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IRI: Added wellness benefits common theme across new product launches

BY Michael Johnsen

New products that boasted either a “healthier-for-you” or “let’s-get-well” factor proved the most successful in 2013, according to IRI’s 2013 New Product Pacesetters report.

All told, there were 190,000 new UPCs and 9,500 new brand launches that hit the shelves in 2013. Almost one-third of consumers want to try new products, noted Larry Levin, EVP industry insights at IRI. “Of those 30%, a third of them — or 10% — are calling themselves early adopters,” he said. “Consumers are looking for new products to help them live their lives better and find the best value.”

“This year in our Pacesetters, products that offered health benefits earned a combined year one total of $4.6 billion,” noted Susan Viamari, editor of thought leadership for IRI. “We’re seeing marketers making bodies healthier, homes healthier, enhancing moods, improving pets, keeping the Earth green. There are so many different ways to make consumers’ lives better. Products that help us power up and stay healthy are going to continue to hit the mark with consumers in the coming years.”

Average first-year dollar sales was $34 million for non-food health and beauty brands. Earning $2 billion in aggregate year-one launch sales, 48 out of the top 100 non-food Pacesetters delivered some wellness benefit. Top performers included L’Oréal’s Advanced Haircare and Vidal Sassoon Pro Series. Also, Pantene Pro-V Ultimate, which provided 10 “healthier hair” solutions with just one step, fared well.

Procter & Gamble’s ZzzQuil, the top-selling launch in non-food health and beauty for the year, earned more than $121 million, finding success in offering consumers a one-dose, non-habit-forming sleep aid that helps them get exactly what they need — a restful night’s sleep.

There was a similar wellness theme across food and beverage new product launches. Seven-of-the-top-10 and 73-of-the-top-100 food and beverage products launched in 2013 provided a healthier-for-you benefit.
 As many as 61% of consumers tried a new food item because it helped them meet nutrition goals. For consumers trying new beverages, 56% did so for that same reason. Launches that provided better-for-you nutrition by removing or limiting less desirable attributes racked up more than $1.6 billion in total sales during their collective year one.

Average year-one dollar sales was $35 million for a consumables product.

Overall, the most prevalent addition to brands in 2013’s Pacesetters was fiber and/or whole grains, which were found in 42% of new consumables launches. In addition, the report suggested that “dieting” has evolved into “nutritional management.” Consumers are looking for products that remove or limit less desirable attributes, such as calories and sugar.

BelVita Breakfast Biscuits proved to be a good source of sustained energy provided through grains. And General Mills launched four Pacesetter Fiber One brands, each offering up to 40% of the daily value of fiber.

To download the full report, visit IRIWorldWide.com/Insights/Publications/NewProductPacesetters.aspx.

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CVS/pharmacy enhances ‘Send to Card’ feature for ExtraCare members

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy has expanded the ExtraCare program, allowing members to send more of their savings and rewards directly to their ExtraCare cards.

Through the Send to Card feature, ExtraCare cardholders can now digitally send all personalized offers available on CVS.com and the CVS Mobile app, as well as coupons received via email, to their cards in a single click. With these new Send to Card enhancements, customers can take advantage of their online and mobile savings without having to print or remember paper coupons.

"We’re committed to making it easier to save money through the ExtraCare program, and with Send to Card, customers can simply ‘click’ or ‘tap’ to get their coupons and ExtraBucks Rewards no printing or clipping required," said Melissa Studzinski, VP of customer relationship management for CVS/pharmacy. "Through the latest digital innovations we’re able to deliver greater value to our loyal members, creating an easier and more personalized customer experience."

Send to Card was first introduced in 2011 and provided a digital option for select coupons and rewards. Now, ExtraCare members can send even more coupons to their cards for paperless savings at the checkout counter. Send to Card has become increasingly popular among CVS/pharmacy customers; when given the choice to send offers to their cards, ExtraCare members choose Send to Card over printing paper coupons more than 80% of the time, the company stated. Shoppers who prefer to receive paper savings and rewards can still choose to "print" instead of "Send to Card" when presented with both options on CVS.com, the CVS Mobile app or via email.

There are several ways for shoppers to find their offers and send them directly to their card. ExtraCare members can access Send to Card via CVS.com, on their mobile devices or through the CVS/pharmacy iPad app.

  • Email: shoppers can sign up for ExtraCare emails to receive personalized savings offers and ExtraBucks Rewards in their email. Recipients can open the email, click or tap "Get Coupon" and they will be directed to a page prompting them to click "Send to Card." The savings can then be applied to their next in-store purchase if they choose to use them when asked by the cashier.
  • CVS.com or CVS Mobile App: by logging in to their ExtraCare account, cardholders can view the offers listed in the "My Savings and Rewards" section and click or tap on the Send to Card option right next to each coupon or reward.
  • myWeekly Ad: for shoppers who choose to browse the new personalized digital circular, myWeekly Ad, it also is easy to take advantage of paper-free savings. Users can log into CVS.com/myWeeklyAd to view their individual offers listed in the "ExtraCare Savings" section and then choose to Send to Card those coupons or rewards they plan to redeem.

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PwC: Customer centricity key to total retail

BY Michael Johnsen

Bringing together an omnichannel experience just isn’t good enough anymore. The next evolution of the consumer-retailer relationship has been dubbed a “total retail” solution by PricewaterhouseCoopers, given the rapidly growing focus on integrated, customer-focused technology.

“What’s different about ‘total retail’ is it’s more about customer centricity than channel centricity,” suggested Tom Johnson, advisory principal PwC Consumer Practice. “It drives the next level of a connected experience, which could play out in terms of personalization; it could include loyalty; it could start to include some customization — make-to-order is a classic example. The last bit of ‘total retail’ that’s been missed … is about reinventing that store portfolio around total retail and the customer centric approach, and then No. 2 is driving up contribution of all channels. It’s really rebalancing the portfolio, taking advantage of your stores and maybe including stores in the innovation capital budgeting, not just simply the dot-com or the mobile.”

That’s because customers are downsizing the number of brands with which they’re willing to engage, especially online, according to the PwC report released earlier this year. “[Customers] are saying three to five online brands is all they want to deal with,” Johnson said. “If in fact you go ‘total retail,’ you better have your brand experience across your stores, your mobile [and] your dot-com at least interlocked. There’s so many choices for the same merchandise that the [retail] brand has become more important, and that ‘total retail’ experience is up for grabs.”

The new approach may necessitate a shake-up across the C-suites of many companies with a new chief officer post, Johnson suggested. “Who’s going to own total retail? How many retailers have a chief operating officer [and] a chief customer officer?” he asked. That’s when a mind-set like this becomes really powerful, as retailers realize that they may be fragmented by channel. “There’s been two major shifts in very large retail chains where they’ve named a chief operating officer for the first time” who would own a total retail approach, Johnson said.

A total retail approach also needs to incorporate supply chain, both in making real-time inventory transparent to the consumer and delivering on consumer expectations regarding where they receive their product or service. “Fulfillment and returns are major criteria,” Johnson said. “Returns ranked very high in terms of trust and brand promise. Fulfillment also is a key driver of brand promise and trust. The bad news is [customers] expect free delivery; the good news is they don’t expect same-day delivery.”

The eight key consumer expectations and business implications for retailers to help achieve the total retail model, according to PwC, are:

  • A compelling brand story that promises a distinctive experience: Retailers should better establish a strong brand promise that solidifies a core of loyal customers. A high percentage of survey respondents were attracted to brands that tell a story in an engaging manner. As many as 79% of U.S. shoppers reported they shop at their favorite retailers/brands because they trust the brand.
  • Transparency, real time, into a retailer’s inventory: When asked which in-store technologies would make for a better shopping experience, 45% of U.S. survey respondents chose the ability to check other stores for online stock quickly. Consumers are looking for actionable inventory information from retailers, pushing retailers to upgrade technology on their supply chain, and on how products are tracked, warehoused and distributed.
  • Customized offers based on totally protected, personal preferences and information: Big data and predictive analytics help retailers use customer data to increase marketing and sales effectiveness through customizing digital coupons, exclusive content and social media promotions, among others. However, 37% of U.S. shoppers say they do not use their smartphone for shopping because they are worried about security. To ease those concerns, retailers should better safeguard data.
  • An enhanced and consistent experience across all devices: As smartphone screen sizes get bigger, and more consumers obtain newer mobile devices, mobile shopping will likely accelerate. To prepare for this growth, a total retailer will need to have the technical agility to provide one seamless experience across the following platforms: PC, tablet, mobile phone and app.
  • To maximize the value of mobile shopping, both store apps and mobile sites must improve: PwC’s survey finds shoppers do not have a strong preference regarding using an app or browser for mobile shopping. When asked how often they use an app and mobile browser for shopping, 22% of respondents answered weekly for apps, while 28% answered weekly for mobile browser, with mobile browser faring a bit higher due to convenience — 53% prefer mobile browser because of convenience. Retailers should take note to ensure their mobile site is optimized, while also ramping up apps to improve the experience.
  • Favorite retailers are everywhere: When asked what they would do if their favorite retailer shut down its local store, 53% of survey respondents noted they would locate the next nearest physical store, and 40% said they would increase ordering from their favorite retailer’s website. Shoppers today assume retailers are everywhere and always connected like themselves, and retailers need to look at store portfolio management more strategically.
  • Two-way social media engagement: Enthusiasm for social media by retailers and brands is driving consumers to engage, comment and even effect change. When asked what attracted them to a particular brand’s social media site, 61% of U.S. respondents noted attractive deals and promotions, 38% noted new product offerings and 28% said because they shop with the retailer. In return, retailers should better listen to customers on social media, transforming commentary into actionable data for new ideas and improved experience.
  • “Brands” act like retailers, and we’ll treat them that way: The gray area of overlap is growing between brands and retailers, and 44% of U.S. survey respondents noted that lower price is the main reason they buy from a brand’s website. Retailers today are partnering with brands/manufacturers to share consumer insights and collaborate on category management to drive more success.

For the full report, including charts, click here.

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