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ECRM unveils revamped website

BY Antoinette Alexander

SOLON, Ohio — Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing has announced the launch of its new website, which offers visitors a fresh look, improved navigation and intuitive functionality.

With the redesign of ecrm.marketgate.com, all of the ECRM tools are still available and have been upgraded to make the buying and selling process more efficient.

“The enhanced features give our clients an easier way to access essential event information while also providing news about the latest happenings within the buying and selling community. This website revamp falls perfectly in line with the organization’s ongoing efforts to enhance quality, but most of all, designed with the goal to give our clients the resources they need to make their job easier,” said Kurt Repola, chief architect at ECRM.

ECRM’s website enhancements include:

  • Streamlined appearance across all pages;
  • Redesigned homepage providing a simplified message;
  • Reconfigured My MarketGate to improve ease of use;
  • Event pages are easier to navigate and the information is refined for a more direct message;
  • Simplified the registration process;
  • The online preparation site is completely revamped to help users prepare for events more efficiently; and
  • Industry contacts reworked for a better user experience.

“We’re committed to our client community and our redesigned website offers a better online experience where preparing for an event or utilizing our tools is a seamless experience,” Repola said.

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Wegmans raises more than $300,000 for United Way of Buffalo and Erie County

BY Michael Johnsen

BUFFALO, N.Y. — During the month of September, Wegmans cashiers asked customers to make a small donation to the United Way in its Buffalo Division, which includes Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Jamestown and Erie, Pa. The scan campaign allows customers to donate $1, $2, $3, $5 or any other amount at checkout with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, United Way of Erie, Pa., United Way of Southern Chautauqua County, and the United Way of Niagara County.
 
“We’re grateful to our customers and employees for recognizing the vital role that the United Way plays in our community,” said Mike Keating, SVP, Buffalo Wegmans Food Markets. “We have such a generous community in Western New York and Erie, Pa., and these results are an example of that.”
 
The United Way has recognized three specific areas to address in the Western New York community: education, income and health-and-wellness; $311,420 raised from this campaign will help make positive changes in those key community indicators.
 
"Once again, Wegmans has proven its place as one of our most community-minded companies," said Michael Weiner, United Way of Buffalo and Erie County president and CEO. "Improving our community is at the heart of what they do every day, and they are consistently able to inspire their customers to join them in making a difference — and for that we are truly grateful."
 
The United Way scan campaign at Wegmans has raised more than $1.2 million dollars in the Buffalo Division since it began in 2010.
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Kline study: Ethnic beauty market gives way to increased competition

BY Antoinette Alexander

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The multicultural beauty market continues to outpace growth of the overall market for cosmetics and toiletries, posting a 3.7% increase in 2014, as many ethnic brands broaden their reach to target a wider audience, regardless of ethnicity, according to a report by global consulting and research firm Kline & Co.
 
According to Kline’s report, "Multicultural Beauty and Grooming Products: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities," rapidly growing ethnic populations have given way to intensified competition and catch multicultural beauty marketers breaking boundaries between general and multicultural beauty. On one end, there are such brands as Carol’s Daughter that are positioning away from being an exclusive ethnic brand to also target a broader audience, regardless of ethnicity. This holds particularly true in the natural personal care segment where ethnic hair brand Shea Moisture now is rebranding to become suitable for all consumers.
 
“This widening approach helps move multicultural brands beyond the ethnic section of the beauty aisle to sit side-by-side nationally advertised brands,” said Donna Barson, senior associate at Kline’s Consumer Products practice. “However, this audience expansion needs to be done without alienating long-time consumers who might feel deserted if they feel like their brand no longer speaks exclusively to them.”
 
Concurrently, mainstream brands continue to develop tactics to capture a growing percentage of the ethnic personal care market. While such mainstream brands as Revlon, Lancôme and CoverGirl have long reached ethnic consumers with the creative use of spokesmodels and targeted advertising, the approach for many brands has become even more savvy and genuine. Some marketers, including Estée Lauder and Shiseido, use beauty advisors who speak the language of the local ethnic community, whether it is Mandarin, Vietnamese or Spanish, to create a greater connection with these consumers. Some also launch products targeting certain ethnic groups in the United States that are simultaneously released in that group’s country of origin.
 
According to Kline, the movement of mainstream companies into the multicultural space will not only open possibilities of more M&A in the coming years, but it will also be beneficial for consumers as they will be provided with a wider array of products targeting their needs.

For smaller multicultural companies, this means a need to innovate in order to gain sales and create a niche for themselves or position themselves for a potential acquisition. In addition, the competition coming from the general market is also blurring the lines and having a challenging impact on the multicultural marketers, according to Kline.
 
During the forecast period through 2019, researchers project that the ethnic beauty market will continue to face intense competition from general cosmetic and toiletry brands, and the fine line between mainstream and multicultural markets will continue to blur. However, competition will give an incentive for a surge of innovative, quality products entering the market.

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