaching 2.1 billion. Each individual region has its own preferences and quirks, but the research firm analyzed future prospects of leading mobile wallets based on their potential to be adopted globally. US-based PayPal ranked No. 1, and second and third place went to China's Alipay and Weixin Pay/WeChat Pay, respectively. QR code payments were more popular in China, whereas successes in North America and Europe stemmed from branded mobile payment apps, like Starbucks'.
Department Store Beauty: Specialty retailers like Ulta Beauty and Sephora have stolen beauty shoppers who used to frequent department stores for makeup and perfume, but Coresight Research found that the situation isn't as dire as it seems. Department stores' share of overall beauty and personal care sales decreased only slightly between 2012 and 2016, from 10.1% to 9.8%. When consumers were asked where they bought cosmetics and skincare products most often, drug and discount stores topped the list. Macy's was the only department store that made the top 20 (1.9%), coming in just behind Ulta (2.8%) and ahead of Sephora (1.5%).
Privacy Concerns: Whether due to data breaches or Facebook using personal info, online privacy is a concern that doesn't let up. According to a GlobalWebIndex survey from Q4 2017, 25% of internet users worldwide strongly agreed that they are worried about personal privacy online, up from 18% in 2013. And 27% strongly agreed that they fret about how companies use their personal information, with a high in Latin America (54%) and a low in Asia-Pacific (23%). There was not much variance by age: Gen Z respondents (24%) were only a little less concerned than baby boomers (29%).