Retailers target ways to boost post-Cyber Week sales
This year’s Cyber Week — from the Tuesday before Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday — experienced 18 percent sales growth vs. the previous year period, according to insights provided in a RetailWire webinar given by Ken Cassar, vice president and principal analyst at Slice Intelligence. Sarah Engel, CMO at DynamicAction and Julie Bernard, CMO at Verve, joined Mr. Cassar to discuss the implications of the numbers for retailers hoping to give their sales a boost as the holiday season continues.
Mr. Cassar said that in 2016, Amazon’s share of total sales, at 24 percent, was lower on Black Friday than one might expect, then peaked at 50 percent by the Monday before Christmas. He noted that the increased share of sales farther out in the season indicated less brick-and-mortar-centric marketing after Cyber Week, as well as an increased level of trust for Amazon’s ability to deliver on time. He expects that, while at 32 percent of total share this November, Amazon should see another big increase in the remaining days ahead.
With Christmas coming on fast, Ms. Bernard and Ms. Engel both offered steps that savvy retailers can take to pick up seasonal share in this Amazon-dominated timespan.
“The days of planning your promotional calendar 12 and 18 months out and sticking to it exactly as it is are really over,” Ms. Bernard said. “Various digital mediums allow us to react to what we’re seeing in the moment and tap into real-time execution and deliver more meaningful content up until those very last shopping moments.”
Ms. Bernard suggested that, given the short lead time required for mobile campaigns and the amount of data companies have on hand, successful mobile-targeted, personally relevant campaigns were feasible in the last weeks of the holidays.
Ms. Engel added that there are specific overlooked customer segments perfect for targeting in this timeframe.
“A lot of time we see the retailers are focused either on brand new customer acquisition or their most loyal customers, and there is a big middle ground there,” said Ms. Engel.
Ms. Engel suggested developing campaigns aimed at two-to-five time buyers, who according to DynamicAction research drive 13 percent more profit per-order than 11-plus time buyers.
“If you’re looking at how many times a person has purchased … you can do some more targeted campaigns that are very specific to those kinds of brands and affinities, and what tends to take that two-time buyer and turns them into a three-time buyer,” said Ms. Engel.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What kind of marketing campaigns should retailers be launching right now to combat Amazon’s late-season peak activity? Do you agree that retailers can succeed post-Cyber Week with well-targeted mobile campaigns based on real-time insights? What do you think of the suggestion to focus campaigns on two-to-five time buyers?