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Coupon usage up, Sunday newspaper inserts still most popular source

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — When it comes to coupons, consumers still rely on the Sunday newspaper. According to consumer and media measurement firm Scarborough Research, coupon usage for household items is up 24% since 2006, with Sunday newspaper inserts ranking as the leading (49%) source for coupons, followed by in-store coupons (43%), direct mailings (33%), in-store circulars (26%), and preferred customer/loyalty card (24). And some one-fifth (22%) of consumers are utilizing digital media such as email, text messaging or Internet sites to get their household coupons,

“As the American economic recovery continues to find a balance, people are utilizing a myriad of ways to save money. From traditional paper coupon clipping to seeking out deals online, consumers are getting creative with finding the best deals,” said Brian Condon, executive VP commercial development, Scarborough Research.

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Westfield adds search features to mobile shopping app

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Los Angeles — Shopping mall owner Westfield Group said Wednesday it is implementing a new feature on its in-mall mobile shopping app by using Google Commerce search technology.

The launch of the debut product search feature, available via the free Westfield App, allows shoppers to browse the merchandise offerings of retailers located in all 55 Westfield shopping centers.

With the new product search capability, shoppers can browse by keyword searches. For example, a Westfield shopper looking for gold sandals would enter that term in the search bar of the free Westfield App and within seconds, the shopper would see a list of gold sandals available from the various retailers located in his/her preferred Westfield shopping center.

Product results can then be sorted by relevance, retailer and price. Additionally, Westfield App users can choose to limit results to a particular store, view larger images of products, read detailed descriptions and compare prices. They can also add items to their shopping list within the Westfield App or call individual stores for more information and to check on local availability with one click.

“Google Commerce Search provides an amazing experience to Westfield shoppers because it allows them to find and discover products in the mall more easily than ever before,” says Nitin Mangtani, group product manager for Google Commerce. “With this mobile application Westfield shoppers can expect fast and relevant product results, just as they expect from Google.com.”

The Westfield App, which was developed by Simplikate, a developer of state-of-the-art mobile applications, is available for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry. Product search is available now for the iPhone and will be available for the Android and Blackberry mid-August.

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Report: Walgreens to sell health insurance

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Walgreens plans to start selling health insurance to customers this fall, according to CNN Money.

The drugstore chain will sell health insurance products with different price ranges and coverage levels through a private health insurance exchange, the report said.

To read the full story, go to money.cnn.com/2011/08/09/news/companies/walgreens_health_insurance/

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