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Report: Retailers must think differently about mobile commerce ROI

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boston – According to a new report from the Universal Commerce Innovation Exchange and Aite Group, “Strategies for Mobile Investments – Ensuring Success,” retailers need to think differently about how they achieve ROI from their mobile commerce strategies. This different mode of thinking includes:

Customer-channel. Mobile does not exist as a single channel. It is inherently cross-channel, linking different channels and locations and also encompassing social media and search activities. Consideration of mobile commerce ROI must take this wide cross-channel scope into account.

Channel interplay. The inherent cross-channel nature of mobile also means whatever happens as a result of mobile commerce strategy in one channel impacts the customer experience in other channels. In addition, customer dissatisfaction with the functionality of a mobile device results in brand dissatisfaction.

Holistic. Mobile commerce strategies must be holistic to deliver maximum ROI. Successful targeting of customers with location-based mobile coupons will still result in failure if store staff cannot locate products or otherwise.

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Costco starts summer right with strong June sales

BY CSA STAFF

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco has started the summer right, reporting sales of $9.92 billion for the month of June, the five-week period ended July 7, an 8% increase over the same period last year.

For the 44-week period that ended Sunday, sales were $87.05 billion, also an 8% increase over the same period last year. For the month and the 44-week period, same-store sales rose 6%.

Sterne Agee analyst Chuck Grom said that not counting the effects of foreign exchange rates and gas prices, the company’s total same-store sales increased by 6.25%, higher than the firm’s 5% forecast.

"Recall that we were modestly concerned that extreme weather conditions on the West Coast toward the end of the month would weigh on results along with a few less multi-vendor-mailer days this year (vs. last June)," Grom wrote. "Clearly our concerns were unwarranted in retrospect."

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Consumables and pharmacy buoys Fred’s June comps

BY CSA STAFF

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s Super Dollar reported $187.7 million in sales for the five weeks ended July 6, up 3% as compared to the same period a year ago. Comparable store sales for the month increased 4.5%.

"We are pleased to report a significant improvement in comparable store sales for June, which exceeded our expectations and reflected increased customer traffic and higher transaction amounts, coupled with the benefit of the calendar shift early in the month," stated Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO. "The trend in pharmacy department sales also shifted in June as comparable stores turned positive for the first time in 10 months and the department continued to experience positive script growth," he said. "[And] our general merchandise initiatives in June focused on driving customer traffic through promotions of consumables. In addition, improved weather conditions throughout our markets also were favorable to the lawn and garden, summer toys and seasonal departments, which are now expected to be on plan for this quarter."

During the month, Fred’s closed 20 stores and opened a net of two new stores and one new pharmacy location.

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