MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Report: Consumers seek digital value

BY Dan Berthiaume

Livonia, Mich. – A large majority of consumers consider themselves value seekers, and they are increasingly using the Internet, social media and mobile devices to obtain value. According to the new Valassis Shopper Marketing Report, nearly eight in 10 consumers consider themselves value seekers, self-described as promotion sensitive or price conscious.

According to the Valassis Shopper Marketing Report, 71% of those who search the Internet for coupons have done so after hearing about it in social media; an average of 67% engage in showrooming, with Millennials at a much higher rate; 40% say their coupon usage has increased during the past year; and 24% report their use of smartphones to get deals has increased.

Other notable figures include:

• 85% of shoppers who use coupons search online and more than one-third say they are doing so more in 2013 compared to 2012;

• 40% have shared or traded coupons on social media, a 10%age point jump from 2012;

• 92% of Millennials use coupons to plan shopping lists;

• 51% of Millennials say their coupon usage has increased this past year, higher than all consumers and generational breakouts;

• 5% of Hispanic Internet users download coupons from retailer websites or mobile apps before shopping; and

• 70% have used a coupon found on social media; a 16%age point difference from all consumers.

“Marketers have access to a wealth of data and media choices. These results highlight the need for considering multiple touch points to deliver the right message using the right blend of print, digital and in-store media,” said Lisa Reynolds, Valassis VP, brand strategy and campaign solutions. “With a holistic view of the consumer, marketers can best identify their target audience and optimal ways to reach and activate them along their path to purchase.”

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News

Chinese e-commerce retailers share platforms

BY Dan Berthiaume

Beijing – E-Commerce China Dangdang Inc., a business-to-consumer e-commerce company in China, has entered into a strategic partnership with Yhd.com, whereby each company launches a flagship channel on the other’s platform. Yhd.com is a business- to-consumer e-commerce platform for food, beverages and imported food products in China and is majority owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Pursuant to the partnership, Dangdang opens a bookstore on Yhd.com, making its books and media merchandise available to Yhd.com’s customers, while Yhd.com opens a supermarket on the Dangdang marketplace. Both of these new stores offer the same products, pricing, logistics and customer service available on each company’s own official website.

"By partnering with Yhd.com, our customers now have access to a broader selection of grocery and food items from one of China’s leading online grocery stores,” said Peggy Yu Yu, executive chairwoman of Dangdang. “At the same time, Yhd.com can now provide its customers an extensive selection of books and media products from Dangdang, a name they know and trust. Utilizing strong category advantage is a meaningful way for both companies to enrich selection to their respective customers.”

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FINANCE

PetSmart has better fiscal year than Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

Phoenix – PetSmart Inc. had a better fiscal year than fourth quarter 2013, with net income and sales rising during the year but falling during the quarter, compared to the same periods a year earlier. During the fiscal year, net income rose 8% to $419.5 million from $389.5 million, while net sales grew 3% to $6.91 billion from $6.71 billion and same-store sales increased 2.7%.

However, during the fourth quarter net income decreased 2% to $131.5 million from $134 million, and net sales dropped 4% to $1.8 billion from $1.88 billion, although same-store sales grew 1.2%.

Looking ahead, for the fiscal year 2014 PetSmart forecasts same-store sales growth of 2% to 4% and net sales growth of 4% to 6%. During the first quarter of fiscal 2014, PetSmart expects same-store sales growth in the low single digits.

“We are pleased to report our results for fiscal year 2013, marking the fourth consecutive year of double-digit earnings per share growth,” said David Lenhardt, CEO of PetSmart. “I would like to thank our associates for their hard work and caring for our customers and communities.”

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