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New study underscores importance of retailers’ social media activity

BY Dan Berthiaume

DALLAS — A retailer’s social media activity has a greater impact on shoppers than the company’s website.

That’s one of the findings of the Digital Shopping Tool Impact Study 2015 from marketing technology provider Epsilon. The platform shoppers cite as most influential to their shopping decisions is Facebook, although Pinterest and Google+ are strong contenders.  

Twitter is much less influential in the shopping process overall, but millennials state that it is quite influential for them. Social media in general is even more influential with millennials than it is with Boomers.

This year, as in the past several years, shoppers point to shopping apps as the tool most likely to improve their shopping experience, by facilitating the process and making them feel like a “smart shopper.” Shopping app activities include creating a shopping list, looking for coupons, checking inventory in-store, checking competitive pricing and reading product reviews.

More than any other tool, when shoppers discuss using shopping apps, they talk about them in the context of going to the store or being at the store. Additionally, the study shows that the shopping apps most often used by consumers are those that belong to a specific retailer, rather than a brand or third-party.

When it comes to coupons, the research shows that downloading and printing coupons is still a fairly universal phenomenon and one that shoppers continue to find rewarding and influential. Forty-two percent of millennials report using paper coupons, compared to 60% of Boomers. Of those shoppers using printable coupons, Millennials are even more likely than Boomers to say the coupons influenced them to buy products they hadn’t planned, to try new products and to choose one store over another.

In addition, the ethnographies uncovered a completely new shopping behavior, driven by millennials and their use of digital coupons. In these shopper journeys, the study found that shoppers are first finding the item they want to buy and then searching to find a specific coupon to apply to the purchase.

Epsilon conducted an online study of more than 2,800 consumers, along with in-depth interviews and discussion boards with over 50 shoppers, measuring the usage and influence of 16 different digital shopping tools.

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EVP Fresh Formats resigns at Ahold USA

BY Michael Johnsen

CARLISLE, Pa. – Ahold USA on Monday announced that Bhavdeep Singh, EVP Fresh Formats, has made the decision to resign. 
 
Scott Miller, SVP operations, will oversee the Fresh Formats team on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is announced.
 
“It has been a real pleasure working with Bhavdeep over the last four and a half years and we thank him for setting the Fresh Formats team up for success," stated James McCann, Ahold USA COO. "Personally, I wish him every success in his future endeavors.”
 
Singh had a very successful career at Ahold USA since 2011 leading the human resources, operations and then the Fresh Formats teams.
 
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Discover what’s next in digital disruption at upcoming Elevation Summit

BY Antoinette Alexander

DENVER — What’s next in mobile applications and digital disruption in the path to purchase? Find out by attending the upcoming thought leadership event to be hosted by Drug Store News and the Mack Elevation Forum on Aug. 21.

During this impactful Elevation Summit, Meg Columbia-Walsh, founder of inverse mobile and global lead of digital innovation and marketing excellence at Ernst & Young, will shed light on “The Revolutionized ‘Path to Purchase.” During her presentation, attendees will learn how to step in front of the mobile shift disrupting the path to purchase and the organizational steps needed to optimize messaging, brand impressions and growth.

The Elevation Summit, to be held at Kevin Taylor’s at the Opera House in Denver, will start a day before the opening of the NACDS Total Store Expo and will challenge attendees to think differently about brand building, breaking through to today’s consumer, why “share of heart” matters in the currency of the new economy, how mobile and social are changing the rules, and what’s next in a totally connected, global retail world.

Additional speakers include —

•  Beth Stiller, Walgreens’ group VP, retail brands and global sourcing
•  Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer at Kantar Retail;
•  Ryan Olohan, head of health care at  Google;
•  Karuna Rawal, EVP business lead at Arc/Leo Burnett Group;
•  Marc Landsberg, president/COO at Social Deviant;
•  Greg Kahn, advisor at Internet of Things Consortium; and
•  Gary Preston, CEO of Preston Partners.

“People need to attend and take time from their busy schedules to gain fresh insights and ideas from cutting-edge experts in their related fields to help grow your business,” DSN publisher Wayne Bennett said. “We also strive to provide an environment for industry leaders and those interested in gaining new ideas that matter to your business and a place where you can learn what’s next and stay ahead of the competition.”
 
For registration information, visit theelevationsummit.com. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Wayne Bennett at wbennett@drugstorenews.com.
 

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