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BY CSA STAFF

INDUSTRY STUDIES

Social-networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook have little impact on influencing online retail sales, driving only about 12% to buy more than planned, according to a report by New York City-based JupiterResearch. The effectiveness of these sites in driving retail sales is still emerging. The report also found that social and community sites help reaffirm purchase decisions, as 29% of online shoppers say they make better decisions after using these sites.… The average time it takes a shopper to make an e-commerce purchase decision has jumped from about 19 hours in 2005 to 34 hours and 19 minutes this year, according to a report by Napa, Calif.-based security service ScanAlert. The report suggests that the increase is due to more extensive comparison shopping.

ACQUISITIONS

Online shoe giant Zappos.com, Henderson, Nev., is signing a definitive agreement to purchase the assets of 6pm.com from Denver, Colorado-based eBags, Inc., an online retailer of luggage and bags. 6pm.com, formerly Shoedini.com, is an online footwear and accessory source that delivers a fun and interactive shopping experience.

MOBILE MARKETING

Mobio Networks, Cupertino, Calif., has launched Cheap Gas, a free widget designed to let users instantly locate the cheapest gas stations from their mobile phone. Mobio’s Cheap Gas widget allows a consumer to filter search results by brand. The program pinpoints the most relevant results and displays a map for the closest stations. Mobio uses data from GasPriceWatch.com, which offers the latest information about gas prices in the United States and Canada.… Sprint and GPShopper have launched Slifter, the first mobile local-product-search application that employs GPS technology to find products at neighboring retail locations. Sprint customers can search and find more than 85 million products at retailers, see price and availability information, and get directions to any of the 30,000 participating nationwide stores.

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Coca-Cola names chief marketer

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA The Coca-Cola Company has appointed Joseph Tripodi to the position of chief marketing and commercial officer, reporting to president and coo Muhtar Kent. Most recently, Tripodi was the senior vp and chief marketing officer for Allstate Insurance Co., where he was responsible for the structure, strategy and execution of all of their marketing efforts.

In his role, Tripodi will lead a new function consisting of the combination of the company’s global marketing and commercial organizations. In addition to overseeing all aspects of marketing, he will be responsible for coordinating and leading the company’s strategic direction in commercial leadership.

Prior to joining Allstate in 2003, Tripodi was chief marketing officer for The Bank of New York. He served as chief marketing officer for Seagram Spirits & Wine Group from 1999 to 2002. From 1989 to 1998, he was the evp for global marketing, products and services for MasterCard International, where among other achievements he was a chief architect of the acclaimed “Priceless” campaign. Previously, he spent seven years with the Mobil Oil Corp., where he gained considerable international experience in roles of increasing responsibility in planning, marketing, business development and operations in New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Guam.

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Whole Foods takes top spot on EPA list

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON Whole Foods Market took the top spot this quarter on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Top 10 Retail Partners in its Green Power Partnership program. Other major retailers on the list include Kohl’s (2), Staples (4), Lowe’s (6) and Office Depot.

According to its profile on the EPA Web site, currently, Whole Foods Market is purchasing or generating 100% of its total national power load from green power sources.

The Top 10 Retail Partners in the Green Power Partnership is released quarterly and represents the largest completed annual green power purchases of all Retail Partners within the Green Power Partnership. According to the EPA, the combined green power purchases of these organizations amounts to an estimated 1.4 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, which is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power more than 140,000 average American homes each year.

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