Retailers stay tuned for multi-channel consumers
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — News flash: Retailers get the idea that attracting today’s consumer means going multichannel.
(THE NEWS: Retailers plan to spend more on e-commerce this year. Click here for the story.)
Online retail has been around for a while now, but it’s come along way since its beginnings during the days of the late-1990s dot-com bubble. Today, consumers aren’t just ordering books from Amazon.com — they’re ordering a plethora of items online, and not just from their desktop computers, but from their mobile phones as well.
So what does this mean for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers? It means they have to draw a consumer who may not have the time or patience to make a trip to the store, and try to reach them where they’re spending more and more of their time: in chairs in front of a computer, or just about anywhere with their phones in front of their faces.
According to a study last month by ComScore, 86 million Americans are now shopping on their smartphones, with 4-out-of-5 smartphone users accessing retail content. And a Deloitte study found that using apps and mobile websites while shopping accounted for a 5% increase in retail sales over the past year, equal to $159 billion in in-store sales.
But retailers — including those in the drug channel — are moving in already. Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy launched a mobile app for patients to manage their prescriptions on Tuesday, while Stop & Shop, owned by Ahold, said on Oct. 19 that its new Wayland, Mass., store would include features for mobile shopping, not to mention sister company Peapod’s "virtual grocery store" concept.
Categories in which shoppers prefer brand over PL spells opportunity for store brand development
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — In today’s give-’em-what-they-want style of merchandising, in a market where savvy, omni-channel consumers can customize the what, when and where of the purchase, private label more and more ascends from being considered the cheapest product offering to being the best value product offering.
(THE NEWS: Study: Shoppers opt for private label over brands across specific categories. For the full story, click here.)
Milk and over-the-counter medicines ranked the lowest in categories where consumers preferred brand over store brand (26% and 28%, respectively). But for all of the other categories where the majority of consumers expressed a preference for the brand, that only spells opportunity for retailers to infuse better value across their private-label offerings.
Particularly in beauty. According to the report almost two-in-three consumers may gravitate toward a branded purchase, today, but that’s a paradigm that’s getting a hard look from retailers because beauty is one area that is definitely being pruned for private label expansion. You don’t have to look much further than Walgreens recent acquisition of Alliance Boots, the U.K. retailer renowned for its brand development capacity, and particularly in beauty, to find examples of what a successful private-label beauty brand might look like.
Chief among those brands is Boots No7, which is celebrating its 77th anniversary this weekend with a reinvigorated brand image and new products for the U.S. market.
And that private label evolution toward more sophisticated, better value offerings isn’t going to change. Fact is across the present retail landscape, if one retailer doesn’t deliver on that anything-anytime-anywhere promise, the consumer will just click on the next URL that pops up on their Google search.
Hy-Vee, Casey’s partner on fuel savings
ANKENY, Iowa — A supermarket chain and a convenience store chain in the Midwest have launched a program that they said would allow customers to save on gasoline at all their stores.
Hy-Vee and Casey’s General Stores announced the Fuel Saver program, which they said would provide fuel discounts to shoppers who purchase grocery items features in Hy-Vee’s weekly Fuel Saver advertisement. Discounts ranging from 2 to 25 cents per item are loaded onto a customer’s Fuel Saver card, which can be scanned at the pump at Hy-Vee and Casey’s stores, allowing customers to save $2 or more per gallon each week, depending on how many items they buy.
"Tough economic times continue to put a strain on the family budget, and we’re seeing this with our customers and the cost of fuel," Hy-Vee chairman and CEO Randy Edeker said. "The typical household today spends nearly $350 per month on gasoline. Anything we can do to help families save at the pump means more money for them to spend on other items they need."