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Study of Gen Y shopping habits further underscores importance of multichannel

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Serving as yet further evidence to support the importance of being a multichannel retailer and supplier is the new RedPrairie study illustrating the shopping habits of Gen Y.

(THE NEWS: RedPrairie report reveals shopping preferences of Gen Y. For the full story, click here)

Gen Y, also known as millennials, represents a generation of digitally adept multitaskers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, their numbers are 80 million to 90 million strong, and they are more ethnically diverse and technology-focused than previous generations — pretty important stats, no doubt, and not ones to be taken lightly.

As David Bruno, director of corporate messaging at RedPrairie, indicated, successfully reaching tech-savvy millennials is about adding value to their shopping experience and respecting their preferred methods of communication.

Bruno went on to say, “When it comes to trying to satisfy millennials, the bottom line for brands is adaptability. One minute they want to shop and compare online and via every social networking site available, and the next they want to purchase in store. “

Meanwhile, a recent report from IBM noted a rise in mobile shopping and a dip in social media sales during the second quarter — further evidence supporting the importance of a multichannel approach.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Today’s retailers and suppliers need to embrace the importance of being multichannel in order to successfully engage with today’s shoppers. And that obviously includes Gen Y.

In fact, the explosion of mobile technologies and social networking has unleashed new revenue possibilities for Walgreens, and Walgreens’ leaders have been pushing to upgrade communications capabilities and reach consumers through every channel, from stores and drive-through pharmacies to social media and smartphones.

“Multichannel shoppers are three times more valuable to a retailer than a single-channel shopper,” president and CEO Greg Wasson said in January.

These studies and the move by Walgreens are just a few examples and clearly are just the tip of the iceberg.

What do you see as some of the most effective and innovative multichannel approaches out there today?

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Dasani enters flavor enhancers category

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA — Dasani has introduced a product designed to give consumers their own personalized taste experience.

Dasani Drops is a zero-calorie liquid beverage enhancer that allows people to add a veritable burst of flavor to their water, the company said. Packaged in a squeezable 1.9-fl.-oz. bottle with a flip-top cap, the new product comes in strawberry kiwi, pink lemonade, pineapple coconut and mixed berry flavors and will be available at stores nationwide in October. The debut of Dasani Drops will be supported by an integrated marketing campaign, including digital, print and out-of-home advertising and in-store bundle offers.

"Dasani Drops is the perfect solution for those who want to mix things up with a refreshing splash of flavor in their day," said John Roddey, VP water, tea and coffee for Coca-Cola North America. "Dasani Drops gives people a new way to enjoy drinking water by pumping up the taste of Dasani with a simple squeeze of the easy-to-carry bottle."

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BioPlus names IT VP

BY Allison Cerra

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — BioPlus announced that Fred Gagle has joined the company as VP information technology.

In his role, Gagle will will ensure that the IT infrastructure at BioPlus is reliable, cost effective, secure, and easy to support. His department is responsible for making sure patient health information is secure and protected.

"BioPlus is excited to have Fred’s leadership for our IT team. He deeply understands IT’s potential for making things easier for our patients, doctors, pharmacists, business partners, and employees," BioPlus SVP Elvin Montanez said. "With Fred at BioPlus, we will cement our leadership in the specialty pharmacy industry as we work toward faster means of transmitting information while at the same time doing so in a secure manner to support our Best in Class therapy programs."

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