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Harvey Norman deploys Lyris for digital marketing

BY Staff Writer

Emeryville, Calif. — Digital marketing solution-provider Lyris said Monday that Australian retailer Harvey Norman has selected and deployed Lyris’ digital marketing platform to increase online conversions and lead generation for the company’s 180 retail stores.

Using Lyris, Harvey Norman will increase the quality of customer engagement across digital channels, and by doing so increase retention and loyalty.

"In retail we are constantly trying to reach customers with relevant, timely and valuable information," said Dan Hosford, digital marketing director at Generic Publications, Harvey Norman’s internal advertising agency.

Harvey Norman needed a reliable and robust digital marketing platform to better understand customer behaviors and use that knowledge to deliver superior customer experiences. Lyris’ intuitive interface and intelligent campaign features empower the retailer to set up automated trigger campaigns and respond to critical conversion opportunities, such as online cart abandonment. Additionally, Harvey Norman can capture customer interactive data from a variety of structured and unstructured sources, including social, email, mobile and hundreds of enterprise applications (a.k.a. "Big Data"), to power digital marketing campaigns that deliver higher revenues.

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Survey: Most consumers think Thanksgiving weekend will have best deals

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Los Angeles — Survey results released Tuesday by PriceGrabber found that 71% of consumers believe that retailers offer better deals during Thanksgiving weekend than they do during the rest of the winter holiday shopping season, up from 58% in 2011.

When consumers who indicated that the best deals can be found over the Thanksgiving weekend were asked which days retailers offer the best prices, 71% said Black Friday (Nov. 23), down from 80% in 2011 and 86% in 2010, and 41% said Cyber Monday (Nov. 26), up from 37% last year and 33% in 2010.

When asked which days they plan to shop over the Thanksgiving weekend, 42% said Black Friday (Nov. 23), followed by 38% who said Cyber Monday (Nov. 26); 21% indicated Saturday (Nov. 24), 13% selected Sunday (Nov. 25), and 10% said Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22).

When consumers planning to shop on Black Friday were asked to select all of the reasons why they planned to do so, 70% said that they can find the best prices on that day. Thirty-three percent noted that they plan to shop on Black Friday because it is a tradition with family and friends; 22% indicated they have the day off from work and enjoy shopping; and 7% said they like the thrill of fighting the crowds.

“Shoppers are eager to find deals this holiday season as they continue to keep a tight grip on their purse strings. Our survey data reveals that consumers believe some of the best prices will be offered over the Thanksgiving weekend, especially on Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” said Rojeh Avanesian, VP marketing and analytics of PriceGrabber.com. “While Black Friday remains a popular day for in-store shopping, we have seen a steady growth in online shopping on Cyber Monday. We expect this trend to continue as shoppers harness the power of the Internet to find the best pricing and take advantage of free shipping and other retailer incentives.”

According to the PriceGrabber’s survey, 64% of Black Friday shoppers plan to take advantage of extended store hours to start shopping even earlier this year. Twenty-four percent plan to start shopping in stores on Black Friday between midnight and 4 a.m.; 27% indicated they will start shopping between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m.; and 26% plan to shop between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon.

Fourteen percent indicated they plan to shop between noon and 10 p.m. and 9% of consumers indicated that they will start shopping at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening to prepare for Black Friday sales if stores are open.

According to PriceGrabber’s survey, consumers cite clothing, consumer electronics and computers as the top gift purchases on Black Friday. Of the consumers who indicated that they will shop on Black Friday, 56% said they will purchase clothing as gifts. This was followed by 48% who said they will purchase consumer electronics; another 48% who said they will buy computers, laptops, tablets or related equipment; 37% who said they will purchase books, CDs, DVDs or video games; 32% who said they will purchase toys; and another 32% who said they will purchase shoes.

Other items shoppers will purchase this holiday season include jewelry and watches, gift cards, sporting goods, appliances, beauty, cosmetics and spa packages, and food or candy.

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Report: Walmart to raise healthcare premiums

BY Staff Writer

New York — Walmart’s U.S. employees will pay between 8% and 36% more in premiums for its medical coverage in 2013, Reuters reported.

For its most popular plan, which covers individuals, the payment per bi-weekly paycheck is going up by $2, or 13%, the report said. Some other plans would have higher increases.

The chain said average costs its employees will bear should only increase about 4.4% in 2013, due to the elimination of some high premium plans, its move to offer free heart and spine surgery to most employees at six health care centers, and provision of other services, such as access to a healthcare advisor. That is less than the 9% average increase expected for all American workers next year, according to a study by human resources firm Aon Hewitt, though it isn’t clear whether the figures are comparable.

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