MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Stores leading back-to-school purchase destination

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Jose, Calif. – On average, consumers say 64% of their back-to-school shopping will take place in-store, the rest online via computer or mobile device. A new survey of 1,001 U.S. parents with school-age children from customer experience solutions provider Baynote and The E-tailing Group also shows that 40% of consumers say that paper catalogs influence their in-store purchases, more than any other channel.

A close second is Amazon, with 36% saying the e-commerce site influences their in-store buying habits. Thirty-four percent of respondents said they will be using smartphones more to research products as compared to 23% who will actually be using those phones to make purchases. While in-store, 49% of consumers will use smartphones to redeem coupons and 40% will use them to compare prices on Amazon.

Other notable findings include:

• Eighty-four percent of shoppers say they will likely tap into conditional free shipping offers, more than any other promotion.

• E-mail promotions are a key driver in back-to-school buying, with more than 80% saying they will likely take advantage this season.

• Flash sales and social media promotions remain secondary to more traditional methods of deals, but are gaining traction: 64% of respondents said they would be likely to take advantage of each this year.

• Social media influence is dominated by Facebook, with 24% saying they or their student will use the social network when completing back-to-school shopping; the number rises to 31% when accounting for only college age students who say Facebook plays a role in online back to school shopping.

• Seventy percent of respondents say they will shop together with their student in-store; 36% will shop together online.

• Eighty-five percent of respondents said their student’s wish list (items they would love to get) is influential in the purchasing process, second only to school-supplied lists and followed by product reviews, with 79% listing them as influential.

• Most shoppers fit into two categories — those who want to get ahead of the game and start shopping as soon as they can (37%); or those who wait to buy based on promotions (26%).

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OPERATIONS

EBay still plans Russian expansion

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Jose, Calif. – EBay Inc. is still planning to expand its operations in Russia despite U.S. sanctions against the country’s government. In public comments made in Moscow, EBay VP Wendy Jones said Russia is EBay’s top priority for expansion of its EBay Marketplaces division, and that eBay Marketplaces should go live in Russia in September.

Jones also said EBay doubled its Russian buyer base in 2013 and sold $425 million worth of goods there in 2012. Currently, Russian consumers make 90,000 EBay transactions per day.

As part of expansion efforts in Russia, EBay recently signed an agreement with the state delivery service Russian Post. Other countries EBay where EBay is focusing international expansion efforts include Brazil, China, India and South Africa.

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News

Whirlpool second quarter sales flat

BY CSA STAFF

Whirlpool Corporation reported net sales of about $4.7 billion in the second quarter of 2014, virtually unchanged from the company’s performance in the same quarter last year.

Net sales for the three months ended June 30 totaled $4.68 billion, down 1.4% from $4.75 billion in 2013.

The company’s bottom line read $179 million for the quarter, down from $198 million in the second quarter of last year.

"The second-quarter results were in line with our expectations as our North America Region delivered record operating profit," said Jeff M. Fettig, chairman and CEO of Whirlpool Corporation. "Overall, the underlying fundamentals of our business remain strong and we continue to invest in our business through innovative new products and acquisitions."

Whirlpool also pointed to a record $2.62 in ongoing business earnings per diluted share, compared to $2.37 last year.

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