TECHNOLOGY

Chinese e-commerce giant partners with Silicon Valley accelerator program

BY CSA STAFF

Alibaba rival JD.com is expanding its presence in the United States.

The online giant announced a collaboration with start-up accelerator Plug and Play to seek out and work with promising U.S. startups, reported Techcrunch.com.

The new JD-backed program will be open to startups that cover “a range of areas and industries,” with a particular interest in those that operate in such common areas as robotics, AI, AR/VR and the cloud, the report said.

“Partnering with JD.com, one of China’s premier technology players, will give startups access to both tremendous innovation resources, as well as a huge helping hand as they look to reach the Chinese market,” said Plug and Play CEO and founder Saeed Amidi.

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TECHNOLOGY

Study: Advertising influences millennials the most

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Millennials — more than any other generation — are “impulse buyers.”

Not only are millennials more likely to make purchases after seeing or hearing advertisements compared to older generations, about 81% of millennials surveyed made a purchase after seeing or hearing an advertisement in the last 30 days, according to the “2017 Advertising Survey” from B2B ratings and reviews firm, Clutch.

Despite millennials’ higher tendency for “impulse buying” when it comes to new products and brands, Baby Boomers and other generations over age 55, are less influenced by advertising. Only 57% made a purchase as a result of an advertisement — regardless of the medium.

About 54% of Baby Boomers trust TV and print advertising, and just 27% trust online and social media advertising. However, 64% of millennials trust TV and print advertising, and 51% trust online and social media advertising. Millennials higher trust level stems from having more resources available to discover if a brand’s message is misleading, the study said.

Overall, consumers view traditional advertising mediums — TV, print, and radio — as the most trustworthy, while they view online and social media advertising more skeptically, the report said.

Consumer income is also a factor in advertising influence. The study found that 83% of consumers with a household income over $100,000 were more likely to make a purchase as a result of an advertisement, compared to 68% of consumers with household incomes of less than $49,999. This is due to a higher disposable income and more spending power.

Overall, advertisements still influence 90% of consumers in their purchasing decisions, and consumers — regardless of generation — are most likely to make a purchase after seeing or hearing an advertisement on TV and in print, according to the study.

“Baby Boomers have already gotten set in their ways in regards to the brands they prefer, so an ad might not convince them to buy something,” said Rob Albertson, managing director of Bandwidth Marketing. “There’s an aspect of spontaneity in millennials that would cause them to try something.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Vitamin Shoppe expands access to its subscription service

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Vitamin Shoppe wants more customers to become members of its subscription service.

The retailer’s product subscription program, called Spark Auto Delivery, features automated replenishment of customers’ favorite wellness items, as well as new product samples. By partnering with OrderGroove, Vitamin Shoppe is making it easier for customers to sign up for the service.

OrderGroove’s platform will enable users to enroll in Spark at any of the chain’s 775 stores. Those who enroll will receive tailored offers through the “VShoppe” mobile application, and can also stay abreast of their membership via text messages and online, according to Vitamin Shoppe.

In addition to being a scalable platform, OrderGroove will also give Vitamin Shoppe access into data-driven insights — information that will help the retailer learn more about its customers’ buying behavior, and create innovative customer experiences.

“OrderGroove is helping us activate valuable customer data in our CRM, e-commerce and point-of-sale platforms to create increased loyalty and engagement among customers enrolled in the Spark program,” said John Hnanicek, senior VP and chief customer innovation & technology officer at Vitamin Shoppe.

In addition to receiving personalized merchandise, Spark Auto Delivery subscribers also receive 10% off of more than 1,000 participating products, double Healthy Awards points, and free shipping in the continental United States. Customers can choose their own product shipping schedule.

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