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Report: Retailers shift digital spend toward mobile

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Huntington Beach, Calif. — Retailers are eying mobile devices as the best route to make the most of their digital marketing campaigns.

According to the latest research by Shop.org/Forrester, in the study “The State Of Retailing Online 2013: Marketing & Merchandising,” 87% of online retailers either already have implemented or are planning to implement mobile email optimization in 2013, and seven in 10 will optimize paid search for smartphones and tablets (71% and 73%, respectively).

“As consumer adoption of smartphones and tablets in the United States reaches critical mass, retailers know that their marketing mix has to work optimally for all customer touch-points now,” said Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell. “Email has always been one of most effective customer retention vehicles in the market, so it’s no surprise to see retailers investing to make email engaging and relevant for the increasingly mobile consumer.”

According to the study, retailers say that, on average, 28% of emails sent to customers are first opened on a smartphone; the stakes are higher for small retailers who say that on average 42% of their emails are first opened on a smartphone.

Across all digital platforms, email and search are where four out of five retailers (80%) are most likely to invest more this year than last, signaling retailers’ understanding that they need to balance investments and resources in both retention and acquisition. Many retailers are adjusting their staffing accordingly, bolstering marketing budget allocations for search and email with investments in skill sets and staff. Forty percent of retailers surveyed plan to hire for open positions in marketing analytics in 2013, reflecting the need to wrestle down volumes of marketing data to create more effective interactions and an improved customer experience.

For merchandisers, improving the customer shopping experience is key. And for online retailers, those enhancements come in the form of video, personalized content, and more. According to the study, product detail page improvements, particularly video offerings, will be a top focus this year: nearly three-quarters (72%) will invest in integrating video on their sites. Another 62% indicate that recommendations and personalization features will be a priority, including integrating capabilities to create different homepages and creating unique pages for their customers based on purchase history.

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WAG appoints former pharma exec corporate VP, market access

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELD Ill. — Walgreens has appointed Mark Lelinski as the company’s corporate VP, market access.

Lelinski will be responsible for contracting and pricing strategies; the integration efforts across Walgreens pharmacy, health and wellness division; overseeing sales and account management; and managing the continued evolution of the company’s managed market strategies.

“Mark is a seasoned leader with an established track record of delivering results, and will help to build upon the excellent work that is being done in our market access group,” stated Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness. “His experience in managed market roles both in the U.S. and internationally is the right fit for where Walgreens is headed. As a strategic partner of choice in the healthcare industry, we believe Mark’s relationship-driven approach will help us strengthen our partnerships and create more value from the emerging models and markets that will be key to our growth moving forward.”

Lelinski previously spent nine years with AstraZeneca in a number of marketing, strategy and managed market roles, both in the U.S. and abroad. In his most recent role as VP, Americas region marketing and sales, Lelinski was responsible for implementing new commercial capabilities across markets in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. He also led efforts to build new capabilities in Latin America to improve both market access and patient affordability for the emerging middle class. As VP, U.S. managed markets, Lelinski led all aspects of payer strategy, B2B marketing, account management, contracting and pricing with all payer customers.

Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Lelinski was a partner at Accenture, where he headed the pharmaceutical marketing and sales effectiveness practice. He also worked in a number of executive roles supporting physician networks, health plans and health informatics companies.

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Study: Retailers focus on growing mobile market

BY CSA STAFF

Huntington Beach, Calif. — To capture and capitalize on mobile traffic growth, retailers are looking to optimize their digital marketing campaigns across various devices. As a result, top investment priorities include email and paid search.

According to the Shop.org/Forrester Research study, “The State of Retailing Online 2013: Marketing & Merchandising,” nearly 9 in 10 (87%) online retailers surveyed either already have implemented or are planning to implement mobile email optimization in 2013, and 7 in 10 will optimize paid search for smartphones and tablets (71% and 73%, respectively).

“As consumer adoption of smartphones and tablets in the United States reaches critical mass, retailers know that their marketing mix has to work optimally for all customer touchpoints now,” said Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell. “Email has always been one of most effective customer retention vehicles in the market, so it’s no surprise to see retailers investing to make email engaging and relevant for the increasingly mobile consumer.”

According to the study, retailers say that, on average, 28% of emails sent to customers are first opened on a smartphone; the stakes are higher for small retailers who say that on average 42% of their emails are first opened on a smartphone.

Across all digital platforms, email and search are where four out of five retailers (80%) are most likely to invest more this year than last, signaling retailers’ understanding that they need to balance investments and resources in both retention and acquisition. Many retailers are adjusting their staffing accordingly, bolstering marketing budget allocations for search and email with investments in skill sets and staff. Of the retailers surveyed, 40% of them plan to hire for open positions in marketing analytics in 2013, reflecting the need to wrestle down volumes of marketing data to create more effective interactions and an improved customer experience.

For merchandisers, improving the customer shopping experience is key. And for online retailers, those enhancements come in the form of video and personalized content. According to the study, product detail page improvements, particularly video offerings, will be a top focus this year: nearly three-quarters (72%) will invest in integrating video on their sites. Another 62% indicates that recommendations and personalization features will be a priority, including integrating capabilities to create different home pages and creating unique pages for their customers based on purchase history.

“Retailers continue to optimize the customer experience on their site and to that end have made investments in A/B testing, product detail page enhancements, and personalization mainstream,” said Forrester Research VP and principal analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. “Going forward, however, we expect to see much more emphasis on checkout enhancements, as that is a key obstacle for direct transactions on mobile devices.”

The State of Retailing Online research series, which provides e-business and channel strategy professionals with annual industry benchmarks of marketing and business investment and activities, surveyed 65 companies. Industries surveyed included apparel, footwear, general merchandise, home furnishings and personal care.

Forrester Research is a global research and advisory firm serving professionals in 13 key roles across three distinct client segments. Forrester provides its clients with proprietary research, consumer and business data, custom consulting, events and online communities and peer-to-peer executive programs.

Shop.org is the digital arm of the National Retail Federation and the world’s leading community for digital retail, offering thought leadership through original research and gold standard events. The community is made up of exclusive networking groups and committees that lead the global conversation surrounding innovative e-commerce trends and digital retail. Shop.org members include some of the world’s largest retail, technology, research and consulting companies.

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