News

The Limited extends partnership with First Insight

BY Dan Berthiaume

Columbus, Ohio – The Limited is extending its partnership with predictive analytics provider First Insight, Inc. to help make faster and more accurate design, buying and pricing decisions, thereby reducing markdowns and mitigating risks associated with new product introductions.

First Insight engages The Limited customers through online social engagement tools to gather real-time data on new products. This data is filtered through First Insight’s predictive analytic models to determine which products present the greatest opportunity.

“By using First Insight to identify more winning products and price them correctly, our business will continue to increase its speed to market with the right styles at the right price”, said Diane Ellis, CEO of The Limited. “The accuracy and scalability of the First Insight platform will drive our expanded approach to value delivery, including pricing and promotion.”

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Report: Mobile shopping grows, app usage varies

BY Dan Berthiaume

Vancouver, British Columbia — Mobile shopping continues to grow at a rapid pace, with an increasing number of mobile shoppers embracing Internet retailer apps, social shopping apps, and brick-and-mortar retail apps to enhance their shopping experience. However, new research prepared by Yankee Group for mobile analytics firm Mobdia Technology shows usage of these apps varies widely depending on many factors, including the type and quality of the mobile app.

Social shopping applications such as Shopkick and Groupon drove the highest level of application engagement at 49%, while Internet retailers such as Amazon and eBay followed closely with 47%. Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers such as Walmart and Kohl’s trailed with 43%, but had the largest distribution of engagement results with some companies well above the average.

Apps offering customer services to enhance the mobile shopping experience drove more engagement. For example, Kohl’s and H&M engagement, at 73% and 61% respectively, was higher than most apps in all segments. The apps for both of these companies offer features other than just purchasing options, such as inventory checks, rewards, and look books.

The impact of app quality and experience is also apparent when engagement is reviewed on an OS basis. Many mobile apps in this study offer different experiences and qualities in their Android and iOS versions and the engagement metric results clearly show iOS apps benefiting from better applications.

"Mobile shopping is all about mobile applications and the data clearly shows the correlation between high app quality with enhanced user experiences and higher shopper engagement and usage," said Sheryl Kingstone, director of enterprise services at Yankee Group. "Retailers that want to drive more engagement with mobile shoppers need to understand what apps are being used, not just downloaded, and the features of those apps that are driving the increased usage. Tracking and measuring these metrics on a regular basis and benchmarking the results to the competition is key to a retailer’s success"

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OPERATIONS

CVS launches online vitamin hub

BY Dan Berthiaume

Woonsocket, R.I. – CVS’ pharmacy has launched the Family Vitamin Center, a new health hub on CVS.com that empowers customers to learn more about the vitamins and supplements that can support their personal health goals. The Center features an interactive questionnaire and guidance tools that provide personalized supplement recommendations identifying which options are best suited to address personal wellness goals or health condition.

It also allows users to shop by goal, such as heart health or immune support, and get health tips. Customers can also sign up for Ship & Save, an automatic replenishment program that offers a 20% savings on every vitamin or supplement purchased and free shipping.

"The Family Vitamin Center helps CVS/pharmacy customers save time, money and lead healthier lives, which is the intent of all of our digital resources," said Brian Tilzer, senior VP, chief digital officer for CVS Caremark. "More and more of our customers are engaging with us across digital platforms to enhance their pharmacy and drugstore shopping. Until now, there has been a lack of guidance online to help customers decide which products might be best for them. Our new Family Vitamin Center is a one-of-a-kind tool that fills this information gap by providing customers with the facts they need, helping to put them on their path to better health."

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