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Giant Eagle CEO speaks on community investments

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH – Giant Eagle CEO Laura Karet addressed members of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance on Wednesday concerning how important it is to invest in the local community. 
 
Karet, who serves as PRA chairperson, spoke at the group's annual "Wins Day" event, which highlights capital investment in the 10-county Pittsburgh region, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Business Times
 
According to the report, capital Investment in the Pittsburgh region totaled $2.3 billion in 2014.
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Survey: Nearly half of smartphone traffic comes from search

BY Dan Berthiaume

PITTSBURGH — Smartphone users are looking for something. According to a new report from Branding Brand's Mobile Commerce Index, 43% of all smartphone traffic came from search in first-quarter 2015, a 5% increase compared to fourth quarter 2014.
 
According to the report, 27% of smartphone traffic arrived direct; 16% arrived from email; and 14% arrived from referrals.
 
The Index also revealed that Apple devices accounted for 59% of all smartphone visits in the quarter. Visits from users running iOS 8 grew 30%, while iOS 7 dropped 42% from the prior quarter. Google is scheduled to change its search ranking algorithm to weight mobile-optimized sites more heavily.
 
"Search is the leading source of traffic to retailers' smartphone sites," said Chris Mason, Branding Brand CEO and co-founder. "Retailers need to focus on providing mobile friendly experiences that not only convert but can also get found in the first place."
 
The 100 mobile-optimized sites in the study received a total of 280 million visits from January 1 to March 31, 2015 and produced $233 million in revenue. During this time, 28% of all online revenue was generated by mobile devices.
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Study: Sales per shopper rise in March

BY Dan Berthiaume

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Despite declining store traffic during March 2015, retailers benefited from increased sales per shopper , average transaction value and conversion rates. According to the March 2015 RetailNext Retail Performance Pulse, SPS grew 5.8% compared to the same month a year earlier, perhaps reflecting pent-up consumer demand after a difficult winter.
 
In addition, ATV grew 3.5% and conversions increased 0.9%, further suggesting consumers who visited stores were looking to make purchases. Returns stayed flat.
 
Not all in-store retail trends for the month were positive, however. Traffic dropped 8.2%, likely reflecting lingering bad weather in much of the country. Transactions declined 5.8% and sales fell 3.2%.
 
The first Saturday of the month, March 7, showed the highest sales, traffic, transactions, conversion and SPS. The lowest traffic, sales and transactions occurred Tuesday, March 3.
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