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Study: What do online shoppers like to avoid?

BY Dan Berthiaume

When it comes to e-commerce, the top driver is actually something the experience doesn’t offer.

According to two surveys of online shoppers in the U.S. and Canada conducted by Bizrate Insights, a division of Connexity, in December 2015 and January 2016, a leading 55% of respondents cited the lack of crowds, traffic and hunting for parking as a top reason to buy online. Another 46% said shopping online takes less time than shopping in stores, while 46% also mentioned free shipping.

In addition, while about one-third of online buyers actively looked for online deals during the year-end 2015 period, 60% actually used them. This means many online shoppers wind up using online deals even if they don’t set out to.

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Food Lion hits 1 million Facebook fans, provides meals

BY Dan Berthiaume

Food Lion is feeling good about recently reaching the milestone of 1 million Facebook fans, and is sharing the positive vibes.

In recognition of this social media achievement, Food Lion is donating 1 million meals to those in need. The meals will be donated to Feeding America in the form of a monetary donation (Feeding America provides an average of 11 meals for every dollar donated) and distributed evenly among 30 local Feeding America member food banks within the grocer's service area. The donation will span across its 10-state footprint.

"We're incredibly proud to have reached this benchmark," said Keith Nicks, director of loyalty and digital marketing at Food Lion. "As a grocer always looking for ways to improve the customer experience, we created this space to empower our customers to interact with us on a one-on-one basis, whether they're saving money, sharing interactions with associates or looking for great recipes."

In addition to the 1 million meal donation, Food Lion's more than 1,500 corporate associates created a video to say "thanks" to the retailer’s Facebook fan base.

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Shake Shack, Uber shake up rewards

BY Dan Berthiaume

Shake Shack and Uber have digitally collaborated on customer experience with a little help from Visa Inc.

In December 2015, New York-based, 66-unit Shake Shack and Uber utilized the new Visa Commerce Network to offer a cross-promotion. Built on the VisaNet electronic payment network and accessible through application programming interfaces (APIs), Visa Commerce Network works by connecting transactions between two merchants.

In the pilot, Boston-based Uber riders received discounted Uber rides when they used their Visa card at their local Shake Shack. Post-campaign results showed Shake Shack benefitted from new customer acquisition rates in the double digits and higher customer spend levels, while Uber riders saw the offer rewards seamlessly credited to their Visa cards.

With cardholder consent, Visa Commerce Network can also track engagement and issue rewards. Qualifying purchases are recognized at the point of sale and rewards can be seamlessly applied to cardholder accounts. Visa says this eliminates the need for coupons or redemption programs.

Retailers including Dunkin’ Donuts, as well as Shake Shack and Uber, have used Visa Commerce Network so far,

“Participating in this program was seamless,” said Laura Enoch, senior marketing manager of Shake Shack. “Guests could receive their perks without the need to change how they pay at the counter and because all of the rewards happened on the backend, it was a great activation without the need to train team members.”

The week of Feb. 1, select Uber customers in 10 U.S. markets who enroll in an offer and use their Visa card at any local grocery store can earn discounted rides, and will automatically be entered to win an all-expense paid trip to San Francisco for the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.

Visa Commerce Network was built off of the TrialPay platform, which was acquired by Visa in early 2015. Retailers receive aggregated, near real-time reporting on their programs with the ability to see how offers and promotions are impacting local spend throughout the campaign lifecycle.

As customers continue adopting a seamless lifestyle that blurs channels, inevitably the distinctions between various retailers and service providers will also become fuzzier. The customer who uses Uber to visit their local Shake Shack views the whole experience as one connected journey, and this type of partnership recognizes that fact in a way that benefits all participants.

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