MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey reports big rise in consumer confidence

BY Ryan Chavis

Chicago — Consumer confidence rose significantly in the first quarter of 2014, according to a MarketPulse survey from IRI. All age groups are reporting a more positive outlook — especially Millennials. A distressed consumer segment since the economic downturn began, this age group is showing the greatest rise in confidence.

“The headline for the first quarter is definitely the surge in consumer confidence,” said Susan Viamari, editor of Thought Leadership at IRI. “Consumers say they are feeling more confident about their household finances and don’t feel like they need to sacrifice as much in order to make ends meet. However, it’s important to remember that consumers are still entrenched in their conservative shopping strategies, so CPG marketers still need to work at finding pockets of opportunities.”

The survey also touched on shopping strategies: consumers continue to remain comfortable with shopping patterns they adopted during the downturn. Seventy percent of consumers make a shopping list before they even step foot inside a store, and 75% make their purchasing decisions before entering. IRI noted that these figures haven’t shifted since 2011.

Since 19% of all consumers (and 26% of Millennials) have trouble affording groceries, shoppers are still on the lookout for a good deal. Thirty-three percent of all consumers and 40% of Millennials buy more than one-half of their goods "on deal."

How are they getting the deals? It should come as no surprise that consumers are flocking to the Internet to scope things out:

•Twenty-nine percent download coupons from retailers’ websites;

•Twenty-nine percent download coupons from a manufacturer’s website;

•Twenty-five percent of consumers research products on website;

•Ninteen percent go to online deal sites like Groupon and SmartSource; and

•Eleven percent head over to social media platforms like Twitter to get coupons.

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OPERATIONS

REI elects two new members to board

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle — REI’s members recently elected two new directors to represent their interests on the co-op’s board of directors.

Karen E. (Kari) Glover and Sharon Philpott were elected to three-year terms and Cheryl Scott was re-elected to a three-year term. Earlier in the year, the REI board re-appointed Chloe Harford and Matt Compton to one-year terms.

Glover practiced law for 30 years at Preston Gates & Ellis, where she was managing partner of the firm. Currently, she serves on the board of trustees of her alma mater, Whitman College, and on the board of United Way Worldwide where she is the chair of the executive compensation committee.

Philpott is a certified public accountant and currently is a member of the finance and audit committee of the Oregon Health and Science University Foundation and on the advisory council of The Wendy and Emery Reves Center for International Studies at The College of William and Mary.

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News

Buxton launches market share analysis solution

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta – Buxton is launching its Market Share solution for U.S. retailers. Executives in the retail, restaurant and grocery industries can compare their market share performance to that of an aggregated peer group, giving them insights into how their business is performing to others in their market or industry.

Using a report that includes aggregated and de-identified data from Visa Inc., Buxton can compare a retailer’s market share for individual locations, specific markets and its business as a whole to that of its peer set. Incorporating Visa payment transaction data into the solution allows retailers to determine the revenue impact of marketing campaigns, pricing changes, and other strategic factors, while understanding and accounting for the impact of the overall market. All transactional data is aggregated and averaged, meaning no individual consumer purchasing patterns can be identified. Additionally, merchant data will be reported as an aggregated peer set.

“Buxton’s relationship with Visa continues to generate powerful solutions for businesses,” said Tom Buxton, founder and CEO of Buxton. “The Market Share Solution is an example of the big answers possible from the strategic and responsible use of data.”

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