MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Female shoppers driven by mobile alerts fueling in-store sales

BY Marianne Wilson

Los Angeles — Women are more responsive to mobile alerts detailing discounts and more likely than men to shop in-store to save on shipping costs, according to recent data from fashion shopping app Snapette, a business unit of PriceGrabber. The survey revealed that mobile ad spend grew by 81% this year, with women aged 25-34 driving the highest click through and conversation rates.

Shoppers of both genders are overwhelmingly visiting retail stores in response to viewing fashion products and promotions displayed on online platforms and mobile phones. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed responded that seeing a product online has directly resulted in a visit to a fashion store. Additionally, 51% of shoppers reported that mobile phones play some part in their shopping experience.

"Retailers are well-aware that mobile is driving meaningful retail sales, but one of the most surprising revelations to come from our survey is the way in which women differ from men in their uses of mobile as part of their shopping journey," said Sarah Paiji, co-founder and president of Snapette.

Over 44% of women surveyed responded that they visit stores based on mobile alerts drawing their attention to nearby sales. Men respond far less enthusiastically to discounts, with 56% responding to the same question with either "rarely" or "never."

When asked why they would choose to shop in-store rather than online, women out-voted men in all categories except for one: the desire for additional customer service. Nearly twice as many men than women said that they prefer to shop in-store for the additional customer service (13% versus 7% for women). Snapette’s survey results indicate that men tend to prefer a more researched and personally targeted approach when making fashion-related purchases and value input from customer service in-store.

Female focused retailers should recognize the larger opportunity to drive women into stores using mobile as well as deliver regular and engaging touch-points for female shoppers to remain continuously with their favorite brands and retailers. Snapette’s survey findings underline that women are especially responsive to mobile alerts displaying sales nearby. Non-promotional retailers can equally capitalize on female shoppers’ preference to experience retail items in person and save on shipping fees by sending mobile alerts about new collections available in-store.

Paiji said: "This holiday season fashion retailers should not fear the expansion of mobile and online platforms playing into the shopping funnel, but rather take advantage of those outlets to send further information and incentives to shoppers about products and promotion in-store."

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News

Aéropostale implements Gerber Technologies’ PLM solution

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Aéropostale has implemented Gerber Technology’s YuniquePLM software to optimize and increase collaboration between its headquarters and global suppliers. By implementing YuniquePLM, Aéropostale’s designers, sourcing team and vendors speak a much more consistent language.

With retail and manufacturing operations in many different locations, clear communication is absolutely essential for success. Gillian Maser, senior product manager for corporate initiatives at Aéropostale, said, “Because YuniquePLM is an organized, structured system, it allows us to be consistent with how we’re communicating. All of the information is in one location within the tech packs we’re passing to vendors, so our production partners know where to look for certain types of data. It’s always going to be in the same place.”

YuniquePLM is also helping designers at Aéropostale realize operational efficiencies by pre-positioning fabric needs within YuniquePLM across its headquarters and supplier network. Vendors may begin locating fabric options, eliminating the need for designers to recreate fabric specifications. Jessica McDermott, design director of Men’s Knits at Aéropostale, said, “The information we are sharing with production can be pulled as a report with a higher level of accuracy, while contributing to design’s final tech pack completion. It’s in a system so we’re one step closer to the final result, which is a tech pack, and we’re streamlining our workload rather than adding duplicative work.”

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Insights

Holiday Season’s Impact on Retailers

BY CSA STAFF

By Ali Lipson, senior retail and apparel analyst, Mintel

As another holiday season is upon us, retailers are aiming to spread the cheer by opening stores on Thanksgiving Day and offering ‘sneak peeks’ of deals in advance of Black Friday. So, do consumers really want this? Well – it depends on who you ask. While some are excited about the possibility of shopping early (particularly as there are fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year), others feel that Thanksgiving is about tradition and family, a holiday that retailers should respect.

"Despite the varying opinions on the issue, major retailers including Target, Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, Macy’s, Best Buy, Walmart, Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy are all planning to be open (at least some hours) on Thanksgiving. These retailers hope to get an edge over competition by drawing shoppers in before Black Friday. Some are even taking it a step further – Toys R Us has announced that it will offer special discounts beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 27. Amazon.com has a ‘Countdown to Black Friday Deals Week’ section on its site, offering different deals leading up to Black Friday beginning in mid-November. Barnes & Noble plans to get even further ahead by hosting ‘Discovery Friday’ on November, a week in advance of Black Friday. Stores will feature special events, promotions and assistance in choosing the perfect gifts.

"The ‘holiday creep’ is appearing among many retailers; however Hanukkah is early this year, beginning on Thanksgiving Day while there are six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas compared to 2012, resulting in less shopping time. Consumer confidence is up which is likely to bode well for retailers this holiday season. However, consumers are savvier than ever when it comes to looking for deals. Access to smartphones and tablets has become the norm, and shoppers are using these devices not only for shopping, but for finding store locations, comparing prices, researching products and reading reviews. It is critical for retailers to consider how consumers are interacting with their mobile devices and how to get their attention through mobile.

"While retailers are pushing the early shopping with pre-Black Friday deals (in stores and online) and store hours on Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday and the following weeks in December are also important. As evidenced last year, many retailers continue to offer new and potentially better or more compelling offers throughout the season – encouraging incentives to continue shopping as well as and providing benefits for those who prefer to shop later.

"There will be no shortage of special deals and promotions this year; however there doesn’t seem to be one ‘hot’ item of the season. Electronics are likely to remain popular gifts, particularly with the introduction of the new iPad Air, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Gift cards are also likely to be popular gifts, which can benefit retailers as it will encourage post-holiday shopping as consumers visit stores/websites to redeem gift cards.

"A major announcement from Amazon indicates that the company has partnered with the US Postal Service to offer Sunday delivery in select markets, just in time for the holiday season. This gives them an even greater competitive edge over others, and other retailers need to ensure that shipping rates are low or free and that delivery times are minimal.

"Regardless of how much consumers are spending or what items are on their ‘most wanted’ lists, there will be no shortage of promotions and incentives this season, creating a great deal of choice for today’s consumers."

Mintel is a leading global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence, providing insight into key worldwide trends.


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