ECOMMERCE

Online giant preps for Indian version of Prime Day

BY CSA STAFF

Amazon is getting ready to host its fourth-annual flagship sale in India.

The online giant is gearing up for its “Great Indian Festival,” an event similar to Amazon’s Prime Day sale. Amazon is banking on the sale’s deep discounts, exclusive merchandise and buyback offers to attract new customers, according to Live Mint.

While the online retailer did not reveal a specific date for the Great Indian Festival, it is expected to launch “around the same time-frame” as last year’s event, which was held October 17-20, 2016, the report said. The sale typically coincides with the Hindu holiday, Diwali, which is Oct. 19.

The event also competes with online rival, Flipkart, which is hosting its annual Big Billion Days (BBD) sale from Sept. 20-24.

In addition to ramping up its capabilities, Amazon India chief Amit Agarwal said in the report that the company has expanded its assortment with more than 80 million additional products — a move that has “grown our selection two times. It will be our biggest shopping season ever in our four-year history (in India).”

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Study: Millennials put a premium on store associates

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Generation Y may be tech-savvy, but for many, store employees still play a pivotal role in their overall shopping experience.

In fact, 63% of shoppers aged 18-35 see store associates as extremely important to their retail experience, according to the “Store Associates Report,” from ChargeItSpot. The study is based on responses from more than 600 shoppers at malls across the country.

Another 28% said that store associates are somewhat important. Only 9% of Gen Y customers deemed associates as unimportant to their shopping experience.

While approximately half (49%) of Baby Boomers said store associates are extremely important to their shopping experience, 24% would be comfortable with doing away with this human interaction.

“Retailers strive to deliver rewarding experiences to shoppers every time they enter a store,” said Douglas Baldasare, CEO and founder of ChargeItSpot. “Store associates represent the brand and are there to help shoppers with their needs. Our survey found that even young shoppers see the added value of having a human interaction when they enter a store.”

When asked if they would shop at a store where bots replaced human workers, 42% of Millennials said they would not; 27% said they would, and 30% said they might. While Boomers are comfortable with less human interaction, 51% said they are not yet ready to shop in a store where bots replaced workers. Almost one-in-five (19%) would shop in a store controlled by bots, and 30% said they might be willing to shop in these automated stores.

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ECOMMERCE

Survey: Physical stores still dominate U.S. grocery

BY Marianne Wilson

Discount stores and traditional supermarkets are U.S. shoppers' most popular choices when it comes to buying food. At least for the time being.

Nearly all — 99% — of adults buy some or all of their groceries in-person, according to a survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers. The immediate access to products (71%) and the ability to select fresh meat, dairy and produce (70%) were the top reasons driving in-store shopping, along with the ability to see all other items in person (69%).

The survey round that consumers on average shop at 5.4 different types of grocery retailers, with 93% of people patronizing discount department stores (e.g., Walmart and Target) and 92% shopping at traditional supermarkets for grocery purchases, according to a new survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers. Sixty-nine percent of consumers shop at limited assortment food stores (e.g. Aldi and Trader Joe’s) and at warehouse clubs.

Traditional supermarkets have the most frequent visitors, with 55% making purchases at least once per week. The largest shares of infrequent shoppers buy occasionally (every few months) from small, specialty/gourmet food stores (76%) and high-end supermarkets (65%).

The study revealed that millennials have different grocery shopping behaviors, with a much higher number buying groceries from convenience stores (74%), Amazon/other pure online retailers (67%) and high-end supermarkets (66%). Even when buying online, 81% of millennials go to the store to pick-up their grocery order.

"Millennials have been called the foodie generation and blend that with their command of technology and we see some changes in grocery purchasing behaviors, which will drive all grocery retailers to make appropriate modifications in their business model to address the way they shop,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC. “The grocery retailer who wins their share of wallet is the one who delivers an omnichannel experience that meets their desires and demands.”

In other survey findings:

  • More than four out of 10 consumers (44%) have their grocery purchases delivered to their home and over one-third (36%) have items shipped by mail or courier service to their home.
  • Fifty-four percent of high-end supermarket shoppers who buy online have the retailer deliver the groceries to their home — the highest of any type of online grocery shopper.
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