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Productivity Commission report links - Here are the links to the source materials - makes for interesting reading.
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Retail Tidbits for April
Submit On: 15-04-2010

The latest news..a lot happening online!

A new gift card concept has recently launched in Australia, capitalising on the growing popularity of gift cards. The online website www.cardimbo.com.au is dedicated to selling, buying or donating gift card vouchers. Australian retailers issue up to $1 billion worth of gift card vouchers each year, with an estimated one in three gift cards expiring without being used. Through Cardlimbo, consumers can sell their unwanted gift card vouchers for cash, donate them to charities, or buy gift card vouchers at a discount of up to 30 per cent. Consumers may also buy valid gift card vouchers at a discount of up to 30 percent off their face value. To read more, see http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-business/online-firm-starts-trade-in-gift-cards-20100315-q71y.html

ADT Security has released Australia’s first pinless anti-theft tag. The Sensormatic Ultra Tag is ideal for the protection of a broad range of items including jeans, leather goods, shoes and handbags which are more difficult to tag with traditional anti-theft tags. Designed with an adjustable spring-loaded metal clip, the Ultra Tag attaches to products without penetrating any material. The clip compresses firmly onto merchandise, closing tightly enough to prevent unauthorised removal without damaging items. To find out more, see http://www.prlog.org/10612611-adt-offers-first-sensormatic-pinless-antishoplifting-tag-helping-retailers-protect-more-merchandise.html

Online reservation service, Dimmi’s, has seen a surge in online restaurant bookings in just 3 months of operation. Dimmi’s took 50,000 diner bookings, with 66 percent of the bookings made when restaurants were least equipped to handle bookings and 23 percent booked while restaurants were closed. Diners can now make instantly confirmed online bookings at nearly 1,000 leading restaurants across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. To make your restaurant booking, read more here http://www.australiantropicalfoods.com/wp-content/uploads/dimmis-on-line-restaurant-reservation.pdf

A recent study by The E-tailing Group Inc, has shown that 20 percent of retailers sent emails reminding shoppers that they left an item in their shopping carts, up from 14 percent in 2008, in an effort to reduce shopping cart abandonment. Some retailers included special offers and discounts in their follow-up emails as a way to draw consumers back to the website, but this practice has decreased in the past year as retailers try to avoid training customers to ‘abandon’ their shopping cart for the sake of a discount. To find out more details of the study, see. http://www.internetretailer.com/dailyNews.asp?id=33939

The incidence of surfing the web whilst watching TV has been on the increase, with a study by  In-Stat and Capgemini, finding that one-third of men and one-quarter of females use these two mediums interchangeably on a regular basis. Men beat women in every age group, with 52.4% of men aged 35 to 39 multitasking. Nielsen studied multitasking during two major TV events, the Academy Awards and the Super Bowl, and found the practice on the rise from 2009 to 2010. The top site among multitasking viewers of the Academy Awards was Facebook, where nearly 40 percent of multitaskers spent an average of about 16 minutes both watching the show and visiting the social network. Google was also a major destination for viewers of both TV events, suggesting a propensity for multitaskers to search for something they had just seen on TV.

Woolworths has announced its intention to exclusively route all debit transactions via the Australian EFTPOS network, instead of using the MasterCard and Visa networks. The change affects all Visa and Mastercard ‘debit’ cards – which have become an increasingly popular way for users to access their savings accounts using the ‘credit’ button on most EFTPOS keypads. Under the new system, Woolworths customers using these cards will need to press the 'cheque' or 'savings' buttons to access their funds. The change has been progressively introduced across stores in the Woolworths group from April 15, as the group claims retailers face higher bank fees and growing cost pressures as a result of increasing use and promotion of the debit cards. These fees included per transaction fee set by the Reserve Bank of Australia, a merchant scheme fee, which can be a flat fee or proportional fee, and then the bank processing fee. By processing transactions through the Australian EFTPOS network, costs are lower, enabling Woolworths to limit applying surcharges to any card transactions. The change will be implemented at all Woolworths outlets, including Big W, Woolworths Supermarkets, Safeway, BWS, Dan Murphy's, Dick Smith and Tandy. For more details, see http://www.news.com.au/business/woolies-sees-huge-savings-in-eftpos/story-e6frfm1i-1225848313171

Major retailers in the US, such as Kohl’s department store, are integrating online shopping with the in-store experience. Shortly, in all Kohl’s stores, shoppers can expect to hear a loudspeaker announcement directing customers to the online ordering kiosk if the store is out of stock. The initiative is aimed at boosting sales in whatever channel works for the customer: in the store or online and shipping home is free! There are also significant gains to be made recognizing the online chopping craze; for the first quarter of this year, Kohl's online sales jumped by 50 percent, and the retailer admits that the online shopping channel is the fastest growing area of their business. To hear more, see http://www.asmnewsroom.com/2010/05/brick-and-mortar-retailers-kick-up-sales-with-kiosks/

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