TECHNOLOGY

Amazon reportedly in pilot for new kind of health products delivery program

BY CSA Staff

Amazon wants to ship medical supplies to patients before they are even discharged from the hospital.

According to CNBC, the online giant, a Seattle-based digital prescribing and analytics start-up called Xealth, and at least two hospital networks are considering a pilot project that would let doctors ship discounted bundles of medical products to their hospitalized patients before they’re sent home.

The project would provide discounted medical supplies and other goods via Amazon Prime. Those who do not have a Prime membership or do not want to use Amazon would still be able to access the pilot via other e-commerce providers, according to the report.

While the pilot is still under review, it is expected to kick off in a matter of months, CNBC reported.

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Customer loyalty is key to driving holiday season sales

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

As retailers gear up for the biggest shopping seasons of the year, they are stepping up their customer loyalty game to encourage repeat traffic both in-store and online.

To earn customer loyalty, it’s critical for retailers to safeguard and protect personal information (76%); reward them with personalized discounts or special offers (73%); and interact with them through their preferred communication channel (55%), according to “Building Loyalty with Dynamic Shoppers,” a study from Valassis.

These strategies, in addition to consistent interaction throughout the year, will also pay off as the crucial back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons approach. For example, 73% of consumers typically shop retailers who have reached out to them throughout the year. Only 27% said they shop new retailers during key time periods (holidays, back-to-school, etc.).

These initiatives will help retailers attract and retain customers for the long-term, which is important as 34% of all respondents have just one preferred retailer for each purchase category. The stakes are even higher among Millennials (47%) and millennial parents (57%).

The best way to connect with shoppers is through advertising and promotions. Nearly three-fourths (73%) of consumers admitted they can be swayed by advertised promotions and sales for where to shop and what to buy. Forty-seven percent of consumers said receiving an offer will drive them to visit a store or website they don’t typically shop.

Print ads also encourage 44% of customers to go online and make a purchase from that retailer. This is higher for Millennials (58%) and Millennial parents (72%).

Staying abreast of these trends, 76% of retailers plan to increase the amount of promotions they are offering in 2018, according to a separate study by RetailMeNot.

“The competitive retail climate has made it crucial for brands to differentiate and prove their value to customers,” said Curtis Tingle, chief marketing officer, Valassis. “There are a number of variables that impact a consumer’s decision on where to shop. Discounts, offers, communication frequency, channel of engagement and more, all play a role in determining which brands become preferred retailers and reap the rewards of a loyal customer base.”

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Stitch Fix launches a new subscription box—for kids

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Stitch Fix is making its shopping experience a family affair.

On Tuesday, the apparel subscription service expanded its offering with a new box aimed at girls and boys. The box, called Kids Fixes, includes between eight and 12 pieces of clothing and accessories from well-known brands, including Under Armour, Nike and Sovereign Code, as well as exclusive product from Rumi + Ryder, the compa-ny’s private label collection of playwear and essentials.

Merchandise is available in sizes 2T-14, and each box ranges from $10 to $35. Customers that keep all items receive a 25% discount. They are also required to pay a $20 styling fee, which is applied to-ward any item purchased in their child’s box. Unwanted merchandise can be returned with free shipping.

New and existing customers fill out a style profile, and pick the date to receive their first box. Existing customers can manage their child’s profile directly from their own.

“At Stitch Fix, our goal has always been to help our clients discover products and styles they love,” said Katrina Lake, founder and CEO of Stitch Fix. “Stitch Fix Kids is a fun and engaging way for kids to find clothes they love and feel their best in, while saving parents time.”

Stitch Fix is the latest company to compete in the growing children’s clothing subscription segment. Other companies that have found a way to differentiate themselves in the increasingly crowded category include BabyGap, Old Navy, Target and Kidbox, among others.

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