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Study: ‘Connected’ consumers shop, recommend favorite retailers more often

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN MATEO, Calif. — New data released Friday by Motista suggests that retailers should look beyond the traditional set of holiday emotions, such as family and giving, to understand what’s really motivating consumers to spend more. The data also revealed different ways in which men and women interact and connect with retailers, which may be useful as retailers plan their holiday marketing campaigns.

According to data collected by Motista as part of its ongoing retail study, overall awareness and familiarity with 10 major retail brands it tracks were high (90% and 71%, respectively), but only 18% of consumers indicated an emotional connection to their retailers. With only 24% of consumers indicating they would make their next relevant purchase with the retailers they frequent today, retailers must establish and leverage emotional connection to retain their customers and increase sales, Motista suggested. Key findings in the survey illustrated that building deeper connections with consumers can help drive higher levels of purchase intent, response rates, online engagement and advocacy.

According to the study, connected consumers are better retail consumers — consumers who feel emotional connections to their retailers are four times more likely to shop those retailers first when relevant needs arise, as compared to consumers who are simply familiar and satisfied with their retailers. Connected customers also respond to direct mail from their retailers twice as often as consumers who are familiar and satisfied.

Connected consumers also are more engaged through social and mobile channels. Consumers that feel a connection to their retailers are shopping their retailers’ websites via mobile devices ten times more often than consumers who are simply satisfied. And these connected consumers are following their retailers on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, four times more often.

Connected consumers are likely to recommend their favorite retailers to friends and family. When consumers feel a connection with their retail brand, they are 50% more likely to advocate for the brand and recommend the retailer to others.

“The findings of our most recent study will help retailers as they plan for the 2011 holiday season,” stated Alan Zorfas, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Motista. “But the long-term takeaway for retailers is the importance of establishing more relevant connections with their customers."

Motista also segmented the data to look more closely at how men and women interact with retail brands, and the data reveals that genders connect and experience retailers in different ways. For example, men take retail more personally. Men are 50% more likely to feel that their preferred retailer makes them a more valuable person. Appearing to seek to enhance their identities and sense of self through the retailers they choose, men are also 53% more likely to feel that people will see them differently because they shop at a particular retailer and 30% more likely to feel that their retailer personalizes its relationship with them.

Women, on the other hand, establish connections with retailers around the perception that the retailers are fun and stylish. Women are 18% more likely to connect with retailers they consider to be fun, and 18% more likely to connect with their retailer if they believe the retailer is stylish.

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Kroger’s ComfortsForBaby.com helps define mom demographic

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI — Kroger on Tuesday revealed results of its "Kroger Comforts Moms" survey to help understand the mindset of moms with young children.

"These findings capture the essence of modern-day motherhood in this country in all its bliss and chaos," stated Paula Andruss, a mother of three and the official ‘Chief Comforts Mom’ on Kroger’s ComfortsForBaby.com, a website designed specifically for mothers of young children.  "For moms and dads alike, our days are demanding, but our kids also have a way of reminding us of how special these days truly are."

When asked what the most hectic time of the day is, 43% of the responding mothers said mornings, followed by the evening bed time routine (35%). While most moms try to keep their children on a schedule, 1-in-2 (50%) said outside activities and social commitments are what wreak havoc on their schedules. And even among employed mothers, outside activities are still the biggest barrier to keeping a schedule (46%), while 1-in-4 (27%) pointed to work as the biggest hurdle.

"We hope that mothers of young children also will look to Kroger’s new ComfortsForBaby.com website, which is available in both English and Spanish," Andruss said. "The site not only contains a cross section of original content — parenting tips, product information and so on — but it also is a place where moms can share experiences with one another. So for those mothers who want to learn from the experience of others, ComfortsForBaby.com can be a valuable online forum."

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Publix offers free lisinopril to pharmacy patients

BY Allison Cerra

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix announced that it now offers free 30-day supplies (up to 30 tablets) of lisinopril to customers with a prescription for the medication.

All strengths of generic lisinopril are free, Publix said, noting, however, that lisinopril-hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) combination products are excluded from the offer. Lisinopril is designed to prevent, treat or improve symptoms of such conditions as hypertension, certain heart conditions, diabetes and certain chronic kidney conditions.

“While this is not a formal part of the Publix Diabetes Management System, offering lisinopril for free augments the diabetes program perfectly,” Publix media and community relations director Maria Brous said. “Since the medication is so widely used, many customers with other conditions will benefit as well. We are hopeful that offering lisinopril for free will help our customers stay compliant with this important medication.”

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