Are Internet retailers ready for tablets? Not yet, study finds
BOSTON — A provider of rich media mobile and social merchandising found that less than one-third of the top 100 Internet retailers tout websites that are optimal for tablet commerce.
Zmags said that its study, commissioned by marketing consulting and research firm HawkPartners, found that when evaluating shopping and purchasing experiences Internet retailers provided across tablets (i.e., iPad), smartphones (iPhone and Android) and Facebook, most of them said they were relying on their standard websites to provide an "adequate enough" tablet shopping experience. In addition, only 25% of the retailers surveyed had an iPad app where shoppers can directly buy merchandise. What’s more, despite the fact that more than two-thirds of the retailers have developed iPhone apps, only half of that group offers the ability to purchase via the app. Additionally, only 59% have fully or partly optimized their sites for iPhones and Android devices.
Zmahs also noted that just 19 of the top 100 retailers extended beyond ordinary HTML-type content to include more engaging material, such as look books, catalogs, editorial picks, etc. However, none of them extended the dynamic environment or optimized the brand experience across the full range of smartphones, tablets and Facebook.
"What we discovered, unexpectedly, was that very few retailers‹even among this elite group of marketers‹are tapping into the full shopping potential of mobile and tablet devices. In fact, not even close to it," said W. Sean Ford, COO and CMO of Zmags. "Only one quarter of retailers are ready to take a consumer through checkout over tablets, but 49% of today’s tablet owners said they plan to shop even more next year using their device. This reflects a serious disconnect between how consumers want to shop and the inconsistent experiences they are being offered. It’s a crucial issue that retailers need to address before their competitors do."
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Study identifies Type 2 diabetes genetic variants linked to ethnicity
PHILADELPHIA — A new study has found several gene variants associated with Type 2 diabetes across different ethnic groups.
Calling it the largest genetics study of Type 2 diabetes, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia said the findings could point to biological targets for developing more effective drugs for the disease, which accounts for most of the nearly 26 million people living with diabetes in the United States. The study, published online in the American Journal of Human Genetics last week, included 17,000 people with Type 2 diabetes and a control group of 70,000, including subjects with African-American, Hispanic, Asian and European ancestry.
"Scientists have identified only about 10% of the genetic variants contributing to Type 2 diabetes, and most previous studies have been based on people of European ancestry," study co-author Brendan Keating of the hospital’s Center for Applied Genomics said. "This international study found that many gene variants associated with Type 2 diabetes overlap across multiple ethnic groups."
The study’s researchers examined 50,000 genetic variants across 2,100 genes associated with the disease, identifying variants in four previously unknown genes that play a part in it and verifying 16 previously reported Type 2 diabetes-linked variants. A total of 40 gene variants have been found to raise or lower the risk of the disease.
Giant-Carlisle installs solar panels at two stores
LANCASTER, Pa. — One of the supermarket chains operated by Netherlands-based Royal Ahold has installed rooftop solar panels at two of its stores.
Carlisle, Pa.-based Giant Food Stores — also known as Giant-Carlisle to distinguish it from Landover, Md.-based Giant Food, also owned by Ahold — said it had installed solar photovoltaic systems at stores in Lancaster and Pottstown, Pa.
The company said the Lancaster store, opened in 2011, now has 1,111 solar panels on the roof that will generate 13% of its annual electricity requirements. The store also has other features to reduce energy consumption, including skylights and LED lighting.
Meanwhile, the Pottstown store has 1,056 solar panels that will generate 12% of its electricity requirements.