Developers Diversified launches online community
Beachwood, Ohio Shopping center owner and operator Developers Diversified Realty announced Tuesday that it has launched ShopStar, an interactive online community designed to engage shoppers and provide value.
According to Developers Diversified, ShopStar leverages two of today’s most popular social media platforms — Facebook and Twitter — to create an online hub for a retail and entertainment community that offers surprises and perks throughout the year, including spending sprees, prize packages, freebies and experiences.
This “VIP Club,” according to DDR, is brought to life by partnerships between the shopping center and its tenants, both working together to ensure customers find valuable rewards and engage in meaningful dialogue throughout all elements of the program.
“Our recent focus group research confirms that traditional advertising is not impacting consumers’ buying decisions,” said Scott Schroeder, VP marketing and corporate communications for Developers Diversified Realty. “The reality is that consumers are doing their homework before they come to a shopping center. They are searching the Web, talking to friends via social networks and reading online reviews. This behavior and dialogue guides their decisions of where to shop and what to buy. At the end of the day, we wanted to create an effective program that speaks to the convenience and value our centers offer in the same space that our customers are making their buying decisions — online.”
ShopStar will roll out in 25 Developers Diversified shopping centers and is a platform for participating properties to provide regular rewards and perks to loyal customers, deal-hunters and social media-savvy shoppers.
ShopStar perks will be updated frequently so members are encouraged to regularly visit the site to discover new offers. Additionally, there will be interactive elements, including polls and a community forum for users to discuss everything from trends to books to upcoming movies.
ShopStar also incorporates the centers’ Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for followers to keep up on the day-to-day activities at a center.
“Leveraging the power of social media adds a new level of customer service that is critical,” said Schroeder. “The opportunity to communicate directly with our customers and create relationships allows us to foster loyalty and build a personal connection with our shoppers. Additionally, ShopStar and the associated social-media channels enable us to be actively involved in online conversations with customers as they are making purchasing and entertainment decisions.”
Tiffany’s Q1 profit sparkles
New York City Tiffany & Co.’s net income more than doubled in the first quarter as its revenue rose in the United States and soared 50% in Asia, the company said Thursday.
The jeweler said it earned $64.4 million in the three months ended April 30. That compares with $24.3 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 22% to $633.6 million.
Revenue in the Americas increased 22% to $315.3 million, versus a 31% drop in the year-ago period. Adjusted for currency fluctuations, revenue rose 20%, and same-store sales rose 15%, led by the flagship on New York’s Fifth Avenue, where the figure rose 26%.
In the Asia-Pacific region, which doesn’t include Japan, Tiffany’s revenue soared 50% to $122.3 million. During the first quarter, the company opened its third store in Shanghai; by the end of the period, it operated 11 stores in China. Company officials said that they plan to have a total of 30 stores in China within the next five years.
In Japan, revenue slipped 2% to $115 million. Business in Europe rose 25% to $68.6 million.
Best Buy Mobile enhances Web site
MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy Mobile has annouced the re-launch of BestBuy.com/Mobile. According to the company, the new Web site will include such new features as online purchasing and Instant Ship, the new online hub offers convenient, customer-focused solutions for on-the-go gadget shoppers.
Through the new Web site, customers can now purchase a mobile phone online and have it shipped to their home or they can pick it up in-store. For customers needing assistance while choosing their phone online, Best Buy Mobile has a dedicated call center to respond.
“The capabilities within the enhanced site in combination with our in-store experience give Best Buy something completely and totally unique in the mobile phone marketplace,” said Shawn Score, president of Best Buy Mobile. “Now, we are truly a multi-channel mobile phone retailer supporting customers when and where they choose to engage us.”
Best Buy’s Mobile Web site provides customers with a larger range of functions, which include:
* Online purchases: Customers can purchase a mobile phone with a contract using online channels. Customers place their order, and can then choose to pick up in store or have their new phone shipped directly to their home. * Instant Ship: With Instant Ship, if a customer comes in and is qualified for a device that is not available in-store, the device can be ordered and shipped directly from the Web site. Instant Ship online improves the options of phones and colors for customers, and allows customers to have their new handset delivered right to their home.