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Nielsen: During holiday season, retail apps, websites reached nearly two-thirds of consumers

BY Marianne Wilson

NEW YORK — During the 2011 holiday season, the top retail applications and websites combined — including Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, Target and Walmart — reached nearly 60% of smartphone owners, according to Nielsen.

“The majority of smartphone owners used their devices for shopping this past holiday season,” said John Burbank, president of strategic initiatives at Nielsen. “Mobile shopping has reached scale and is only going to grow as smartphone penetration continues to rise.”

Nielsen’s metering of the smartphones of 5,000 U.S. volunteers participating in Nielsen’s mobile research also revealed the following:

  • Smartphone owners of both genders prefer retailers’ mobile websites over mobile apps, with men slightly more likely to try retailers’ mobile apps than women. However, consumers who use retailers’ mobile apps tend to spend more time on them.

  • Target and Walmart skewed female when it comes to their mobile websites, while Best Buy skewed male. Amazon and eBay appealed to both genders.

  • All of the top five mobile retail websites experienced a “bump” during the days leading up to and following Black Friday, led by Amazon. This seasonal lift, however, did not translate into an increase in regular usage. By January, active reach was back to October 2011 levels.

“Retailers need to think of their business as a multichannel environment that can potentially include mobile, online, and brick-and-mortar stores,” Burbank said. “Winning with shoppers requires a consistent experience across channels that reinforces the values you represent as a retail brand, whether it be price, service, reviews, selection, style, or other key attributes.”

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‘Most ethical’ companies include Costco, Safeway, Target

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK — The Ethisphere Institute’s sixth annual selection of the "World’s Most Ethical Companies" included several of the nation’s top retailers.

Among this year’s list of 145 organizations, Ethisphere — which describes itself as a leading international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability — included Costco, Safeway, Target, Wegmans and Whole Foods.

Each 2012 honoree was chosen for promoting ethical business standards and practices by exceeding legal minimums for compliance, introducing innovative ideas that benefit the public and forcing their competitors to follow suit, according to Ethisphere.

"Each year the competition for ‘World’s Most Ethical Companies’ intensifies as the number of nominations submitted for consideration grows," Ethisphere executive director Alex Brigham said. "This year’s winners know that a strong ethics program is a key component to a successful business model, and they continue to scrutinize their ethical standards to keep up with an ever-changing regulatory environment. Corporate ethics has become much more important globally, as well, and that is reflected in the truly global nature of this year’s honorees."

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NACDS praises N.J. legislators for resolution urging governor to oppose PBM mega-merger

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is praising lawmakers in Medco Health Solutions’ home state of New Jersey for delivering what NACDS called “a bold and revealing blow” to the PBM’s proposed merger with Express Scripts.


In a resolution passed by the New Jersey Assembly on Thursday, the chamber urged Gov. Chris Christie to oppose the deal, citing the same anticompetitive and anticonsumer concerns that have fueled scrutiny or outright opposition by more than half of state attorneys general, more than 70 members of the U.S. Congress, national consumer groups and employers.


The New Jersey Assembly passed Assembly Resolution No. 64 by a vote of 54-16-8, just one week after its introduction on March 8. The resolution was introduced by assemblywoman Linda Stender, and does not require action by the New Jersey Senate.



In addition to citing statistics related to the predicted loss of New Jersey jobs if Medco is allowed to acquire Express Scripts, the resolution pointed to the merged entity’s market dominance, the anticipated power of the new entity to “steer plan participants to its own mail-order pharmacy” instead of community pharmacies, and the power to drive pharmacy reimbursement “beyond competitive levels” to the detriment of patients’ pharmacy access.



“The New Jersey Assembly deserves tremendous credit for passing this resolution, which demonstrates leadership in the face of tremendous risks for patient care, jobs and competitive markets,” stated Steve Anderson, president and CEO of NACDS. 

“We would only add that while the resolution described concern for its figure of 7,200 New Jersey jobs related to Medco, retail stores with pharmacies in New Jersey employ more than 84,000 people. Combine those economic considerations with the fact that New Jersey’s neighborhood pharmacies help patients take their medications correctly, improving health and reducing costs by preventing costly forms of care down the road, and the reasons to oppose this merger in the Garden State and across the nation only magnify.”

NACDS also noted that St. Louis-based Express Scripts saw the editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write that “the antitrust issues are real.” Columnist Kevin Horrigan subsequently wrote in that paper, “Why are there so many middle-men? Exactly what are they contributing to our nation’s health?” Horrigan’s critique of the proposed merger included his telling admission, “One does so hate to root against the home team.”

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