News

SmartFurniture.com expands Adobe Marketing Cloud rollout

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chattanooga, Tenn. — To increase control of its digital activities, SmartFurniture.com chose to implement a stable of proprietary and third-party analytics, campaign management, and optimization tools. However, the solutions lacked the functionality and flexibility necessary to capture, analyze, and transform data into actionable insights, so SmartFurniture.com expanded adoption of Adobe Marketing Cloud.

In addition to offering seamless integration between solutions, robust functionality, and support backed by industry best practices, the company saw an opportunity to streamline marketing and help staff become more productive. Leveraging Adobe Analytics, part of Adobe Marketing Cloud, SmartFurniture.com began to better understand its overall customer base. The company also identified key segments that make up a high proportion of its customer audience, including young professional males in large metro areas and customers who are well established professionally. With this information, the company could begin to gather insights into what content and design elements could drive engagement and conversion.

Combining customer data and Adobe Target, SmartFurniture.com is improving online experiences, as well as experimenting with changes to layouts, promotions, messaging, and other content. Today, the company can quickly determine which new experiences are positively, negatively, or not at all affecting customer engagement and revenue.

“In addition to tailoring experiences for high-value customers with Adobe Marketing Cloud, we can serve optimized experiences to all audiences to convert them into loyal customers,” said Gil Cayabyab, VP of marketing for SmartFurniture.com. “We can also tap into potentially valuable audiences visiting the site, such as small businesses that buy our products in large quantities.”

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OPERATIONS

The Pantry recommends against board nominees

BY Dan Berthiaume

Cary, N.C. – The Pantry has confirmed that JCP Investment Management, LLC, and Lone Star Value Management, LLC (“the dissident group”) submitted a notice of intent to nominate director candidates to stand for election to The Pantry’s board of directors at the company’s 2014 annual meeting of stockholders.

After discussions between the company (management and selected directors) and the dissident group, the company’s corporate governance and nominating committee reviewed several individuals put forward by the dissident group and determined that they should not be nominated by The Pantry to serve on the board of directors.

After carefully evaluating several individuals put forward by the dissident group, we have determined that they do not possess the particular experience and expertise that the company is seeking in director candidates at this time,” said the Pantry in a written statement. “Our board is currently composed of 10 highly qualified directors, nine of whom are independent, who together possess significant retail, convenience store, consumer packaged goods, foodservice and financial experience that is highly relevant and critical to our business.”

The Pantry has had its current leadership team in place since March 2012 and will submit its board nominees in a proxy statement with the SEC prior to its March 2014 annual meetings.

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FINANCE

Deloitte Consumer Spending Index rises in December

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York — The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index, which tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending, rose in December 2013. The Index, which comprises four components, tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices, increased to 4.3 in December from 3.9 the prior month.

"Retailers need to keep their foot on the gas in light of the positive signals that suggest improved consumer confidence and spending levels in the months ahead,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and Retail & Distribution sector leader. “The holiday season underscored that consumers are not only willing to shop, but expect to do so on their time and on their terms. Retailers can keep up the momentum by targeting consumers across different channels and geographies with more personalized, high-touch connections through mobile and online points of contact that reach a broader swath of shoppers with greater precision.”

Highlights of the Index include:

Tax Burden: The tax rate is up now at 11.8%, a 0.6% increase from last month. A rising tax rate is associated with increasing incomes.

Initial Unemployment Claims: Claims declined 14% from the same period last year, falling to 324,000.

Real Wages: Real hourly wages rose 1.3% from this time last year to $8.83, showing a second month of accelerated increases.

Real New Home Prices: New home prices climbed to $116,000, an increase of more than 5% from the same time last year.

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