MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Smaller retailers not optimized for mobile commerce

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Less than 30% of middle-market retailers have websites optimized for mobile purchases, according to a national survey of C-suite executives by GE Capital. Currently, middle market retailers conduct 16% of their transactions online and about half expect the proportion of online transactions to increase in the next 12 months. (GE identifies middle-market retailers as ranging from $10 million to $1 billion in annual sales).

The ability to continue to grow revenue and the cost of doing business are the key challenges in the retail sector and continue to drive margin pressure, according to the survey. The cost of health care also ranked as a top challenge.

In other key findings:

• About half (52%) of the surveyed retailers expect industry expansion and one-third expect increases in capital expenditures in the coming year.

• The largest proportion of retailer’s advertising budgets (36%) is allocated to print, while one-quarter is spent on Internet advertising. The remainder is split between television, radio and other advertising.

• Nearly half (43%) of retail firms will add workers. Employment in the sector is expected to grow an average 3.6% year-over-year.

• Thirty-nine percent of retail businesses will consider additional financing for equipment and one-quarter will consider financing for company cars or trucks in the next 12 months.

• Forty-five percent of retailers in the middle market provide matching discounts based on competitors’ prices.

• Nearly two-thirds of middle market retail firms are privately held corporations.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Seven-in-10 consumers say digital coupons have positive impact

BY Dan Berthiaume

Austin, Texas – Nearly seven-in-10 consumers (68%) surveyed strongly believe that digital coupons have a positive impact on a retailer’s brand, and 68% also state that coupons generate loyalty. According to a new survey from RetailMeNot Inc. and Forrester Consulting, digital coupons increase the potential for conversion when consumers are in the cart and checkout phase of a purchase, and they play a key role in combating shopping cart abandonment.

Of consumers surveyed, 64% said a digital promotion or a coupon often closes the deal if they are wavering or undecided on making a purchase. In addition to being loyal, customers are incentivized to try a new brand when receiving a digital coupon on a smartphone. Nearly half of those surveyed (47%) stated they are open to doing so.

About six-in-10 (59%) of respondents said that out of all the different types of promotions a retailer can employ, digital coupons still sway them the most when it comes to influencing a purchase decision. Second to digital coupons, sales are preferred by 28% of those surveyed.

Nearly 80% of respondents agreed that digital coupons "close the deal" for them when undecided on a purchase. Once a consumer receives a digital coupon, most are redeemed within several days. The study found:

• Ninety-one percent of desktop users redeem a digital coupon within several days.

• More than 90% of smartphone and tablet users redeem their digital coupons within several days.

• Nearly one-third of coupons found on smartphones or tablets are redeemed immediately.

• Nearly 30% of consumers used a digital coupon immediately upon receiving the offer.

The survey also found that 55% of smartphone coupon users will spend more money during their online or in-store visit —the majority at least $25 more. Additionally, 77% of customers will spend between $10 and $50 more than anticipated, and 17% will spend an extra $50 or more.

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FINANCE

Delhaize swings to loss in Q2

BY Dan Berthiaume

Brussels, Belgium – Delhaize Group, parent company of U.S. supermarket chains including Food Lion and Hannaford Bros., swung to a net loss of $60.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to net income of $140.3 million in the same period a year earlier.

Impairment charges in Delhaize’s Serbian business and loss of market share in its home Belgium market contributed to the retailer’s poor profit performance. Revenue rose 0.5% to $7.04 billion, from $7.01 billion. U.S. same-store sales rose 3.3%.

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