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Use of mobile phones as an in-store shopping tool on rise

BY Michael Johnsen

KIRKLAND, Wash. — Mobile retail websites have emerged as an indispensible in-store tool for consumers as they shop, according to a new survey conducted by Hipcricket, an Augme Technologies company, that was released Thursday.

“The mobile Web has entered the mainstream, and consumers are using mobile retail sites as an important tool in the shopping process,” Hipcricket COO Eric Harber said. “While consumers are actively searching the mobile retail Web, they also continue to wait for their favorite brands to engage with them on their mobile devices. This defines a huge opportunity for retailers and brands alike to create valuable conversations with their customers across all mobile channels.”

The fourth annual Hipcricket mobile marketing survey found that as many as 63% of smartphone users have visited a retailer’s website from their mobile device — up from 53% in 2010 — and 41% have done so while in the retail store. And half of those surveyed had checked a competitor’s mobile website while shopping.

The survey found that smartphone owners are visiting mobile retail sites to:

  • Research prices (46%);

  • Search for coupons and offers (36%);

  • Research products (28%); and

  • Purchase products (13%).

When asked if any of their favorite brands market to them via their mobile phone, only 9% replied “yes,” essentially holding steady with figures from 2010. At the same time, consumers continue to indicate a willingness to join mobile customer relationship management or loyalty programs for their favorite brands — 33% would be interested in joining such a program, but only 12% currently participate in one. Three-out-of-4 consumers found value from participating in mobile loyalty clubs.

Other significant findings from the survey include: 

  • 61% of smartphone users are at least somewhat likely to use their mobile device while shopping this holiday season;

  • 31% of all mobile phone users have interacted with a brand through their mobile device, up slightly from 2010 (30%) — while 59% of smartphone users have done so; and

  • 33% of cell phones users are interested in receiving offers based on time and location — a coupon delivered at 4 p.m. for $5 off a pizza at a local shop that night only, for example. 


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Campbell’s expands Healthy Request soup line

BY Allison Cerra

CAMDEN, N.J. — Campbell Soup Co. has boosted its lineup of Healthy Request soups to include eight new varieties.

The following flavors join the existing offerings:

  • Two Campbell’s condensed Healthy Request varieties: bean with bacon soup and cheddar cheese soup;

  • Two Campbell’s Select Harvest Healthy Request varieties: harvest tomato with basil soup and whole grain pasta fagioli soup; and

  • Four Chunky Healthy Request varieties: hearty Italian-style wedding soup, beef with country vegetables soup, split pea and ham soup and roasted chicken with country vegetables soup.

The additions are among 35 new products the company is introducing in its U.S. soup and simple meals business this season.

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Pepsi Pulse, Pepsi Sound Off to drive social engagement

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo has unveiled two digital platforms that focus on the company’s partnership with Fox’s reality competition show, "The X Factor."

Pepsi Pulse is shaped to be a real-time digital visualization of the conversations taking place on the social media surrounding such Pepsi partnerships as "The X Factor." The platform provides a visual storyline and gives consumers a forum to follow the "pulse" of a certain topic or individual in real-time, the company said.

Meanwhile, Pepsi Sound Off is a social TV platform that allows fans of "The X Factor" to connect with each other and incorporates gaming mechanics to enhance the social TV experience. How it works: Users can log on to Sound Off using their existing Facebook or Twitter accounts and have the option to communicate on Sound Off or share their thoughts on other social media platforms. Once comments about the show are contributed, users can have their comments "fanned" by others. Those that garner the most fans will be in the "spotlight" will have their comment and profile featured in a Pepsi advertisement during the broadcast of the show. For Pepsi Sound Off, the company is leveraging the technology of PepsiCo’s digital labs partner Gigya, a social integration provider. The partnership will power user interaction and engagement by utilizing Gigya’s social login, game mechanics and comments and activity feed plugins.

Eventually, the platforms will drive social engagement around other Pepsi entertainment properties, the company said.

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