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Facebook receives lowest customer experience rankings

BY Dan Berthiaume

Ann Arbor, Mich. – Facebook is the lowest scoring brand in the overall ForeSee Customer Experience Index, with a score of 69. The index, a study that examines how today’s customer experiences with the top 100 brands across seven industries as reported by Interbrand are predictive of companies’ future business success, shows that while Amazon dominates retail industry at the brand level (87), Nordstrom (86), Coach (85), Costco (84) and Tiffany (84) are statistically within reach of the leader. Meanwhile, McDonald’s (72) leaves room for improvement with measurement of how it is falling short in satisfying its customers.

When comparing the future behaviors of highly satisfied customers (with satisfaction scores of 80 or higher) to less satisfied customers (with satisfaction scores of 69 or less), ForeSee found that highly satisfied customers report being:

  • 75% more likely to prefer the brand overall;
  • 60% more likely to do business with the company;
  • 83% more likely to purchase more;
  • 63% more likely to purchase from the brand the next time they are in the market for a similar product or products;
  • 77% more likely to give the brand a positive recommendation to others; and
  • 76% more likely to trust the brand in general.

"ForeSee’s Experience Index reveals some surprising customer experience winners and losers and really indicates that those companies giving customers what they want are positioned for long-term success at the brand level," said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee. "The ForeSee Experience Index research illustrates how individual drivers of customer satisfaction have a quantifiable impact on the likelihood of customers to purchase more and continue to do business with or recommend a brand. The report gives the companies listed a chance to benchmark themselves against each other in terms of the overall customer experience, and serves as an industry resource to give other businesses the opportunity to compare themselves to the best in class."

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M.Nolan says:
Dec-05-2013 04:49 pm

Is comparing Facebook to any other company in this article apples-to-apples? All the other brands listed sell a product. Facebook's customers are those who advertise.

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360pi: Most Black Friday deals a myth

BY Dan Berthiaume

Ottawa, Ontario — Black Friday deep discounts could be a myth, with only a few retailers dropping prices on only a few categories. Some key findings from pricing intelligence technology provider 360pi based on Amazon’s own assortment in eight categories, including TVs, video games, tablets and digital cameras, show that:

  • Amazon was the only retailer who adjusted prices on over 20% of its assortment, changing prices on almost a third of its merchandise on Black Friday.
  • On Cyber Monday, all the multichannel retailers were trending closer to Amazon’s pricing than the pureplay online stores. You would think the exact opposite given the cost differential in physical stores.
  • Walmart actually raised its prices almost 5% on average on Black Friday, and had been increasing prices steadily in the days leading up to it.
  • Sam’s Club and Amazon dropped their prices most aggressively on Black Friday.
  • Target was the mass merchant with the most significant decrease in its own prices for this assortment from two weeks prior to Black Friday to Black Friday.
  • A majority of retailers either did not lower prices, or even raised prices slightly, on Black Friday.

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Dollar General Q3 rises 14%; ups 2014 expansion to 700 new stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Goodlettsville, Tenn. – Dollar General delivered some impressive financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 as traffic improved and shoppers spent more per transaction on average. The retailer said it plans to open approximately 700 stores in fiscal 2014 and remodel or relocate approximately 525 locations, expanding store selling square footage by 6% to 7%.

Dollar General’s net income increased by a better-than-expected 14% to $237 million in the 2013 third quarter compared to $208 million in year-ago period.

Net sales increased 10.5% to $4.38 billion in the 2013 third quarter compared to $3.96 billion in the 2012 third quarter. Same-store sales increased 4.4%, with increases in both customer traffic and average transaction value. Consumables sales continued to increase at a higher rate than non-consumables in the 2013 third quarter, with the most significant growth due to strong sales of tobacco products, perishables and candy and snacks.

Dollar General once again delivered strong results in the third quarter, even in the face of an ongoing challenging consumer environment,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO. “Our merchandising initiatives have continued to be successful in driving traffic and sales. We had solid financial performance across key metrics.”

During the first nine months of this year, the company opened 577 new stores and remodeled or relocated 534 units as part of a full-year plan to open approximately 650 new stores and remodel or relocate another 550 locations. The company said it operated 11,061 stores as of Nov. 1.

Dollar General now expects total net sales for the 2013 fiscal year to increase by 10% to 10.5% from the 2012 fiscal year, including an expected increase in same-store sales of 4% to 4.5%. Previous guidance reflected an increase in total net sales of 10% to 11% and an increase in same-store sales of 4% to 5%.

"Looking ahead, while we are cautious on the current macroeconomic trends, we remain excited about the long-term growth prospects for our business,” Dreiling said. “Dollar General is committed to delivering everyday low prices and convenience for our customers, which has proven to be a winning formula given our long track record of success.”

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