Thanksgiving kickstarts a period of fevered holiday shopping and seemingly generous promotions from retailers. Being amongst the most profitable weeks in a retailers’ calendar, the period is meticulously watched by the industry and heavily reported on by the media. Holiday spend this season is expected to increase by 15% and with such a promising outlook we decided to take an early look at retail tactics for the weekend ahead.
Top retailers dropped prices on 16,000 products
EDITD’s apparel data warehouse allows instant insight into real-time levels of discounting at online retailers around the globe. We can see that the five retailers with the biggest offering on reduction of 50% or more are Kohl’s, who have one third of their entire offering reduced by 50% or more, ASOS, Zalando, Saks Fifth Avenue and House of Fraser. Kohl’s dropped prices on 3,997 products on the 26th November, while the 7th October has been ASOS’s biggest day for reductions this season, with 2,980 products reduced that day. Across the industry as a whole, the 25th November has been the biggest day for price drops with 15,962 products seeing price adjustment, compared to 13,570 on the 26th.
Biggest discounts are on Children’s nightwear
Retailers are competitively dropping prices, visibly reacting to one another’s marketing campaigns, but which categories are seeing the highest rates of discount? We ran analysis on discounting across every category, and through womenswear, menswear and children’s wear. Data shows that currently children’s nightwear is the most discounted category, with a staggering 73.9% of kids sleepwear reduced.
Nightwear appears to be a problematic category across the board, with men’s sleepwear the second most discounted category and women’s sleepwear fourth (women’s swimwear was third, which is explained by seasonality). Retailers react to this by pushing sleepwear to the front of their visual merchandising campaigns. Both Marks & Spencer and Next have pushed onesies in their holiday build up marketing campaigns, including Next’s ‘Funsies’ homepage update on the 21st November.
Kohl’s stellar campaign
Kohl’s, the retailer with the current biggest discounted offering online, have executed a seamless Black Friday/Cyber Monday build-up campaign. Their YouTube promo for the campaign, starring Jennifer Lopez, has had 682,000 views and linked to their Black Friday deals. The retailer’s nous didn’t stop there – their Black Friday discounts were available to preview and shoppers could create Black Friday wishlists ahead of the day. An excellent way for the retailer to gauge interest on their product lines and select merchandising based upon shoppers pre-purchase selections, this function was promoted in an email newsletter on the 26th November.
Low key retailers
Not all international retailers make a marketing song and dance out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday however. Zara have a resolutely un-Christmassy visual merchandising campaign, with their latest email newsletter featuring a selection of navy blue outfits styled punkily. Befitting to their luxury segment, Net-a-Porter have so far this year mentioned no discounting over the weekend, and didn’t in 2012. Despite big sales increases for Boden across the Black Friday weekend in 2012, they’ve actually toned down their campaign for 2013. Last year’s email newsletters featured large ‘sale’ fonts and a 30% reduction, whereas this year a Christmassy family photoshoot image on the 26th November’s mailout called recipients to shop full-priced merchandise.
Based on this year’s strategies, it is clear that pre-holiday campaigns are increasingly being adopted by non-US retailers, who predominantly target mass markets. Premium retailers, on the other hand, continue with a non-promotional shopping experience (same as in 2012). We expect these retailers are holding their trump cards close to their chests and will strike late in the season, knowing increased pre-Christmas sales is still guaranteed.