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Letting shoppers buy online, pick up in store could drive more customer traffic, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

ATLANTA — Integration of social and mobile media, as well as shipping options and flexible returns, can drive brand loyalty as consumers seek out more choices and convenience when shopping online, according to a new study.

The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper: A Customer Experience Study, conducted by comScore and UPS, polled 3,000 consumers earlier this year about which factors led them to shop more on computers, tablets and smartphones and to abandon brick-and-mortar shopping and recommend retailers to friends. It found that 44% were more likely to shop with a retailer if they could buy online and pick up an item and the store, while 62% wanted the ability to buy online and return items to a store.

"Consumers have a growing number of digital touch points, with more ways to stay connected with their online retailers through every phase of the shopping, buying and fulfillment process," comScore senior director Susan Engleson said. "What will set apart one retailer from another in a competitive marketplace is how well they meet the rapidly evolving needs and expectations of customers."

Forty-six percent said they were less likely to comparison shop when using a retailer’s mobile app, while 47% said they wanted retailers to send coupons to their smartphones when in-store or nearby. Meanwhile, 84% of online shoppers use at least one social media site, while 60% of Facebook users will "like" a brand to receive an incentive or promotion.

When it comes to shipping, three-quarters of shoppers report adding items to their online carts to qualify for free shipping, while 78% will choose the least expensive shipping option, and 97% said tracking a purchase is essential or nice to have. But only 44% said they were currently satisfied with their ability to reroute a package, and retailers that support such changes have a competitive advantage.

Returns are another important service, with 63% of respondents to last year’s study reporting that they reviewed a retailer’s return policy before making a purchase, a figure that increased to 66% in this year’s survey. Eighty-two percent said they would complete a purchase if they could return the item to a store or have free return shipping, and 67% said they would shop more with a retailer offering such a service.

 

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Cosmetic Promotions adds college program to menu of services

BY Antoinette Alexander

WINTER PARK, Fla. — Cosmetic Promotions has announced the addition of a new college program for those manufacturers interested in targeting the teen market.

Via the program, select manufacturers can include their samples and/or coupons in a bag that will be hung on female dorm room doors at eight colleges with a high concentration of Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid stores within five miles of campus. The program closes on June 7, and it is limited to the first five vendors with qualifying samples, the company stated.

Cosmetic Promotions knows teens through its experience over the past five years designing and managing Rite Aid’s "Glam Camp" teen marketing program. The program started with a "Back to School" magazine spread and, over the years, evolved to add a partnership with Seventeen magazine, a website, an annual gift-with-purchase promotion and a national Model Search — providing more than 53 million impressions (at less than a penny each) this past fall.
 
According to the 2012 Harris Poll YouthPulse study, the more than 23 million teens in the United States spend (or help their parents spend) more than $210 billion annually. Most retailers are looking for ways to engage the teen shopper, but getting teens’ attention — and getting them into the store — can prove challenging, the company stated.
 

 

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Jack Link’s launches BBQ Pork seasoned jerky

BY Jason Owen

MINONG, Wis. — Jack Link’s announced today a new jerky snack that captures the flavor of the summer BBQ with new BBQ Pork seasoned jerky.

New this year, Jack Link’s BBQ Pork jerky is made with premium cuts of lean pork, seasoned with a blend of spices and barbecue smoked. The latest jerky offering from Jack Link’s provides consumers with a snack that is low in fat and calories and full of protein. Jack Link’s BBQ Pork jerky is 97% fat free, includes 12 g of protein in each 3.25-oz bag and has no added MSG.

“Summer is right around the corner, and what better way to mark the season than with the taste of good ol’ barbecue,” said Jeff LeFever, vice president of marketing at Jack Link’s. “The unique combination of sweet, tangy and smoky flavors always seems to hit the spot. Our new BBQ Pork jerky provides barbecue fans with a convenient, better-for-you way to enjoy the great taste of summer all year — whether you’re on the go, spending time outside or relaxing at home.”

The product’s packaging features a new design and custom graphics, calling attention to the high-quality pork inside each bag of jerky. The new design also helps to differentiate Jack Link’s BBQ Pork jerky from the brand’s beef and turkey products.

When developing BBQ Pork jerky, Jack Link’s sought to fill a void in the snacking universe by introducing a pork meat snack, a relatively rare offering in the category, the company stated.

“Pork is a great source of protein with delicious, natural flavor and, until recently, there hasn’t been a product on the market that truly does pork justice,” said LeFever. “Jack Link’s handcrafted recipe raises the bar by combining a unique blend of spices with a perfected smoking method. Taken together, it gives Jack Link’s BBQ Pork jerky the precise balance of natural pork taste and bold barbecue flavor consumers deserve.”

Jack Link’s BBQ Pork jerky is now available in stores across the country.


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