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Amazon launches marketplace site in India

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Amazon has launched an online shopping site in India, but, in line with the nation’s rules, it will only be able to service other retailers.

The e-commerce giant has gone live with an e-commerce marketplace where local retailers can list books and DVDs under Amazon’s banner and use its delivery services to get them to buyers, according to The Financial Times. Amazon will start selling mobile phones and cameras within weeks.

Amazon has one warehouse outside of Mumbai and will use a mixture of its own couriers and local delivery trucks, the report said. Customers will be able to pay cash on delivery or by credit card online.

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QuikTrip most popular c-store; cleanliness rated most important

BY Marianne Wilson

Boulder, Col. — QuikTrip is the nation’s most popular convenience store, according to a new study by Market Force Information. QuikTrip was voted the most popular c-store chain among the more than 7,600 study participants, followed by Wawa, RaceTrac, Speedway and Arco/ampm.

Market Force found that consumers place a high value on the customer experience when visiting a convenience store. Store cleanliness, in particular, plays an important role in their decision about where to stop and shop. When asked what they like most about their favorite convenience store chain, cleanliness was named more than any other factor. Friendly service ranked second, amenities ranked third, coffee quality was fourth and great service was fifth.

“The top-five factors relate to fundamental customer experience, and that’s no surprise to the best players in the industry,” said Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer for Market Force. “Convenience store customers are on the go and in a hurry, but they will proactively drive to a store that provides a pleasant environment — clean, friendly, great food and service.”

When it calculated the top chains according to attributes such as cleanliness, amenities and atmosphere, QuikTrip and Wawa dominated across the board, ranking first and second in every category.

Overall-favorite QuikTrip, which invests in its employees and institutes creative customer service techniques, was the clear leader in the friendliness and great service categories. It also ranked first for cleanliness, amenities and atmosphere.

Wawa was lauded for the quality of its coffee, and RaceTrac performed consistently well in all of the attributes, securing a third-place spot in four of the six categories. Speedway, Exxon Mobil and Casey’s General Store also outperformed many of the other chains studied in these key areas.

“QuikTrip has done an exceptional job differentiating itself in customer service. Its focus on delivering a welcoming and efficient customer experience led it to stand out in satisfaction-driven categories including friendly associates and great service,” said Eden-Harris.

In food and product attributes, QuikTrip and Wawa ranked first and second in nearly every category, with Wawa only dropping in promotions.

QuikTrip was a clear leader in merchandise selection (48%) and in and merchandise prices (35%). It slightly edged out Wawa in food quality and fell second to Wawa in food selection.

Casey’s General Store and RaceTrac performed consistently well in most categories, with RaceTrac placing in the top five across the board. Exxon Mobile made a showing in the merchandise prices category, and BP for promotions.

The study was designed to uncover which convenience store chains consumers frequent the most, as well as why they prefer one to another. Market Force first calculated the favorites based on total votes, and then factored in the number of locations for each chain for a weighted view of the results. Of the 45 chains studied, 7-Eleven and Shell initially amassed the highest number of votes, which can be attributed to the fact that they have more than 10,000 locations in North America. However, when viewed as a calculation of votes per location, QuikTrip ranked first.

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Cisco: Consumers increasingly prefer self-service shopping experiences

BY Marianne Wilson

San Jose, Calif. — The majority (61%) of global consumers are open to shopping at a ‘self service’ fully automated store with vending machines and kiosk stations offering virtual customer service, according to a new survey by Cisco.

The report, the Cisco Customer Experience Report, examined the impact of automation, self-service and omni-channel shopping experiences and consumers’ views about providing their personal information in exchange for more personalized services. It found that when checking out, the majority of consumers globally (52%) prefer self-checkout stations to avoid waiting in line to make purchases.

The younger consumers were the most accepting of this shopping experience with 57% of the generation Y (aged 18 to 29) and 55% of the generation X shoppers (aged 30 to 49) preferring self-checkout, while baby boomers (50+) only represented 45%.

“The data in Customer Experience Report shows a growing consumer desire for an omni-channel shopping experience, where the speed and personalization they receive online is delivered in an increasing self-service manner in the store,” said Jon Stine, retail services practice, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group.

The Cisco report surveyed 1,511 consumers across 10 countries to examine the perceptions of consumers on their desired retail shopping experience.

Among its findings:

  • Omni-channel continues to grow with 34% of global consumers using multiple channels when shopping. The survey shows 23% of consumers recently made in-store purchase based on research they did online, and 11% of shoppers purchased online after seeing it in a retail store.
  • When researching products in the store, 43% prefer using their own mobile phone while 57% consumers prefer using in-store touch screens.
  • Forty-nine percent of consumers would allow an automated engine to make purchases for replacement products automatically, for example this could include restocking milk in the refrigerator.
  • More than half (52%) of global consumers would likely purchase a device to help them stay on budget for the retail purchases of cloths and other retail purchases.
  • Sixty-five percent of global consumers are comfortable receiving mobile retail advice based on their location through their mobile device.
  • Although many shoppers want automation when purchasing, consumers are evenly divided, with 58% of consumers preferring help from an in-store associate. And when shopping online, slightly more consumers prefer to instant message with a sales associate (30%), or call them on the phone (28%) verse sending an email (27%).

Overall, according to Cisco, the report demonstrates consumer interest in more automated and personalized shopping experiences; the type of connections made possible by what Cisco describes as the “Internet of Everything.” The Internet of Everything brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. Cisco recently released an analysis that identified a $14.4 trillion in bottom-line business value that will be created over the next decade by the Internet of Everything innovations.

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T.Platt says:
Jun-06-2013 02:41 pm

Consumers want to shop their own way, so give them the #CEX they want, across all channels http://amex.co/13rIN5K

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