Tag Archives: consumers


Survey shows Arizonans favor shopping small businesses

An overwhelming number of Arizona consumers (88 percent) support small businesses in their communities by patronizing these establishments at least once a week, according to the 2015 Cox Consumer Pulse on Small Businesses. In fact, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Arizona consumers visit a small business two or more times a week.

Cox Business commissioned a blind survey of American consumers in April of 2015. Respondents to the online survey included a total of 1,366 consumers around the country – 157 of whom live in Arizona. The margin of error for this survey is plus or minus 3 percent and the Arizona data is directional. An infographic detailing national consumer sentiment is available here.

As for the reasons they “shop small,” Arizona consumers:

70%: Feel it’s important to buy local.

57%: Think it’s convenient.

54%: Experience greater customer service (more so than at a large business).

Nearly half (48 percent) of Arizonans also like shopping small because of the familiarity they have with business owners and employees.

“While Arizona consumers are doing their part to strengthen our communities through their patronage of small businesses, Cox Business knows the importance of providing these establishments the tools they need to continue to engage consumers, deliver high levels of service and strengthen Arizona communities through job creation,” says Ed Aronson, vice president Cox Business. He adds, “The survey found that many respondents believe Wi-Fi service, like Cox Business Guest Wi-Fi, improves the customer experience and patrons of businesses are coming to expect access to free and fast Internet service.

When it comes to which small businesses consumers support on a regular basis, Arizonans are slightly less likely to visit convenience stores (57 percent) than their national counterparts (73 percent). Restaurants topped Arizonans list of the small businesses they are most likely to visit:

77%: Restaurants

60%: Repair and maintenance (general automotive repair, oil change shops)

57%: Healthcare services (physicians, dentists, chiropractors)

53%: Personal and laundry services (barbershops, beauty salons, nail salons)

51%: Miscellaneous retailers (florists, pet supplies, novelty shops)

39%: Building material/supply dealers

34%: Clothing and clothing accessories stores*

31%: Health and personal care stores (beauty supply, pharmacies)

28%: Professional and technical services (lawyers, realtors, CPAs)

*Arizonans visit local clothing and clothing accessories stores 4 percent more than the national average.

In line with national respondents, a majority (54%) of Arizona consumers shop small because they believe small businesses deliver better customer service than their larger competition. Most (60%) feel the service they receive from bigger businesses is average at best.

More details on the 2015 Cox Business Consumer Sentiment Survey on Small Business are available on CoxBLUE.com, the company’s social destination for businesses.

A Guide to Applying for a Bank Loan

Bank of America boosts rewards for Arizona consumers

Preferred Rewards, a groundbreaking program that recognizes and rewards clients for choosing Bank of America for more of their banking and Merrill Edge for their investment needs, is now available for clients in California, Oregon, Arizona and Idaho. These states are within wave two of a four-wave national rollout of the program that began in June and will be completed in September.

“Preferred Rewards is the first program of its kind to offer clients benefits and rewards for everyday banking,” said Dean Athanasia, president of Preferred Banking at Bank of America. “It is the result of deep client research to develop and deliver a simple program that provides clients benefits and rewards they will actually use, and shows them how much we appreciate it when they choose to do more business with us.”

Clients with a Bank of America personal checking account and a three-month average combined balance of $20,000 or more across their checking, savings and/or Merrill Edge® investment accounts can enroll. And, as clients’ combined balances grow, so do their benefits and rewards. With a three-tier structure – Gold, Platinum and Platinum Honors – clients have additional opportunities to earn, save and get more back based on their tier, including:

• Rewards bonus: Bonus rewards – points or cash back – on eligible Bank of America credit cards.
• Priority service: Access to a dedicated team of specialists available to handle all our Preferred clients’ banking and service needs.
• Extra interest: Higher interest rates on Rewards Money Market Savings accounts.
• $0 equity and ETF trades*: $0 Merrill Edge online equity and Exchange-Traded Funds trades (30 per month for Platinum and 100 per month for Platinum Honors)
• Home equity interest rate discount: Interest rate reductions for home equity loans or lines of credit.
• Mortgage relationship credit: A relationship credit – $200 for Gold, $400 for Platinum and $600 for Platinum Honors – on a mortgage purchase or refinancing of a loan.
• No fees on select everyday banking services: Fees waived for services standard check orders, cashier’s checks and stop payments.

There is no fee to enroll in the Preferred Rewards program for qualified Bank of America clients. Once clients begin receiving benefits, their three-month average balance will be reviewed monthly for the opportunity to achieve additional benefits. The program was created to bring more benefits to Bank of America clients that do more business with the bank.

“The lower qualifying balance for Preferred Rewards than Platinum Privileges means more of our clients are able to participate in the program and earn greater rewards,” said Aron Levine, head of Preferred Banking and Merrill Edge Investing at Bank of America. “The rewards are broader and reach across the bank, so more clients can experience all that Bank of America has to offer through one simple program.”

Clients who are currently enrolled in Bank of America’s Platinum Privileges program are encouraged to enroll in Preferred Rewards at http://bankofamerica.com/preferredrewardsnews. Once they enroll in Preferred Rewards, their new benefits will replace existing Platinum Privileges benefits.

KOOZA Photos 2007 004

Glendale CVB Rising in the West

Game on!

Cities like Glendale, Peoria, Goodyear, Surprise, and the other 14 cities that make up the West Valley are capitalizing on the rapid expansion of tourism and hospitality amenities — particularly spring training baseball facilities and other sports-related events — to grab a bigger share of the $18 billion that Arizona’s 37 million annual visitors spend.

As tourism in the West Valley continues to grow, the Glendale Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) is playing a bigger and more vital role to help drive visitors to West Valley hospitality businesses.

“The region provides the local and out-of-state traveler with an experience like no other,” says Lorraine Pino, Glendale CVB manager. “We are home to nine Cactus League spring training teams, the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Coyotes, Phoenix International Raceway, Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium, great outdoor festivals, historic districts in each of our cities, performing arts centers and unique shopping venues. And, of course, you can be an astronaut for the day at our Challenger Space Center.”

Despite this diverse range of attractions, tourism is a relatively new industry in the West Valley. As a result, not every community in the area is equipped to implement independent marketing and promotion initiatives. Glendale CVB organizes and facilitates these initiatives, partnering with more than 100 restaurants, shopping malls, sports facilities, resorts and hotels, and service organizations.

“We work closely with our hotels — such as the Renaissance Glendale Hotel & Spa, Wigwam Resort, Hilton Garden Inn Avondale and many more — to provide lead generation and conference assistance,” Pino says.

Glendale CVB also serves as a liaison to large-scale entertainment such as Cirque du Soleil, which was held at University of Phoenix Stadium this summer, and mammoth events such as the Super Bowl, which will return to Glendale in 2015.

“When the Super Bowl was last held in Glendale in 2008, the Glendale CVB was not yet in existence,” Pino says. “But now that our bureau is in place for the 2015 game, the region will be in a better position to capture a greater share of visitor spending.”

Economists estimate that hosting a Super Bowl has an economic impact of $300 million-$500 million on the region.

“In addition, realizing that this mega event impacts the entire metro area and several destinations statewide, the Glendale CVB will be working with other tourism and hospitality organizations throughout the Valley to ensure that we provide the greatest fan experience possible, and to host the best Super Bowl possible,” Pino says.

By the end of 2012, Glendale will welcome yet another visitor destination when the Tanger Outlets Westgate is completed. The 328,000-square-foot retail development will feature 85 brand-name outlet stores and is expected to bring an additional 5 million-6 million annual visitors to the area.

With economic growth in the West Valley expected to continue its upward trend for years to come, Pino insists that communities must work together to realize the greatest benefit from an increasing number of visitors.

“It’s important that we all work together and pool our resources to achieve economies of scale,” Pino says. “This is the very reason the Glendale CVB came into existence: to serve as a regional organization to promote and showcase the 14 West Valley cities and to bring tourism business to the area. This regional approach is what will be needed for our hospitality businesses to continue to grow.”


Tucson Hispanic Consumers Will Spend Nearly $9B By 2015

About half of all Tucson Hispanics frequent Facebook, 82 percent own cell phones, and they spend nearly $300 million a year on clothing and $450 million buying food outside of the home.

These are only a few of the facts featured in DATOS: Tucson 2012. The study is scheduled for release by the state’s two largest Hispanic chambers of commerce at Tucson’s Doubletree Hotel September 20.

“Tucson is one of the state’s powerhouses in terms of Hispanic buying power and the entire Southern Arizona region is growing more important every day. DATOS: Tucson is our way of telling that story,” said Lea Marquez Peterson, president and CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Gonzalo de la Melena, president/CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, adds, “The release of DATOS: Tucson speaks not only to the growing economic influence of Hispanics in Tucson and Southern Arizona, but also statewide and across the nation. Without a doubt, Hispanics are helping drive our state’s economic recovery.”

The third annual DATOS: Tucson provides a detailed review and analysis of the growing economic impact of the Hispanic market in Southern Arizona.

DATOS: Tucson quick facts:

> Arizona Hispanics will account for $40 billion statewide in consumer spending in 2012.
> The Hispanic population in Pima County grew at about 12 times the rate of non-Hispanics from 2010 and 2011.
> More than half of the children under five in Pima County are Hispanic.
> There are approximately 65,000 Hispanic-owned small businesses in Arizona, one-third of which are owned by Latinas.
> With $1.2 Trillion in buying power in 2012, if U.S. Hispanics were a country they would be the 15th largest economy in the world.

More than 200 business and community leaders are expected to attend the September 20 luncheon organized by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

DATOS: Tucson is researched by a team of experts led by Dr. Loui Olivas, professor emeritus at Arizona State University, and published by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. It provides detailed analysis and information regarding major trends in technology, employment, housing, education, small business activity and more. DATOS: Tucson’s presenting sponsor is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ). Additional support is provided by PetSmart and the University of Phoenix.

“We’re always pleased to be a part of the DATOS: Tucson luncheon and see great value in sharing research that points to the growing economic influence of the Hispanic community.,” said Deanna Salazar, senior vice president and general counsel for BCBSAZ.

DATOS: Tucson is based in part on research gathered for DATOS: Focus on the Hispanic Market, a statewide report released as part of “Transforming Arizona’s Economy”, a yearlong series of events created by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The AZHCC’s next major event is the Minority Business Enterprise Summit Nov. 16, 2012 in Phoenix. The THCC’s next major event is Noche de Exitos Gala and Bi-National Awards, October 13th, 2012, Casino del Sol Hotel in Tucson.

DATOS: Tucson will be released during a luncheon at the Doubletree Hotel Tucson at Reid Park in the Grand Ballroom, 445 S. Alvernon Way. Karla Gomez-Escamilla, a news reporter at Univision in Tucson, will emcee the luncheon.

Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $60 for THCC and AZHCC members. $75.00 for non-members. Discounted rates for tables of 8 also are available. This event is open to the public.

To register online, visit tucsonhispanicchamber.org or call the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at 520-620-0005. For sponsorship information, contact the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at 602-279-1800.

Calling the shots 2008

Calling the Shots

Many Americans are no longer satisfied with the U.S. health care system and want to exert significant control over their own medical care. They are no longer patients in the traditional sense, but consumers who are adopting a new, more active approach to making decisions about health care treatments, services and products. They demand greater access to information, online tools and services from their physicians. They want to explore alternatives to conventional treatments. And they want to share decision-making with their doctors.

calling_shots 2008

These changing dynamics are confirmed in the 2008 Survey of Health Care Consumers conducted through the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. The survey reveals an increased desire to use technology to communicate with health care providers regarding records, appointments and answers to questions, and to gather health-related information. Findings in Arizona showed that 14 percent are willing to pay more for Internet access in order to make same-day appointments, and 22 percent want e-mail capability to ask their doctors health-related questions or treatment options. In all, consumers are interested in using in-home monitoring devices to allow them to be more active in their care; are open to new treatment approaches; and are increasingly comfortable with alternative therapies, retail health care clinics, and even traveling abroad for elective procedures.

The American health care market is far more complicated than previously thought, and is best interpreted through six consumer segments. These distinct consumer segments present opportunities — and risks — for all stakeholders in the U.S. health care industry.

The first consumer group is Content & Compliant, which accounts for 29 percent of the U.S. health care consumer market. These consumers report annual household incomes of $100,000 or higher and prefer traditional approaches to care. For this group, what the doctor says usually goes.

This is not the same for the Sick & Savvy, which make up 24 percent of the consumer market. Proportionally more consumers in this group, compared to others, report having one or more chronic conditions (52 percent). They also take greater charge of their care, are more self-reliant decision-makers and less dependent on their physicians.

Online & Onboard (8 percent) are frequent users of the system and prefer traditional approaches, but are receptive to care provided in non-conventional settings. They tend to rely more on themselves in making decisions, and use online tools and value-added services more than any other segment. They seek information and are sensitive to quality differences.

The smallest contingent — Shop & Save (2 percent) — tends to switch doctors, treatment and health plans, and make changes to their insurance more frequently than others. They are the most sensitive to the cost of health care services. They tend to prefer doctors who use traditional approaches, but are amenable to alternative and unconventional treatments. They’re more likely than others to purchase prescription drugs by mail order or online, use a retail clinic, and travel beyond their community and the United States for care.

Out & About (9 percent) are independent, preferring to make their own decisions. They use alternative approaches, consult alternative health care practitioners and substitute alternative or natural therapies for prescription medicines more than any other segment. They are sensitive to quality, seek information, use some value-added services and want to shop for and customize their insurance.

cover_october 2008

Casual & Cautious (28 percent) is the healthiest group — only 19 percent report having one or more chronic conditions. Younger than most segments, they are also the least-insured.

In broad strokes, consumers are seeking change in three main ways:

  • Mass personalization — Consumers want their health care and insurance customized to meet their needs.
  • Evidence-based care — Consumers believe payments to doctors should be linked to evidence-based practices.
  • Disruptive innovation — Disruptive health care innovations such as medical tourism and retail clinics are giving rise to new players, new delivery models, new ways of partnering and new value propositions.

The doctor’s role and the status quo are changing, and hospitals, physicians and health plans will need to quickly adapt to capture market success. Consumers are taking greater control of decision-making and they demand better value, better service, increased transparency and personalization of services. For these reasons, the players who take the unique attitudes and preferences of consumers into account as they make strategic decisions will have a huge opportunity to win the consumer market.

Paul Keckley, Ph.D., is executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. Kevin Wijayawickrama is a principal at Deloitte & Touche’s Arizona practice.