Since 2017 has been a year of retail reinvention and consolidation, expect intense competition for consumer wallets this holiday season, which is coming up fast. There’s no time to waste: Now is the time to finalize your Black Friday 2017 strategy because this is the most important (and profitable) time of year for online businesses.
The obvious and not-so-obvious winners of this year’s July summer sales.
Before our tan lines could fade, our inboxes were filled with promo newsletters talking about the last of season’s sales, announcing final reductions. This time of the year has always been bittersweet- between packing up our grills and laundering our swimsuits we’re hard at crunching Sales data, pulling up an analysis of what people have been buying off their screens. Was it all pink? Are denim cut-offs over? How did the 80’s one-piece do? How much was the US into straw bags?
Online retail businesses have to a lot to worry about and fight against but perhaps nothing quite screams danger as the financial aspect. Shallow pockets and thin resources, overwhelming competition from both big brand-name businesses and and smaller online retailers, declining sales and so on – these are just some of the challenges faced on a regular basis. Thus, it’s only natural to try and squeeze an extra dollar here and there out of the existing financial operations. Naturally, there are some quick fixes that turn things around but these are all short-sighted solutions. Any online retail store built on a sound financial basis knows better than this but not every business has the benefit of that insight.
Retail sales strategies can make or break your brand. Select the wrong approach and watch your business flounder as it wastes money on useless marketing ploys. The right strategy, by contrast, can yield success you never imagined, assisting even struggling businesses. So which retail sales strategies can infuse your business with new life and impressive profits? Try one of these eight winning tactics. Continue reading “8 Retail Sales Strategies That Drive Success”
For decades, marketers have spent every last cent they had tailoring their retail sales strategies to appeal to Baby Boomers. Boomers, once the largest generation, have now been overtaken by Millennials, who are the largest living segment of the population. Millennials, who are roughly ages 18-36, are the generation everyone loves to hate, dismissing them as lazy, whiny, and unwilling to work. Continue reading “Millennials vs. Baby Boomers: Retail Sales Strategies That Appeal to Both”
Price matters. In fact, it matters more than any other factor to at least 60% of consumers. More and more consumers are turning to eCommerce platforms for holiday gifts. In 2015, Cyber Monday sales alone totaled more than $3 billion. That being said, pricing your merchandise right may be the only thing standing between you and skyrocketing success. Continue reading “7 Pricing Strategies to Supercharge your eCommerce Christmas Sales”
As retailers continue to lament the nosedive retail sales have taken, eCommerce is a bright spot amid an increasingly bleak retail outlook. Sales are notoriously difficult to predict, especially online, but 2015 can teach us much about what to expect in 2016. Make sure your brand is ready for the season with these 2016 eCommerce holiday shopping predictions.
In any business, strategy is often the difference between a soaring success and a futile effort to connect with the customers you crave. However, with its continuing evolution and increasing competition in recent years, the eCommerce space might be even more reliant on the strength of retail sales strategies in order to capture business.
What is our Spikes & Dips Series?
Intelligence Node’s Spikes & Dips series tracks the retail price change of a basket of products spread across online retailers using our real-time retail analytics software. ‘Spikes & Dips’ covers the top 1000+ leading North American e-commerce retailers and is continuously monitored by proprietary market-monitoring algorithms. Intelligence Node’s algorithm processes approximately 1 Billion products daily and are taken from real-time, live data. All benchmark indexes are tracked in real-time, however, updates will be published in our monthly State of E-commerce newsletter.
Anyone who’s been in the retail business knows how important capitalizing on the shopping wave during the back-to-school, or BTS, season is. Depending upon which expert you ask, this potential boom in sales is the 2nd, or 3rd, biggest one during a calendar year.
As summer camps draw to an end, parents start a frenzy of last-minute shopping for school, which, combined with back-to-college shopping, translates to a whopping $68 billion spent. This means that merchandising and marketing strategies, and the ever-important multi-channel shopping experience at retails chain, all need to be tweaked.
Let’s take a closer look and delve deeper into seasonal retailer and e-tailer techniques for riding the back-to-school wave, and what exactly BTS and BTC mean for retailers.
Understanding the Significance of Back-to-School Shopping
The BTS season is a little different from the boost in sales during ‘normal’ holiday seasons. In a nutshell, it’s longer than these other ‘boosted sales’ periods.
Parents may begin their research on products, prices, and promotional offers — usually online — as early as July. They compare the collected data and make their decisions by the month of August, making the purchase around the same period. Last-minute frazzled trips are usually done and dusted by September. This means that retailers have a longer window of potential sales compared to other big sales days, such as (say) Black Friday.
Products that receive a boost during the BTS shopping window include office supplies, apparel, electronics, and books. This long list of products, and the relatively longer sales window, make strategies a little more complicated during the BTS season.
Brick-And-Mortar Stores Rejoice!
As more and more e-tailers take over territory originally occupied by brick-and-mortar retail outlets, you could be forgiven for assuming that retail stores won’t be doing much business. To the contrary, though, it’s these stores that will see more traffic than their online counterparts. While parents will head to their laptops to buy devices and wearables for their kids, all other purchases will get them walking into brick-and-mortar stores.
School supplies such as notebooks, textbooks, and writing materials drive parents to stores, with kids in tow. Stores are the primary choice for parents buying writing materials and books (87%). These are followed — in terms of brick-and-mortar store demand — by shoes (80%), jewelry and accessories (64%), and clothes (64%).
Even as store-based retailers gear up for wars with e-tailers during the upcoming holiday season, they are set to receive a boost in sales from BTS parents.
It’s easy to see why: parents need to shop with their kids to accommodate their preferences, and most feel this is best done at a store, rather than online.
Tailoring Your Strategies Accordingly
Since we’ve already discussed the massive potential of this season, let’s take a look at marketing — and merchandising — strategies designed to help you achieve optimal returns.
First, you’ll need to understand that customers are primarily concerned with who offers the best deals. As a retailer, your first priority would be to think along those lines, and come up with a strategy that helps you put your brand right there. Even Apple — not a brand known for offering sales — caves in during the BTS season, offering discounted ‘student’ and ‘education’ prices.
Clothing giants such as Urban Outfitters and H&M target children from middle-school through college age with carefully planned ads. Take a closer look at textile e-tailer websites, and you’ll probably see smiling school and college kids, with huge blurbs advertising discounts up to 70%.
Take a look at your competitors, and make sure you stay ahead of the game. Build marketing strategies around the BTS shoppers, and you’ll see your sales numbers rise.
E-Commerce-Specific Strategies, Techniques, and Ideas
With so many consumers spending so much of their time online, the retail industry today — while still relying on in-store interactions — has grown to depend on big data and online transactions.
If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to embrace social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. In fact, that last tweet-broadcasting platform now has a ‘buy’ button, letting you sell products right off your Twitter timeline. If you aren’t aware of what the ‘Twitter’ timeline is, your brand’s social media game is in need of some serious updates this BTS season.
Seeing as 41% of college-goers base their buying decisions on smartphone-based research, M-commerce is another concept that needs to be embraced in order to ride the BTC wave.
Wherever your potential customers spend their smartphone browsing time is where your brand needs to be front and center. For instance, the humor app ‘9GAG’ had 164 million visitors in December 2015 alone. Considering that most of these users are college students on their phones, this is a great place to advertise.
You can use retail analytics software providers such as Intelligence Node to help you build strategies based on big data and competitor trends.
Embracing concepts like new social media platforms and big data, and understanding the significance of a strategy tailored to buyer trends in the BTS season, you’ll be able to capitalize on the buying trends of parents scurrying to stores with school-going kids close on their heels.