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Safeway extends social responsibility program

BY Staff Writer

Pleasanton, Calif. — Grocer Safeway Inc. said Tuesday it has extended its corporate social responsibility commitment with the introduction of a new program it calls Heart of Safeway Pledge, which encourages consumers and communities to be more conservative and socially responsible.

The program focuses on four fundamentals – people, products, community and the planet – and incites participants to make a personal pledge. The first 25,000 pledge-takers will receive a store coupon for $1 off fresh produce and, in turn, the Safeway Foundation will donate a dollar to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada – contributing up to $25,000 toward hunger relief.

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SAP enhances shopper personalization

BY Staff Writer

Dallas — SAP has launched a new service to help retailers influence consumer behavior at the moment of decision.

SAP’s Precision Retailing solution is said to deliver personalized offers and suggestions in real time to consumers across multiple channels, including mobile devices, in-store kiosks and websites. The company also announced the SAP Retail Store Ops Manager mobile app to further enhance in-store productivity.

"Today’s companies want to become more customer-centric, they want to gain insight about each consumer’s behaviors and proclivities based on the volumes of rich data before, during and after each shopping activity," said Greg Girard, program director, merchandise strategies, IDC. "Businesses that are able to do this and deliver personalized and contextualized offers in real time will delight the consumer with increased value and, at the same time, be able to shape profitable demand."

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Survey finds more consumers to research holiday purchases online before buying

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Los Angeles — Survey results released Tuesday by online shopping site PriceGrabber found that 88% of shoppers plan to research their holiday gift purchases in advance to find the best deals.

Of those, 38% plan to spend three to six hours researching holiday gift purchases, 29% plan to spend up to two hours, 19% said they plan to spend over 10 hours and 14% indicated between seven and 10 hours.

The results of PriceGrabber’s holiday shopping survey – which polled 2,235 U.S. online shoppers between Aug. 31 and Sept. 12 — also revealed that 50% of consumers plan to spend the same amount that they spent last year – up slightly from 48% in 2011 – and 12% plan to spend more.

For those who are spending less, the reason most given (62%) was due to increased prices for food, gas and other necessities.

Forty-one percent indicated that they are earning less money this year and 39% said they planned to spend less due to an increased acceptance of giving less-expensive gifts. The state of the economy also continues to impact consumers’ holiday shopping decisions, with PriceGrabber’s survey finding that 64% of shoppers say the economic climate will affect their overall spending.

Shoppers appear to be confident in their ability to find a holiday bargain this season. According to PriceGrabber’s survey, 67% of consumers said they believe retailers will offer better prices and discounts this year. When asked what retailer tactics will entice consumers to buy a product this holiday season, 77% indicated free shipping, 74% noted price cuts, 55% said coupons, and 44% indicated blow out sales.

"Our survey data found that shoppers are not only expecting to find great prices and bargains this holiday season, but 59% of consumers plan to start shopping even earlier this year to spread out the impact of purchases, compared to 53% in 2011," said Rojeh Avanesian, VP of marketing and analytics for PriceGrabber. "Our data indicates that 17% of consumers plan to start their holiday shopping in September and 31% plan to begin in October this year."

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