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Target shareholders re-elect all board members, approve exec pay plan

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Target Corp. announced at its annual meeting on Wednesday that the company’s shareholders re-elected its entire 10-member board of directors. Shareholders also approved the company’s executive compensation plan.

In May, proxy firm Institutional Shareholder Services recommended the removal of seven board members, accusing them of failing to protect Target from its massive data breach.

Shareholders also rejected all three outside resolutions that the board disliked, including a plan to separate the job of Target’s CEO and the board chairmanship.
Before the meeting, Target increased its quarterly dividend by 21%, raising the payment to 52 cents a share.

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Survey: Consumers want easier online shopping

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta — Online shoppers want retailers to make it easier to purchase their goods and services, and also want websites and stores to work better together. For now, according to a new survey of 5,800 consumers from UPS and comScore Inc., they also prefer to evaluate and purchase products from their desktops rather than their mobile devices, and when it comes to shipping and returns, "free" is a driving factor to complete the sale.

Results of the third annual UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Study show that when shopping on mobile devices, 41% of respondents said they prefer a retailer’s full website compared to a mobile website (34%) or mobile app (25%). And while retailers have had a hard time connecting social media to sales, the study shows that it does have an impact, as one-third of all shoppers and one-half of Millennials said purchase decisions are influenced by social media.

Consumers also are likely to share their opinions on product and brands on social media. Satisfied shoppers who share their thoughts via social media are most likely to post on Facebook (86%) followed by Twitter (34%), Google + (23%), Pinterest (21%), and Instagram (19%).

Other findings include:

  • 40% of purchases are made crossing channels, whether searching in store and purchasing online or vice versa.
  • 58% of respondents have added items to their shopping carts to qualify for free shipping and 83% are willing to wait an additional two days for delivery if shipping is free.
  • More than one-half of online shoppers said they want to see the total purchase cost early in the checkout process, and the majority prefer seeing the expected arrival date rather than the number of days it will take for the product to arrive.
  • Consumers now expect free returns with 82% respondents saying they would complete the purchase if they could return the item to a store or have free return shipping, and 66% said they view a retailer’s returns policy before making a purchase. The majority of shoppers want retailers to make it easy for them to return a purchase by including a label in the box.

“The retailers who embrace the various channels and options that customers favor will deliver a positive customer experience and ultimately drive sales and brand loyalty," said Susan Engleson, senior director at comScore.

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Galleria partners with Displaydata

BY Dan Berthiaume

Chicago — Retail category planning solutions provider Galleria has entered a partnership with Displaydata, a provider of digital display solutions.

The partnership is intended to create a solution that will reduce operational costs while still enabling the delivery of a customer-centric in-store experience, by connecting electronic shelf label (ESL) technology from Displaydata with category management solutions from Galleria.

Galleria’s solutions can be hosted by Galleria and/or operated as both desktop and integrated solutions, as well as provided as pure consultancy services.

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