FINANCE

Mastercard: Canada trailed U.S. in December sales growth

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — A report released Wednesday by MasterCard revealed that Canadian retail sales, which grew just 1.6% in December, trailed the U.S., which also posted less than stellar results for the month.

Sales in the U.S. advanced 2.4% in December.

Canada’s results were particularly disappointing, considering the country’s December sales grew 4.3% in December 2011, according to MasterCard’s SpendingPulse report.

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M.Donovan says:
Apr-19-2013 08:44 am

I noticed a trend in United
I noticed a trend in United States, too. split

M.Donovan says:
Apr-19-2013 08:44 am

I noticed a trend in United States, too. split

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OPERATIONS

LoyaltyPulse: Restaurant rewards increase visits

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Asheville, N.C. — Survey results released Wednesday by loyalty program consultant Loyalogy showed that restaurant rewards programs can increase patron visits by 35%.

According to the LoyaltyPulse U.S. study tracking consumer attitudes and behavior regarding restaurant rewards programs, consumers estimate a restaurant rewards programs would increase their visit rate to a particular restaurant by an average of 35%, and another 65% say they would recommend a restaurant more to others if that restaurant offered an appealing rewards program.

"The LoyaltyPulse study provides clear evidence directly from consumers regarding the effectiveness of restaurant rewards programs and the value associated with using the rewards program data to tailor and target guest e-mail communication," said Dennis Duffy, president of Loyalogy.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Four-out-of-five consumers prefer a rewards program with a clearly defined proposition in which they earn points for rewards than a program built solely on periodic, surprise free items;
  • Consumers desire a simple reward program enrollment process in the restaurant and would prefer to supply additional information online after they have left the restaurant;
  • Although consumer wallets are bulging with plastic cards, 60% of respondents stated that they don’t mind carrying a membership card for a rewards program if it’s necessary;
  • While only 10% of respondents have paid a fee to join a restaurant rewards program, fully 50% state they would be willing to do so if the program offered adequate value; and
  • A single rewards program membership covering multiple restaurant brands has significant appeal to consumers. 73% of respondents agreed they would like to have one rewards program membership that was honored at multiple restaurant chains.
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News

IBM partners with Signet Jewelers on digital makeover

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Armonk, N.Y. — IBM announced Wednesday that jewelry chain Signet Jewelers has teamed with IBM on a major e-commerce strategy and digital marketing redesign for Signet’s national U.S. store chains, Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry.

The initiative has resulted in consistent sales growth, including a year-over-year increase of 49% in online sales as reported in the company’s recently announced holiday sales for fiscal 2013.

To advance its existing multichannel retail strategy and supplement its e-commerce and information technology expertise, Signet Jewelers U.S. Division engaged consultants from IBM Global Business Services and its digital consulting and design practice, IBM Interactive. IBM and Signet U.S. collaborated to develop a unified strategy for delivering a more consistent, branded and personalized customer experience to Kay and Jared customers everywhere they shop – whether in a physical store, online or via mobile.

Key components of the multi-phased strategy include the launch of new transactional mobile sites, which enable customers to shop and purchase Kay and Jared products from their mobile phones, and a redesign of the Kay.com and Jared.com websites, which went live before the holiday shopping season.

The new sites combine best practices in optimized navigation and functionality, making it easier for shoppers to find, compare and purchase products online, along with new custom features that deliver a more guided, personalized shopping experience for which the company is known. For instance, shoppers can now chat live with a customer service representative, compare product details side-by-side to help determine their selection, track recently viewed items and much more.

In addition to the customer service enhancements, Signet U.S. also innovated its online credit practices, introducing first-to-market solutions for its industry. As part of this effort, new credit customers now have the ability to access payment information and existing customers can review available credit balance and account details right from the Kay and Jared sites.

"As we continue to evolve to best meet the needs of today’s consumers in a rapidly changing digital world, we have placed a priority on developing a convenient digital eco-system that allows shoppers to easily connect with us across all channels, all the time," said George Murray, SVP, marketing, Signet Jewelers U.S. Division "This focus has allowed us to create a world-class e-commerce and mobile selling solution, and accelerate our constant efforts to innovate the customer experience."

Signet U.S. launched complete redesigns of both sites in October 2012. Signet introduced new mobile sites for each brand with transactional capabilities in mid-November. The company has also launched a mobile app available on iTunes and the Android Market and introduced catalogs on the Google Catalogs app to tap into the growing population of mobile shoppers.

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Apr-11-2013 02:17 pm

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G.Gacho says:
Mar-15-2013 02:21 am

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Mar-15-2013 02:21 am

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