Smartphone shopping dominated holiday season
NEW YORK — During the 2011 holiday season, the top retail applications and websites combined — including Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, Target and Walmart — reached nearly 60% of smartphone owners, according to Nielsen.
“The majority of smartphone owners used their devices for shopping this past holiday season,” said John Burbank, president of strategic initiatives at Nielsen. “Mobile shopping has reached scale and is only going to grow as smartphone penetration continues to rise.”
Nielsen’s metering of the smartphones of 5,000 U.S. volunteers participating in Nielsen’s mobile research also revealed the following:
Smartphone owners of both genders prefer retailers’ mobile websites over mobile apps, with men slightly more likely to try retailers’ mobile apps than women. However, consumers who use retailers’ mobile apps tend to spend more time on them.
Target and Walmart skewed female when it comes to their mobile websites, while Best Buy skewed male. Amazon and eBay appealed to both genders.
All of the top five mobile retail websites experienced a “bump” during the days leading up to and following Black Friday, led by Amazon. This seasonal lift, however, did not translate into an increase in regular usage. By January, active reach was back to October 2011 levels.
“Retailers need to think of their business as a multichannel environment that can potentially include mobile, online, and brick-and-mortar stores,” Burbank said. “Winning with shoppers requires a consistent experience across channels that reinforces the values you represent as a retail brand, whether it be price, service, reviews, selection, style, or other key attributes.”
Kohl’s has EPA seeing green
MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. — Kohl’s Department Stores was honored with the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2012 Energy Star Award for Sustained Excellence at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes Kohl’s long-term commitment to protecting the environment through energy efficiency initiatives. Kohl’s was recognized by EPA in 2010 and 2011 as an Energy Star Partner of the Year, and in 2011 also became the first retailer to be named an EPA Green Power Partner of the Year for three consecutive years.
“Kohl’s continues to make strides in energy efficiency every year, and we are pleased to share that more than 60% of Kohl’s stores nationwide – 700 locations – have earned the Energy Star label,” said John Worthington, Kohl’s chief administrative officer. “But, we’re not stopping there. Our teams collaborate daily to review current projects and discuss new opportunities for energy management and cost savings. We continue to add new solar locations, grow our green power purchases and educate our associates and business partners about the importance of being good environmental stewards. We strive toward new goals each year and look forward to achieving and surpassing our goal of 800 Energy Star-labeled locations by 2015.”
With 590 Energy Star-labeled locations at the end of 2010, Kohl’s began 2011 with a goal of expanding the number of labeled locations to 650. By conducting detailed energy audits throughout the year, an additional 86 Kohl’s stores were awarded the Energy Star label last year.
According to EPA, on average, commercial buildings that earn the Energy Star label use 35% less energy and generate one-third less carbon dioxide than similar buildings. As of 2011, all newly constructed Kohl’s stores pursue Energy Star’s “Designed to Earn” designation with the intent of earning the Energy Star label once built. These stores are eligible to earn the Energy Star label after maintaining superior energy performance for one year in operation.
In 2011, Kohl’s also furthered its commitment to the use and support of renewable energy by purchasing more than 1.4 billion kWh of green power, enough to offset more than 100 percent of the company’s purchased electricity use. Kohl’s is also one of the largest single hosts of solar electricity production in North America with more than 120 solar locations in nine states, including California, Wisconsin, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Oregon, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Arizona. Also in 2011, Kohl’s launched its first wind locations at its Corpus Christi, Texas store and Findlay, Ohio, distribution center and installed electric vehicle charging stations at 38 stores across 13 states.
Consumers continue to seek value in 2012
CHICAGO — While consumers will continue to define value based on price, other key trends, including new product development, technology, store layouts and shopping patterns will drive the market in 2012, according to SymphonyIRI research.
In its latest Times & Trends report, "CPG 2011 Year in Review: The Search for Footing in an Evolving Marketplace," SymphonyIRI said that in order to effectively compete in the market, consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers should take note of the following predictions:
According to SymphonyIRI’s MarketPulse consumer survey, more than half of shoppers still choose their store based on lowest prices, and 75% noted that price weighs heavily in brand decisions. However, SymphonyIRI said it anticipates that some shoppers will start to open their wallets more if positive economic reports continue;
Consumers will embrace such money-saving behaviors as pre-planning (i.e., making shopping lists prior to trips to the store) and coupon use. Digital media will play an integral role in this trends, SymphonyIRI SVP marketing John McIndoe said;
Retailers in the drug channel will accelerate their format evolution process. SymphonyIRI cited Walgreens converting of some of its stores into food oases as an example. Providing access to healthy food continues to be an area of focus for retailers, especially drug store chains;
Manufacturers and retailers will pass manufacturing price increases on to shoppers, but reaction to potential commodity price deflation is yet unclear;
Private label will continue to account for unit sales in the 22% to 23% range and dollar sales in the 18% to 20% range; and
Manufacturers will expand their focus on innovation as the primary private-label mitigation strategy.
"Evolving economic conditions have brought a polarity to the CPG marketplace," said Susan Viamari, editor of Times & Trends at SymphonyIRI. "There is a sizable consumer segment that is feeling more optimistic about the road ahead, while a similar sized group is expecting a continued deterioration of economic and personal financial health. Among optimistic and pessimistic shoppers alike, all indications point to continued frugality and conservatism in 2012. CPG marketers need to actively respond to these trends with products and strategies that really emphasize their understanding of consumers’ most pressing needs and wants in order to drive purchase behavior and loyalty."
What ways can CPG manufacturers and retailers effectively compete in today’s marketplace? SymphonyIRI said identifying opportunities and risks, evaluating pricing and promotional strategies and exploring opportunities to enhance product assortment will provide manufacturers and retailers with the keys to success:
Manufacturers should re-evaluate sourcing and inputs resources and be on the lookout for opportunities to lower manufacturing costs through innovative sourcing, packaging and product sizing strategies. Retailers, on the other hand, should closely track the evolving competitive set at the channel and retailer level to ensure appropriate product mix and inventory management strategies are maintained;
Manufacturers should continually reassess and adjust pricing to maintain an optimal price gap between private-label and brand-name offerings. Retailers, however, should work with key manufacturer partners to develop cross-promotional opportunities with high-growth categories/brands and/or with key staple products; and
Manufacturers should consider exploring product development opportunities at both ends of the product spectrum, based on existing and emerging product trends. Meanwhile, retailers should align assortment strategies with changing trip mission and product usage trends.
Click here for the full report.