OPERATIONS

UPS study: Online consumers want omni-channel convenience, positive shipping experience

BY Dan Berthiaume

Sandy Springs, Ga. — Online consumers in the United States are motivated by the ability to conduct transactions across multiple channels with convenience and positive shipping experiences. These are two of the key findings of a new study from UPS and comScore, “Pulse of the Online Shopper.”

The study of more than 3,000 online U.S. shoppers conducted in February 2013 reveals that overall customer satisfaction with e-commerce is high at 83%. Ease of checkout (81%) and variety of brands and products offered (80%) are among the specific areas of e-commerce with which consumers are most satisfied, while satisfaction rates are much lower for ability to choose a specific day for delivery and flexibility to reroute packages (44% each) and green/environmentally friendly shipping (43%).

Shipping is also a dominant theme in driving customer recommendations of online retailers. A leading 68% of respondents have made a positive recommendation of an online retailer based on shipping experience, while the leading drivers of negative recommendations were shipping costs too high based on product price (59%) and expected delivery date (45%) and products arriving damaged due to shipping/packaging (43%).

Looking at aspects driving likelihood for a customer to shop with a particular retailer. The study finds omni-channel convenience issues such as the ability to buy products online and return them at the store (62%), push of location-based coupons to smartphones (47%), ability to pick up online purchases at the store (44%) and availability of tablet-specific apps (41%) as the most important.

Other findings include:

  • Fifty-one percent of respondents have used “ship to store” for an online purchase, with 38% of those buying additional products at the store.
  • Nearly half of consumers using a retailer’s mobile app are less likely to comparison shop when using an app versus a browser.
  • Forty-nine percent of respondents use a location-based social/deal service, with Groupon (35%) the most popular.
  • Eighty-four percent of respondents use at least one social site, with Facebook (77%) the most popular by a wide margin.
  • Sixty percent of respondents who “like” a brand on Facebook do so because of occasional promotions for Facebook fans.
  • Shipping costs making the total purchase more expensive than anticipated (54%) is the leading reason for Facebook cart abandonment.
  • Free shipping (76%) is the most important option in the checkout process.
  • Having to pay for shipping (60%) is the leading issue faced in returning online orders.
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REAL ESTATE

Shaw’s to shutter six supermarkets in New Hampshire

BY Staff Writer

West Bridgewater, Mass. — Shaw’s plans to close six of its 34 stores in New Hampshire by Sept. 2, the Associated Press said.

“As a company and as responsible business owners, it is imperative to the overall health and future of the company that we run profitable stores,” Shaw’s said in a statement. “The stores identified have not been profitable for quite some time, and despite the best efforts of the company and our associates — including recent pricing and marketing initiatives — we have not been able to reposition them to better compete in the marketplace and don’t anticipate being able to change this trend.”

Shaw’s earlier this month announced six store closings in Massachusetts and Rhode Island,. But the retailer said Tuesday it had no plans to announce additional closings, according to the report.

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News

David’s Bridal selects PeopleAnswers’ HR solution

BY Marianne Wilson

Dallas — PeopleAnswers announced a software licensing agreement for David’s Bridal to use the PeopleAnswers HR-focused business solution to improve in-store sales performance with higher quality team members.

“Our goal is to provide an outstanding, one-stop shopping experience for brides and for every special occasion, and it’s our consultants and other team members who make it happen,” said David Latta, VP operations, David’s Bridal, which operates more than 300 stores. “PeopleAnswers is sophisticated, science-based technology in the form of an easy-to-learn and use tool that helps us hire and keep top associates across all of our locations who continue delivering the personal service our customers expect.”

David’s Bridal will use PeopleAnswers’ intuitive, cloud-based desktop and mobile software platforms in all of its specialty retail stores to prescreen and hire all in-store full-time, part-time and seasonal positions including store manager, wedding consultants and alterations. The assessment process includes custom Performance Profiles for each position and a single prescreen behavioral evaluation that determines best-fit candidates prior to a formal interview.

The software’s ability to compare candidates with multiple profiles is designed to determine a future career path that helps managers select the candidates with the highest probability for long-term success.

By using PeopleAnswers, David’s Bridal will move its paper-based employee recruiting process online. Managers will also use PeopleAnswers as a guide for candidate interview questions, employee development and succession planning.

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