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ForeSee unveils food, drug retailers that lead in e-retail satisfaction

BY Allison Cerra

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — More retail websites this year achieved a "threshold for excellence" on customer experience analytics firm ForeSee’s annual Top 100 E-Retail Satisfaction Index.

ForeSee reported that 36-out-of-100 online retailers achieved a satisfaction score of 80 or higher, compared with 28-out-of-100 websites that received the distinction last year. Although Amazon.com topped the list with a 2012 satisfaction score of 89 — up three points from 2011 — many other retailers, particularly retail pharmacies and grocery retailers, earned a high score:

  • Walmart.com earned a satisfaction score of 82, up three points from last year;

  • Walgreens.com earned a satisfaction score of 81, up two points from last year;

  • CVS.com and Target.com both gained one point this year, earning satisfaction scores of 79 each;

  • Safeway.com rose one point to earn a satisfaction score of 74; and

  • With increases, came declines: Costco.com dropped one point to 79 for its 2012 satisfaction score; however, the retailer is one of the most improved since they were first measured by the index (up nine points).

"We’re measuring the biggest players in the game, and they just keep getting better and better. Because customer satisfaction, as we measure it, is predictive, that’s a good sign not only for the consumer experience, but for the bottom line of internet retailers as well," study author and ForeSee president and CEO Larry Freed said. "If there’s a negative spin to these positive trends, it is that this puts even more pressure on all other e-retailers to keep up or catch up."

Freed also noted that ForeSee — which has been producing the Top 100 E-Retail Satisfaction Index since 2005 — found that consumers "wield unprecedented power in the marketplace," noting that technology and social media allow them to express their opinion of retailers anytime, anywhere.

"Highly satisfied website visitors are nearly 70% more likely to recommend the website to others than dissatisfied customers," he said. "In the modern world of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, it is even more imperative to provide the best experience possible to your customers because any experience has huge potential to be amplified, for better or for worse."

Freed added that compared with dissatisfied site visitors, satisfied visitors said they are 72% more likely to purchase online, 56% more likely to purchase offline and 67% more likely to purchase from that retailer next time they’re in the market for a similar product (a good proxy for loyalty).

For more information about Foresee’s Top 100 E-Retail Satisfaction Index, visit Foresee.com.

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H-E-B awards $585,000 in cash and grants in recognition of public education excellence

BY Michael Johnsen

HOUSTON — H-E-B on May 6 recognized statewide winners of the 2012 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards during a banquet at Houston’s InterContinental Hotel, the grocer announced Tuesday. At the ceremony, H-E-B chairman and CEO Charles Butt handed out $585,000 in cash awards and grants and congratulated 23 educators, campuses, school districts and one early childhood agency for being "among the best" in Texas.

“H-E-B is committed to supporting K-12 public education, but we also know that the most critical years in a child’s learning development come before the age of five,” H-E-B VP communications and engagement Kate Rogers said.

Now in its 11th year, the program added a new Early Childhood Award to support public and private schools and not-for-profit learning agencies that focus on kinder readiness and the care of children under 5 years old. Last year, H-E-B introduced the Healthy Campus grants program to reward schools that go above and beyond to educate children, parents and staff members about the importance of nutrition and fitness.

The H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards program was created in 2002 in cooperation with the Texas Association of School Administrators as a positive way to support public education and celebrate the accomplishments of teachers, principals and school districts. Since its inception, the program has given away more than $5.5 million. The total awarded this year to semifinalists, finalists, prize winners and grant recipients will top $800,000, making it the largest monetary awards program in Texas and one of the largest in the nation, H-E-B reported.

In order to find the best teachers, principals and districts in Texas, H-E-B asked customers, employees and community members to submit the names of their favorite educators, administrators and districts. Each nominee is sent an invitation to complete an application online. They are asked to describe their professional experiences, educational philosophies and achievements both in and out of the classroom.

A team of judges reviewed the applications, narrowing the field to 239 semifinalists. From that pool, five regional judging panels comprised of former winners, administrators, and university and community leaders selected 40 teacher and principal finalists. Two separate panels selected the district and Early Childhood finalists, and conducted site visits to determine the winners. Healthy Campus grant recipients were selected by a panel of fitness and nutrition experts from across the state.

Upon being named finalists, teachers receive $1,000 for themselves and $1,000 for their school and principals received $1,000 for themselves and $2,500 for their school. Finalists in the large district and early childhood categories received $5,000 and small districts receive $2,500. Semifinalists received H-E-B gift cards ranging from $250 to $1,000.

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Pet Research launches joint health supplement to support man’s best friend

BY Michael Johnsen

NEWBURY PARK, Calif. — Pet Research on Tuesday announced the launch of Wag Lifetime Joint Care, a complete joint health supplement for dogs that addresses every aspect of canine structural vitality — joints, bones, tendons and ligaments.

Pet Research developed Wag with the ingredient NEM, winner of the 2011 Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation of the Year Award in joint health. Derived from natural eggshell membrane, NEM is a biological matrix of the essential building blocks of healthy joints. As the flagship ingredient, NEM is clinically proven to be up to five times more effective than glucosamine and chondroitin and produces results in as few as seven to 10 days, the company reported.

Wag also contains Microminzyme, a proprietary complex of organic chelated trace minerals; BCM-95, a curcumin extract from turmeric that helps support the body’s natural inflammatory response; and BosPure, a Boswellia serrata extract that supports an animal’s inflammatory response, according to the company.

Wag lifetime joint care supports the complete structural vitality of dogs of all ages and breeds, and is available at PetResearch.com.

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