Accenture: More shoppers plan to purchase in-store
NEW YORK — Even as online shopping continues to grow, more U.S. shoppers are planning to make purchases from physical stores in 2014, according to a survey by Accenture. In the “seamless retailing” study, 21% of U.S. shoppers said they plan to increase their in-store purchasing, up from just 9% in last year’s study.
But there is plenty of room for improvement in physical stores. Asked what retailers need to improve the most, 40% of respondents ranked improving the in-store shopping experience first, compared to just 16% who said the same of online shopping.
“The survey results indicate that retailers have an opportunity to increase in-store sales, but only if they make the experience worthwhile for consumers,” said Chris Donnelly, global managing director of Accenture’s Retail practice. “Consumers are looking for the conveniences of shopping online, such as information on product availability, to be available in-store.”
Donnelly said that while the lines between the different shopping channels are blurring, the good news for traditional retailers is that the store continues to play an important role.
“In order to ensure that they offer shoppers a seamless retail experience, bricks-and-mortar/high street retailers must work hard to differentiate the shopping experience they offer compared to the online pure-plays,” he said.
In a key trend, the study found that more shoppers are looking to take advantage of seamless retail services involving the store: Nineteen percent of shoppers said they are using “click and collect” services more often than in the previous year. Additionally, more shoppers (14% compared with 7% last year) are buying in-store and having the product shipped to their home.
Here are some other key findings of the survey:
• The ability to check product availability online before traveling to a store is the service that would most improve the shopping experience for 31% of U.S. shoppers surveyed. And, the vast majority of respondents (89%) said they would either travel to a store to make a purchase or buy online if retailers offered real-time information on product availability.
• More than half — 57% — of respondents said that waiting for free delivery was the most important delivery option. Of those shoppers looking for next-day delivery, only 38% said they were willing to pay more than $10 for that convenience, and 14% said they believe the service should be free.
However, more shoppers expect the length of time they have to wait for free delivery to be reduced. In Accenture’s 2012 study, just 25% of respondents said they expected a free-delivery purchase to arrive within one to five days. In the latest survey, that number jumped to 44%.
“Services from the online pure-play retailers that offer faster delivery in return for an annual subscription, are having a profound impact on shoppers’ expectations,” Donnelly said. “Free delivery remains a crucial factor for a significant number of shoppers, but they are not always willing to wait as long to get it.”
• Seventy-eight percent of shoppers had webroomed (i.e., browsing online and then going to a store to make their purchase) in the 12 months before the latest survey, while 72% had showroomed (i.e., going into a physical store to see a product and then searching online for a better price and making their purchase online). The proportion of shoppers who engaged in webrooming for making consumer electronics and home improvement purchases increased significantly from 2012 — from 39% to 48%, and 25% to 35%, respectively.
• Fifty-one percent of shoppers expect a retailer’s product offerings to be the same across different shopping channels, up from 43% in 2012. More than half (57%) also expect promotions to be the same across channels and 69% expect prices to be the same.
However, only 31% of shoppers said that their customer accounts were completely connected across in-store and online channels, and just 32% said that they were able to earn and use loyalty points across multiple channels. In addition, the proportion of shoppers who believe they will secure a better price online rose from 21% to 31%.
“Delivering a seamless experience across all retail touch points remains both a key challenge and prime opportunity for retailers today,” Donnelly said. “Those retailers able to integrate the physical store with the rest of their digital capabilities, and who also use analytics to support new models of customer engagement and personalized service, can gain a true competitive advantage.”
Onset Dermatologics announces availability of Tretin-X for acne
CUMBERLAND, R.I. — Onset Dermatologics, which makes prescription products for improving skin health, has announced the nationwide availability of Tretin-X (tretinoin, USP) Cream 0.075% for the treatment of acne.
“Tretin-X Cream 0.075% offers dermatologists an option for dosing flexibility with the same elegant cream vehicle as our popular Tretin-X 0.0375%,” stated Robert Moccia, president of Onset Dermatologics and CEO of Precision Dermatology. “Dermatology practitioners might consider Tretin-X 0.075% for an acne patient who is ready to move from a lower concentration of tretinoin to a higher concentration or whose disease severity requires a greater tretinoin strength.”
Tretin-X Cream 0.075% was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2013 and has been available in limited geographic areas since November.
"Topical retinoids, such as Tretin-X, are the cornerstone of acne therapy because they reduce inflammation and the formation of comedones, meaning whiteheads and blackheads, which are the hallmark of the disease,” added Hilary Baldwin, associate professor of dermatology at State University of New York – Downstate. “As dermatologists, we know patients will adhere to therapy better when they like the way the product feels. Many of my acne patients with concerns about tolerability prefer a cream vehicle, instead of a gel.”
Altria to acquire Green Smoke
RICHMOND, Va. — Altria Group on Monday announced that its subsidiary, Nu Mark, agreed to acquire e-vapor business Green Smoke and its affiliates for approximately $110 million in cash and up to $20 million in incentive payments.
“Nu Mark’s entry into the e-vapor category with its MarkTen product was an important development in Altria’s innovation strategy. Adding Green Smoke’s significant e-vapor expertise and experience, along with its supply chain, product lines and customer service, will complement Nu Mark’s capabilities and enhance its competitive position,” Marty Barrington, Altria’s Chairman and CEO, said. “Further, Green Smoke’s culture of innovation and history of producing high-quality products is consistent with Altria’s culture.”
Green Smoke was founded in 2008 and has operations in the United States and Israel. The company has sold e-vapor products since 2009. Its product lines, sold under the Green Smoke e-vapor brand, include both rechargeable and disposable versions.
“We are very pleased to be joining the Altria family of companies,” said Robert Levitz, Green Smoke’s CEO. “We are dedicated to innovation and believe joining Nu Mark will help us deepen that expertise and create new opportunities for our customers, our employees and our products.”