USA: ShopLink.com and Manufacturers Conduct Research On Consumer Direct Channel
The diary panel research, which tracked the overall online and retail purchases of 400 customers over a six-week period, found that ShopLink.com captures more than 60% of its customers' weekly shopping baskets and reinforced the potential of consumer-direct for groceries and household consumables. The research was conducted to better understand why consumers purchase certain product categories online and others from traditional bricks and mortar retailers.
"By teaming with ShopLink.com we access a unique diagnostic tool to provide insights into consumer purchase dynamics, brand loyalty, and attitudes in the Consumer Direct channel," said Chuck Kantner, Marketing Director for Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. "It's critical that we understand these dynamics as a portion of our consumer base moves online. For example, online shoppers tend to be more brand loyal, and we can cement that loyalty via programs direct to our consumers through the ShopLink.com web site."
Carol Blindauer, Manager of Scale Food Equity at Kraft Foods continued, "ShopLink.com has a very consumer-centric brand positioning, and their focus on superior food quality is a great fit with our strategy. The diary panel research findings helped us sharpen the consumer programs that we are developing with them and to understand the complex consumer demand for convenience, quality, value and variety."
At ShopLink.com, leading brands across most categories are enjoying market share performance 10-15 basis points above their traditional retail shares, signaling the upside potential of premium brands in a less promotion-driven environment.
Purchase behaviors and attitudes from 15 supermarket categories were tracked, in both food and non-food categories. Additionally, non-grocery categories were researched, such as Cut Flowers, Dry Cleaning, Film Processing, Liquor (wine and beer), Postage Stamps, Shoe Repair and Prepared Meals. The specific findings of the research will be directly used for category development and branding, and are proprietary and confidential to ShopLink.com and the panel sponsors.
The diary panel demographics mirror the ShopLink.com customer base: active suburban families with shopping preferences driven by quality and brand. Specifically, the average age of participants was 39, 88% were female, 92% were married, 62% had two or more children, more than 51% had a household income of over $100K and more than 90% were technology inclined, frequent users of PCs and email.
"We are leveraging consumer insight as a competitive advantage," said Tim Guen, Vice President of Marketing and E-Commerce Systems at ShopLink.com. "The information gathered in the diary panel research enables us to be better merchants and marketers, focusing on category development which will help drive performance in areas such as customer acquisition and retention, average order size and order frequency."
ShopLink.com currently serves more than 150 suburban communities in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York from its facilities in Canton, Massachusetts and Stratford, Connecticut. ShopLink.com will launch a new facility in Westampton, New Jersey, to serve suburban communities in Southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania. With this addition, ShopLink.com will provide service to more than 235 communities in the Northeast by the end of 2000, and plans to operate 22 facilities by the end of 2002. ShopLink.com currently has an average order size of approximately $105 and more than 70% of ShopLink.com customers order more than three times per month.
Based on the diary panel findings, ShopLink.com will engage in dialogue with manufacturers and further develop category offerings. ShopLink.com will also invite new manufacturer sponsors to participate in a second diary panel research study commencing in the fall of 2000.
A leading on-line provider of groceries, household consumables and services, ShopLink.com saves time, reduces stress and creates a more pleasant experience for today's time-starved and/or super-market averse parents. ShopLink.com focuses on superior fresh food quality and selection, offering its customers a wide variety of non-perishable and perishable groceries, including restaurant quality cuts of meat, farm-fresh produce, just-off-the-boat seafood, and gourmet prepared meals, all from the finest local purveyors. ShopLink.com provides unattended delivery to customers' residences with Chill Containers(TM) that maintain products at their ideal temperatures for up to 24 hours. ShopLink.com household services include dry cleaning, bottle and can redemption, film development, shoe repair, postage, UPS shipping and floral delivery.
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