Pokémon Go – A True Game Changer For Retailers

It’s been just a few weeks since ‘Pokémon Go’ was released — a game that lets you live between the real world and its virtual one — and the world has gone crazy. Attracting kids and adults alike, this game has taken the world by storm, and is being played by millions of iPhone and Android users across the globe.

While players exercise their needs to discover new Pokémon, retailers stand to discover tangible benefits from the game — brands and marketers have more than one reason to be a part of the ‘Pokémon Go’ craze.

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Riding the Back-To-School Wave to Retail Success

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.

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Spikes & Dips May 2016: State of E-commerce in the US

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 750mn 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.

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Analytics Is A Retailer Must-Have – But Only The Right Analytics

Cat’s out of the bag, analytics is steadily rising on top of every other retailer’s list of priorities, but are they going to maximize their opportunity here – or waste it?

 

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3 Steps for Starting a Pricing Intelligence Strategy

Pricing intelligence is absolutely vital to being successful today in business. As part of the “Marketing Mix,” price has always been top of mind for marketers and business leaders. Ineffective pricing strategy truly hinders an organization’s ability to grow and be profitable. It can even derail success despite having an exceptional product-market fit. One could make the case that price is the most import part of the Marketing Mix. So how can marketers and executives ensure they’re optimizing their pricing strategy and setting their business up for success in a competitive pricing landscape?

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Retail trends and prospects in the world of luxury items

Luxury is relative, they say. By all definitions, luxury is also exclusive. In times when the West discovered new routes to the East, it was in search of this same luxury. The pepper trade, the silk trade, diamonds- they came with a huge price tag. And the ones who were capable of paying for it, flaunted it with pride.

There has always been a basic concept about luxury- from the traders’ point of view. Exchanging a high quality or rare piece of merchandise for the highest price. And for centuries, the high end retail market, that accounted for 390 USD in 2012 (BCG), has been following this system.
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Undressing Today Men’s Fashion – Trends for this Summer

Summer is here. Well almost over. But as they say, enjoy it while it lasts, right? Summer means cool colours, breezy evenings, shades and drinking out of coconuts. Vacation time! Holidays are the time when people distress, have fun, and generally enjoy life.

When summer is mentioned, fashion too takes a distinctly relaxed flavour. No one cares about proper attire or propriety while on holiday, do they? When we think summer fashion, we inevitably think Adam Sandler or The Hangover.

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Of Dreams & Diamonds…

There’s looks and then there’s looks. The former makes you feel happy or sad or loved or disappointed. And the latter make you the centre of attention, period. Looks are the brainchild of luxury. And what better place to explain luxury than on the Red Carpet at one of the most glamorous events in our culture- Festival de Cannes!

At IntelligenceNODE, we have been studying looks at various events as a part of our discussion on trends. And the Red Carpet at Cannes is as larger than life as it gets. With the bold and the beautiful stepping out in their summer best, we noticed some trends popping out, subtly of course.

Maybe that is the way to go this summer! Or not. These trends include pastel tones, minimalist looks and clear fabrics. And of course brands. But there is one trend that is emerging and surpassing the others. Diamonds!

Not too much on one person. But then one diamond accessory from Chopard or Bulgari is statement enough, isn’t it?

Female actor Julianne Moore has been wowing with exquisite jewellery on the Red Carpet from day 1.

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The Elusive Elevator Pitch and Other Things…

What is the one thing you would tell Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos or Larry Page & Sergey Brin if you are riding the same lift, together? You have less than 10 seconds to think, formulate words and speak up. What would you tell them, if you wanted them to hire you- on the spot, without a doubt?

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