Previously, Black Friday through Cyber Monday used to set retailers expectations when it came to holiday sales. However, the availability of deals and increasing shopper flexibility from ecommerce throughout the holiday season has extended the shopping season from Black Friday right up until December 24. According to the research firm ShopperTrak, sales on Black Friday decreased 10% this year, with a total of $10.4 billion compared with last year’s $11.6 billion. There is no need for retailers to hit the panic button quite yet as many analysts are still projecting a 3.4% revenue increase y-o-y from last holiday season.
As Labor Day rapidly approaches, many students and parents are preparing (and anxiously awaiting) for the upcoming school year. The National Retail Federation (NRF) ranks "Back to School/College" as the second largest shopping season of the year (following the winter holidays) and for 2015 combined spending for school and college is expected to reach $68 billion in 2015.
Retail is in a transformative period. Many pundits are quick to point to beacons or mobile commerce as being poised to revolutionize the retail space. Despite the advances in technology, consumer preference and adoption will drive change in retail. Yet, many retailers fail to understand consumer preference, which can create a rift between retailers and consumers.
Marketers often get a bad reputation for using pithy language that is full of too many buzzwords. Beyond the talk of synergy, disruption, and capturing the low hanging fruit, there are several key terms that cause confusion among executives and business professionals. By defining these terms through the lens of a marketer, we can also address how these terms can help businesses grow through their application
Last week over 300 marketers gathered at Boston’s Federal Reserve for MITX’s Annual Ecommerce Summit. The choice of the Federal Reserve building seemed like a natural fit as the conversations that took hold spoke to the convergence of new and old forms of commerce and exchange. The attendees of the event represented a mixture of brand, agency, and technology partners, each having the same goal of learning how to drive growth in this new age of commerce. During the conversations that took place during the sessions and continued into the halls were several common themes, specifically:
For every eCommerce business that is paying to acquire customers, a portion of that investment must be going to Google to pay for keywords and top positioning within search results. This makes sense to me. It is a business transaction; you the brand are paying for premium positioning to target your core customers.
I recall an interesting article in the WSJ had a great headline that made one read it: Here’s Why You Won’t Finish This Article. Much to the chagrin of the author, I did finish the article but I will spare you from doing the same. The gist of it was that today the workplace has many, many distractions to keep an employee from getting their work done, from being productive and from being able to think. This is spot on! It has taken me ½ an hour to get these 4 lines done because of distractions.
Customer Portfolios is in the business of understanding customers. By knowing their attributes, purchases, channel, timing, price point, and their shopping behavior, we can identify their segments, their needs and wants, and what they are most likely to buy next. This is not done to be creepy. Rather, it is to help our clients create a better user experience and to avoid reenacting Groundhog Day (the 1993 Bill Murray comedy movie in which every day is like the very first, in which everyone repeatedly treats Bill as if they don’t know him.)
Remarketing refers to advertisers that track users who have visited their websites so they can deliver “targeted” ads for their products as the user visits other websites. The remarketing ad may actually include a specific product that was viewed on the site or even one that at one point or another was placed your online shopping cart. And remarketing may start as soon as you leave the site.
I keep reading about the challenges and woes of College Football. The mix of big money, big risk, with colleges that have reduced public funding jumping into bed with TV advertising (that’s cable and broadcast both making for a very crowded sleeping arrangement!) who are struggling to hold onto eyeballs and thereby their advertisers.