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Report: Holiday shoppers love free shipping

BY Dan Berthiaume

STAMFORD, Conn. — Online shoppers will do anything to quality for free shipping-even spend more money.

Sixty percent of holiday shoppers say they have increased their online spending in the past to qualify for free shipping, according to the 2015 Holiday Shopping Survey from Pitney Bowes. 

In other results that put a spotlight on shipping, 93% of consumers find shipping options to be an important factor in their overall shopping experience, a 23% increase from 2014. And  88% of those surveyed find free shipping with a five-to-seven-day delivery to be the most attractive shipping option.

 Survey results also show consumers want to be able to select from an array of choices and alternatives to address shopping, shipping and returns preferences. Sixty-eight percent of online shoppers have previously used a promotional code or coupon to receive a shipping discount. Eighty percent say they’d also be more willing to purchase online if they had a promotional code or coupon. Additionally, 60% say they have increased their online spending in the past to qualify for free shipping.

The survey also finds that  most Americans plan to shop both in-store (94%) and online (92%) this holiday season, with 94% of consumers planning to shop from a computer and 49% making purchases from a mobile device.

The majority of consumers suggest they’re more willing to shop online during a sales event (61%), while 39% are more willing to shop with retailers who offer a premium membership (a paid-for membership that offers faster and cheaper shipping).

Once a retailer processes an online transaction, nearly all shoppers (98%) track their packages for an estimated time of delivery. The majority of shoppers track their orders via email (39%) compared to a mobile device (30%) or a retailer’s website (28%).

When asked about return options, the majority of shoppers prefer to return packages in a nearby store (39%). However, 38% prefer returning packages via a shipping provider, while only one in five shoppers prefer to have a courier pick up a package from their location. When it comes to gender preferences, survey results show that 45% of women are more likely to return a package in a nearby store, whereas 43% of men prefer to return a package via a shipping provider.

When asked to select time periods in which consumers planned to do the majority of their shopping, results show that 30% will shop before Thanksgiving, 41% will shop from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, 26% will shop on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, 17% will shop on Cyber Monday, and 13% will shop on the weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

For more info, see the infographic below.

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H-E-B adds latest Spur to its promotional mix

BY Michael Johnsen

 
 
SAN ANTONIO — H‑E‑B on Thursday announced the addition of the newest member of the San Antonio Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge, to the retailer's award‑winning television commercials. Aldridge will join the line‑up alongside teammates Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan. 
 
The commercials may also include other surprise appearances by other players this year, the company said.
 
"Like his teammates, LaMarcus brings a unique flavor and community commitment to San Antonio and we are excited to introduce him to Spurs fans through our commercials," stated Cory Basso, H‑E‑B group VP marketing and advertising. "For the past 10 years H‑E‑B customers have enjoyed connecting with the Spurs through their passion for H‑E‑B products. Customers and fans alike look forward to our commercials every year to open the basketball season."
 
Check out one of last year's H‑E‑B Spurs commercials above. 
 

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NACDS taps congressional health policy staffer as industry liaison

BY Michael Johnsen

ARLINGTON, Va. — Citing his experience as the lead on health policy for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Friday announced Colin Brainard as the new director of federal government affairs. Brainard will join NACDS on Sept. 21.
 
“As the lead health policy staffer working for a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Colin has tremendous experience on healthcare issues and in navigating the policy and political arenas,” Steve Anderson, NACDS president and CEO, said. “This experience will be particularly significant in Colin’s work in advancing NACDS’ efforts on pro-patient, pro-pharmacy issues on Capitol Hill. We are thrilled to welcome Colin to the NACDS team.”
 
Brainard will report to Tom O’Donnell, VP federal government affairs, within the Government Affairs and Public Policy department, which is led by Carol Kelly, NACDS’ SVP government affairs and public policy.
 
In his new role, Brainard will serve as a liaison with congressional offices on key issues impacting pharmacy, focusing on the House of Representatives, and will provide counsel for NACDS on effective advocacy strategies and tactics on those issues. He will also develop and maintain relationships with government affairs counterparts in other pharmacy and stakeholder health organizations and coalitions to help advance chain pharmacy priorities.
 
Prior to joining NACDS, Brainard served as a senior policy advisor for Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., who is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over key pharmacy issues. Brainard advised the Congresswoman on health and tax issues related to her service on the Committee. Previously, he worked for Sen. Richard Burr. R-N.C., and interned for Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan. 
 
Brainard received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas.

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