Why Walmart’s Shipping Pass May Win With Shoppers

From Forbes on June 22, 2015:

In the battle of every retailer versus Amazon.com, Walmart is preparing to take direct aim at the latter’s popular Prime membership program this summer with the introduction of Shipping Pass. For $50 a year – half that of the $99 Amazon Prime program – Shipping Pass members will receive free three day shipping on Walmart.com orders; it’s a bid to promote loyalty for the Bentonville-based behemoth and keep wandering shoppers from clicking over to Amazon and competing retailers as the retail world becomes increasingly digital.

It’s an interesting move for the discount giant, whose shopper wheelhouse includes lower income, budget-focused families. Would current Walmart shoppers be willing to invest in a $50 free shipping program? And, would the Shipping Pass discounted price entice Prime loyalists to change allegiances? Of course, one can only answer these questions by asking shoppers themselves, which is exactly what Prosper Insights did in our latest consumer survey. Continue reading

Lowe’s Fails To Man Up Against Home Depot, Underestimates Menards

From Forbes on May 26, 2015:

In the battle for home improvement supremacy, Lowe’s always seems to settle for second place behind star performer Home Depot. While both of these big box behemoths recently posted comp store gains in for the critical first quarter, Lowe’s lagged Home Depot’s stellar performance in a mixed and uncertain retail environment, disappointing analysts and investors alike. When we last visited the Home Depot / Lowe’s rivalry, I equated the competition to Aesop’s Tortoise and the Hare fable. Then (and now), Lowe’s – the tortoise – benefited from a higher Net Promoter Score®, and its shoppers valued the “extras” Lowe’s offers beyond the location advantage of Home Depot – the hare – including perceived quality and store appearance. At the time, Lowe’s was on the verge of contesting its rival as the top pick among consumers, perhaps finally winning one for the slow and steady. Fast forward two years, however, and the big boxes are becoming increasingly bifurcated in Home Depot’s favor. So what’s wrong with Lowe’s? Continue reading

4 Analytics Every Business Needs To Know About Consumers

The latest from Prosper on Forbes.com

According to the May monthly reading from Prosper, consumer confidence is flat month-over-month but up year-over-year. Planned spending on retail and dining, purchase intentions for autos, and consumer impulsivity are all rising.

  • Among Adults 18+, the May Consumer Confidence reading is at 48.6%, which is relatively flat compared to last month (49.0%) and up 18% from May 2014 (41.0%). Small Business Owners are tracking continue reading…

The Silent Killer Of Corporate Profits: Ad Waste

The latest from Prosper on Forbes.com

All of the items below are from recent headlines or research reports and they depict the turmoil and turbulence in today’s advertising world caused when advertisers attempt to deal with a new technology-driven media environment.

Apparently marketers aren’t winning this new war as the headlines indicate. Each year, hundreds of millions, maybe even billions, of ad dollars may be wasted due to outdated communication models. Continue reading…

3 Reasons Why Consumers’ Gas Price ‘Savings’ Aren’t A Sure Bet For Solid Retail Sales

From Forbes on May 4, 2015:

When gas prices began to decline late last year, consumers immediately felt the relief during the heavy spending holiday season, and confidence in the economy reached levels not seen since before the Great Recession. As 2015 dawned pump prices remained low, economic sentiment continued at elevated levels, yet consumers didn’t follow through with a “spend, spend, spend” mantra for the New Year.

Conventional thinking would tell us that the positive outlook for the economy combined with the relief from one of consumers’ bigger burdens would equal robust spending, perhaps even leading the U.S. to that “recovery” we’ve been hearing so much about. And while March retail sales didn’t disappoint, this could be attributed to the early Easter this year and perhaps not so much to the extra savings at the pump.

Conventional wisdom may have applied back in 2006; however, post-recession consumers are more of an enigma. Today, shoppers’ new normal is characterized by cautious, planned spending; focus on personal financial stability; and skepticism regarding the macro issues that might upset their personal microcosms. One month of solid retail sales does not a trend make, and one must keep a near constant eye on shoppers in order to gauge which direction they may be headed next. Continue reading

Apple Watch Launch Courts Nearly 10 Million Shoppers

From Forbes on April 23, 2015:

When the Apple Watch officially releases this week, can we expect consumers to bite?

According to Prosper’s latest insights from more than 6,000 U.S. adults surveyed during the first week of April, 4.0% are considering purchasing the Apple Watch in the next three months; an additional 3.0% are thinking about buying after the initial frenzy wears down, in the next three to six months. While those single-digit figures may seem small (especially for an Apple product launch), that’s nearly 10 million shoppers eyeing the Apple Watch in the immediate term (within the next three months) and 7.3 million in the market three to six months out. All told, Apple has the potential to adorn 17 million (7.1%) wrists in the next six months – a figure that could finally energize the smartwatch “trend” we’ve been hearing about for the past few years. Continue reading

Prosper Continues to Support Predictive Analytics Education

The Prosper Foundation Continues to Support Predictive Analytics Education and Workforce Development

2015 Grant Recipients Include Leading U.S. Universities and First European University

Worthington, OH – 4/30/15

As companies continue to decipher big data, the ability of users to identify meaningful findings from relevant data for better informed business decisions will be the new “must have.” The Prosper Foundation grants universities access to these types of relevant data and analytics tools that help prepare students for careers in a data-driven world. The foundation’s mission is to facilitate transdisciplinary collaboration between corporate and academic worlds using consumer insights as the common language.  Continue reading