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Shopping in Olympic proportion

BY Dave Wendland

This year’s Olympics coverage on NBC stood in stark contrast to the television network’s failed attempt to offer expanded audience choice through their pay-per-view “Triplecast” in 1992. Remember that 20 years ago, NBC aired the Olympics through three pay-per-view channels? Their total number of subscribers, either for a one-day pass or any of the “gold,” “silver” or “bronze” packages probably couldn’t equal even the smallest service area for a major cable company.

This year, NBC had an Olympics multicast – and viewers didn’t have to pay a single dime to catch a single dive. It reminded me of today’s shopping trends and the countless choices shoppers now have.

The days of single-channel shopping are waning. In fact, a recent report released by Kline & Company – OTC Retailing: U.S. Alternate Channel Analyses and Opportunities – points to the sharp growth in non-traditional channels, including online, convenience stores, dollar stores and warehouse clubs. The report cites significantly faster growth in alternative retail formats that now account for about 15% of category sales.

Gone are the days when loyalty is assumed. Gaining consumer loyalty now requires something from retailers beyond simply having product available. The trick for traditional channels may be reminding shoppers that there is a difference between retail options. Shelf assortment and arrangement, availability of a healthcare professional and reliable, trusted supply chain logistics are important differentiators.

I have observed Olympic-scale efforts by retailers who have recognized that providing an enriched shopping experience and a point of difference can positively affect their business operation. I’d love to hear your thoughts on who you think is putting forth a gold-winning performance. What are they doing that will foster continued customer loyalty?


Dave Wendland is VP and co-owner of Hamacher Resource Group, a retail healthcare consultancy located near Milwaukee, Wis. He directs business development, product innovation and marketing communications activities for the company and has been instrumental in positioning HRG among the industry’s foremost thought leaders. You may contact him at (414) 431-5301 or learn more at Hamacher.com.

MORE ARTICLES FROM DAVE WENDLAND >

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FDA approves Watson pain patch

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic medicated patch for treating pain made by Watson Pharmaceuticals, the company said.

Watson announced the approval of lidocaine topical patch in the 5% strength. The drug is a generic version of Endo Pharmaceuticals’ Lidoderm, which had sales of about $1.2 billion during the 12-month period ended in June 2012, according to IMS Health.

Watson said it plans to launch the drug in September 2013 under an agreement with Endo and Teikoku Seiyaku Co. and, as the presumed first company to successfully file for FDA approval, will likely receive 180 days of market exclusivity in which to compete directly with the branded version.


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Study: Affordability is key factor when buying body care products

BY Antoinette Alexander

CHICAGO — Judging by the results of new research from Mintel, loyalty is lost when it comes to body care products as nearly a quarter of those consumers who use body care products at least once a week usually just buy what’s on sale.

The research found that 23% of those who use body care products at least once a week usually just buy what’s on sale, which has contributed to a 10% decline in sales of body care products from 2007 to 2012.

“The poor performance of the body care market is likely due to the prolonged period of economic uncertainty that has consumers adjusting their use of nonessentials,” stated Molly Maier, senior analyst at Mintel.

“Product affordability is the most important attribute right now, therefore keeping products within a medium or low price point will be key in maintaining consumer participation.”

Hand and body lotion are the most common concoctions in the saturated body care market. Some 81% of consumers use body lotion and 89% say they use hand lotion, up from 76% and 84% since 2011. Women are definitely slathering it on more than men as 97% of women use hand lotion and 96% use body lotion versus 80% and 66% among men, respectively.

In an effort to be thrifty, many people are using lotion designed for a specific body part on other areas. While 94% of Mintel respondents said they use hand lotion on their hands, another 28% say they use it on their feet, 43% on their arms and 23% on their legs.

Despite this, there are some areas where people are very specific when it comes to their body care needs. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of people use more lotion in the winter/colder months and 67% say they buy different products depending on their need at the time, such as dry skin in the winter or gradual tanner in the summer. Some 67% of lotion users prefer bottles with pump dispensers to jars and tubes and 59% would consider buying hand or body lotion in refillable packaging. However, with all the options out there, only 27% of body care consumers say they have yet to find a lotion that works well for them.

The greatest percentage of body care product users are interested in products that offer extra moisture (61%); however, there is a growing interest in products that claim to have anti-aging qualities. Some 30% of weekly users seek anti-aging products compared with 23% in 2011. Products that claim to be all natural are also growing in popularity with nearly one-third of product users (31%) seeking this, according to Mintel.
 

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