MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

ShopperTrak survey: Understanding consumer behavior top retailer challenge

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chicago – Understanding shopping and buying behavior is the most common challenge facing retailers. According to a survey of nearly 200 retailers, executives, financial analysts, industry analysts and university academics at the recent ShopperTrak users group conference, 44% of attendees reported that understanding consumer behavior in-store is currently their biggest challenge.

This was followed by using big data to make business decisions (25%), omnichannel pressure (17%), staying up to date on the latest technologies (12%), and merchandising and store design (2%).

Other notable findings include:

Conversion trumps all other measurements. Seventy-nine percent of attendees report that conversion rate is the most important metric to their company. This was followed by traffic (17.5%) and units per transaction (2.5%).

Holiday measurement preparation has begun. Sixty-four percent of attendees said they have started or plan to implement in-store analytics programs for holiday 2014. More than one-third (36%) have not yet implemented in-store analytics programs to prepare for holiday 2014.

When it comes to in-store analytics technology, retailers are more familiar with some technologies than others:

• Sixty-six percent are very or somewhat familiar with BLE/iBeacon, while 84% are very or somewhat familiar with BlueTooth.

• Thirty-nine percent are very unfamiliar or not familiar with mobile wallet. On the flip side, 57% are very or somewhat familiar with mobile wallet.

• Forty percent are very likely to implement BLE/iBeacon, BlueTooth, Wifi in the next 12 months.

• Five percent have implemented these technologies already.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Wayfair allows direct shopping from HGTV shows

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boston – Wayfair is launching program integration on HGTV shows including "Brother vs. Brother" and "Flipping The Block." This integration is part of a broader partnership, which through program integration and daily sales events on Wayfair.com, lets consumers shop directly from HGTV shows.

Show integration launched in June with the season premiere of HGTV’s competition series, "Brother vs. Brother," and will continue in July with the debut of "Flipping the Block" featuring integrated content from Joss & Main, Wayfair’s members-only home goods brand. In its comprehensive brand integration, HGTV features Wayfair.com products in a pop-up shop and on a design truck as part of Brother vs. Brother’s Design Town, where contestants shop for products.

Wayfair has seen its advertising response rate increase more than two-fold with the Brother vs. Brother integration as compared to other primetime airings and the show ranks within the top five performing programs for Wayfair in terms of driving traffic to the website.

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OPERATIONS

Kroger includes water conservation in 2014 sustainability goals

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cincinnati – The Kroger Co. has published its eighth annual sustainability report, setting its first-ever water conservation goal and providing a progress update on moving retail locations toward "zero waste" and sourcing 100% certified sustainable palm oil. Since 2000, Kroger has reduced energy consumption by nearly 35%. It has 557 Energy Star certified store locations and another 517 that are eligible.

Highlights of the report include:

Kroger is committed to reducing water consumption in supermarket locations by 5% in 2014. This is Kroger’s first public water conservation goal. In 2013, Kroger manufacturing plants reduced water usage by 61 million gallons, which is equivalent to the yearly water usage of 1,455 American homes.

The company is moving toward the EPA’s Zero Waste threshold of 90%, in all Kroger retail locations. To get there, Kroger will increase the diversion rate to 70% for all stores by the end of 2015. Currently, the company diverts 59% of waste.

Kroger is committed to sourcing 100% certified sustainable palm oil by the end of 2015. The company has begun the transition to certified sustainable palm oil in three food production facilities that make products containing palm oil.

"We will achieve or exceed many of our 2015 goals and have begun the process of determining key 2020 goals in many areas,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger CEO, in a statement. “We intend to push for faster and more accelerated improvement across all areas of our business, including water conservation.”

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