Survey: Shoppers opt for help from phone over sales associate
When it comes for help in stores, shoppers are increasingly going mobile.
That is one of the findings of a survey by Salsify, a product content management platform for distributed commerce, which revealed that 77% of shoppers use a mobile device while shopping in store. This compares to just 35% of shoppers who opt to speak to a salesperson if they have questions about a product.
With so many turning to mobile while shopping in-store, the need for strategic and informed product content is essential, according to the report. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of consumers say accurate, rich, and complete product content is very important when deciding what to buy.
“Consumers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to answer product-related questions, like price and availability, while they shop,” said Jason Purcell, CEO and co-founder of Salsify. “This year’s research again demonstrates just how critical it is for every brand and retailer to have a systematized approach to maintain robust and relevant digital content to retain shopper attention and win sales.”
The research indicates that consumers between the ages of 18 and 29 are most likely to use a mobile device when shopping online (84% ), followed closely by the 30 to 44 group (78%).
The 60-plus set is least likely to shop online via mobile device, with just 36% straying from more traditional shopping methods for the convenience of mobile.
The survey findings also indicate that the most common paths to purchase online leave room for influencing shoppers.
A majority of shoppers (87%) begin shopping on either Amazon or Google. But while only 4% of consumers who start on Amazon will buy somewhere else, 38% who start a search on Google will buy from a different retailer. This means that brands and retailers have a tremendous opportunity to win sales by improving their product data on Google, according to Salsify.
In other findings:
*Inaccurate product content leads to costly returns and customer churn: Fifty percent (50%) of shoppers have returned an item they bought online because it did not match the product description. Fifty-four percent (54%) of those who returned items are less likely to buy from that vendor again.
*Shoppers need robust product content before buying: Seventy percent (70%) of shoppers need to see at least three product images, and 86% want to read at least three product reviews before purchasing a product.
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Amazon bets on fuel-cell technology
Amazon will deploy a high-tech, green solution to help power its warehouses.
In a move to increase the energy efficiency of its sprawing network of fulfillment centers, Amazon has entered into a partnership with hydrogen fuel-cell maker Plug Power to deploy Plug Power fuel cells and hydrogen technology in its fulfillment network.
The deal includes an investment option that gives Amazon the right to acquire up to a 23% stake of the fuel-cell maker.
At select warehouse locations, Amazon will begin powering its forklifts using Plug Power’s Genkey technology, which will enable faster charging times, reduced costs, and support energy-efficiency in Amazon’s fulfillment operations, the supplier said.
Additionally, Amazon and Plug Power will begin working together on technology collaboration, exploring the expansion of applications for Plug Power’s line of ProGen fuel cell engines.
“This agreement is a tremendous opportunity for Plug Power to further innovate and grow while helping to support the work Amazon does to pick, pack and ship customer orders,” said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power. “Our hydrogen fuel cell technology, comprehensive service network, and commitment to providing cost-savings for customers has enabled Plug Power to become a trusted partner to many in the industry and we are excited to begin working with Amazon.”
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Walgreens confident about Rite Aid deal
Walgreens is still confident in its ability to close the Rite Aid transaction, but will force the issue if it comes to that, Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and CEO Walgreens Boots Alliance, told analysts Wednesday morning.
"I am still optimistic that we will bring this deal to a successful conclusion, but there is no doubt that the process of getting clearance for the transaction is taking longer than expected," Pessina said. "We are constantly and currently cooperating with FTC, Rite Aid and Fred's to get the necessary approvals and close the transaction."
But in the coming weeks, Walgreens may certify compliance, he said, which is a formal notification that a merger applicant believes it has supplied all the information regulators need to make a decision on the deal. Once parties have certified that they have substantially complied with an FTC request, the investigating agency has 30 additional days to complete its review of the transaction and take action if necessary.
"We are working to be in a position to certify compliance. We believe we can achieve this in the coming weeks and are still working toward our revised time table to obtain clearance by the end of July."
Pessina declined to speculate on whether the FTC could approve or disprove the deal with only two commissioners in place. "I cannot comment on the organization of the FTC. It will be up to them to decide whether they have enough people or not to judge on the quality of this deal," he said. "We are doing what we can together with Rite Aid and Fred's. We are collaborating very well with the FTC. And as I said we are preparing ourselves to be ready to certify compliance if we will decide to do so."
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