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Tracking report: U.K. holiday shopping accelerates

BY Katherine Boccaccio

London — An increasing number of U.K. consumers are spending more time at the nation’s shopping centers, according to a newly launched weekly statistic released Wednesday by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Path Intelligence.

This new statistic — known as the Path Index and illustrating that ICSC Research is broadening its shopping center tracking to Europe — melds shopping center footfall and the time spent per visitor into a shopper-hours index. For the week ending Dec. 9, 2012, the Path Index rose to its highest reading of the year so far, but was 5.1% below the same week of 2011.

According to ICSC president and CEO Michael P. Kercheval, the Index serves as an extremely timely window on shopping-center business performance. “The shopping center industry is leveraging more technology to better understand and quickly react to consumer needs,” Kercheval said.

The full historical data as well as weekly updates of the Path Index will be available to ICSC members at ICSC.org/research/edata.php.

The Path Index will be reported weekly on Wednesdays, according to the companies.

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PriceGrabber: Consumers to check off most shopping in December

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Los Angeles — Survey results released Wednesday by PriceGrabber found that with a record 247 million shoppers visiting stores and websites over the Thanksgiving weekend, there are still a significant number of December shoppers this year.

According to PriceGrabber.com’s winter holiday shopping survey, 78% of consumers are still in the market to complete their holiday shopping in December. More specifically, 45% stated that they are prepared to conduct most of their shopping this month; 33% took advantage of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals in November but said they would conduct a majority of their shopping in December; and 22% indicated they will not shop for gifts this month.

When the consumers who indicated that they will do most of their shopping this month were asked to select all of the reasons why, 48% said they anticipate deep discounts in December; 28% indicated they procrastinate and wait until the last minute to shop; and 25% noted that holiday advertisements in December offer them great gift ideas.

Nineteen percent indicated they conduct most of their shopping in December because they like to take advantage of Free Shipping Day on Dec. 17 and another 19% said they are busy and only able to shop in December.

"Thanksgiving weekend was a huge win for retailers with strong sales, and our survey data shows that consumers are still planning to shop and spend money throughout December, which indicates a positive overall holiday shopping season," said Rojeh Avanesian, VP marketing and analytics of PriceGrabber.com.

According to PriceGrabber survey results, 59% of shoppers plan to take advantage of Free Shipping Day on Dec.17 to order online and have their gifts delivered in time for Christmas, and 48% plan to shop on Super Saturday, Dec. 22 to take advantage of one-day sales.

When PriceGrabber survey respondents were asked if they plan to inspect merchandise in a physical retail store and later purchase it online for less money this holiday season (called “showrooming”), 52% responded positively. When the respondents planning to "showroom" were asked to select all of the reasons why they planned to do so, 53% said because they like to touch and feel the product first and then find the best price online; 40% indicated they test the product to see if they like it and then go online to take advantage of free shipping deals and coupons; and 40% noted that they are trying to save money on holiday gifts this year and always search for the best price. Thirty-nine percent of shoppers indicated they like to browse first and buy later and 27% said they like to make side-by-side comparisons before making gift decisions.

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IBM Study: All consumers looking for a consistent experience, from start to finish

BY Marianne Wilson

Armonk, N.Y. — The consumer of the future will be more mobile, social and self-sufficient, willing to share details on themselves and their preferences in exchange for highly personalized relationships with their favorite stores, according to a new IBM consumer survey. The study also found that consumers’ willingness to advocate for a particular retailer is becoming multi-faceted, with consumers looking for a flawless experience, whether it’s when they’re researching, purchasing, or receiving delivery.

The findings of the survey of 1,200 U.S. men and women ages 13 to 60 provide insights into the demands of the next generation buying audience and highlight the areas where retailers could influence brand advocacy.

For example, today’s teenagers say they spend their time shopping on their mobile devices whether they are at home, on the move or in-store. They also prefer to use more self-service features and participate in communities and forums via social networks with consumers with similar interests. Teens expect their retailers to know them and all their transactions and deliver ads and promotions to them through social networking sites.

The study compared consumers aged 13 – 19, or “digital natives,” with today’s current shoppers, respondents in the 40-49 year old group. The survey found the digital natives to be almost four times as likely to consider it important for a retailer to provide a mobile app to use on their smartphone or tablet (52 versus 14%) and twice as likely to consider it important for a retailer to establish a forum for like-minded consumers to share ideas with each other (54 versus 26%).

“The next generation of shoppers – the digital natives – view brand interaction in a different way, expecting retailers to deliver a seamless, omnichannel brand experience across all touch points,” said John Stelzer, worldwide industry lead for Retail Smarter Commerce, at IBM.”



This study, part of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, found that consumers are looking for a consistent brand experience from start to finish across all brand touch points. Cost and quality prevailed, where the two most important considerations for recommending a retailer were: “sells quality merchandise” (94%) and “offers fair/competitive prices” (93%). However, three of the next most important criteria were: the items they want to buy are in stock (91%); the retailer delivers a positive overall experience whether it’s in the store, over the web, or via any combination of channels (90%); and that the retailer provides a convenient returns process (85%).

In the study, IBM asked a series of questions about the three phases of the brand experience: pre-purchase, purchase (checkout/payment), and post-purchase. The real surprise in the findings was the importance of the post-purchase process in molding the brand relationship and influencing brand advocacy. This phase includes product shipment, delivery, installation, customer support, problem resolution and returns. For example, the survey found: Nearly three-quarters of the respondents cited a retailer’s ability to deliver a positive post-purchase experience as important to very important for them to recommend a retailer to others.

“In general, the post-purchase experience has been taken for granted by too many retailers, and this study confirms that retailers will need to focus on delivering heightened post-purchase capabilities, such as omnichannel in-store pickup or return of online or mobile orders to win over tomorrow’s consumer,” added Stelzer.

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A.Smith says:
Mar-21-2013 06:43 am

Indeed, to be successful in any business goal, it is best to know the exact needs and buying behaviors of the consumers. - JustFab

A.Smith says:
Mar-21-2013 06:43 am

Indeed, to be successful in any business goal, it is best to know the exact needs and buying behaviors of the consumers. - JustFab

B.Low says:
Feb-15-2013 07:16 am

Great Post. I have not been visiting the site recently. Took a visit again and there were some great comments on the site. Excellent post. Keep up the good work. Bartley Ridge

B.Low says:
Feb-15-2013 07:16 am

Great Post. I have not been visiting the site recently. Took a visit again and there were some great comments on the site. Excellent post. Keep up the good work. Bartley Ridge

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