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Industry Dec 8, 2011 2 min read

Merchandising Christmas Online

Just as we’re restraining ourselves from scoffing all our advent chocs in one hit, we investigate the retailers who started their advent early. With a challenging economy, th...

Just as we’re restraining ourselves from scoffing all our advent chocs in one hit, we investigate the retailers who started their advent early. With a challenging economy, the battle for shopper’s attention is fiercer than ever and the news reports a mixed picture. This year saw the most successful Black Friday ever, with sales up by $1 billion (on last years 11.4) and thanks to competitive discounting, sales online were up 24.3% on the day. However, retail sales in the UK are down year-on-year for the sixth month in a row and 40% of high street retailers say they have cut staff. Many are offering up to 40% discounts; sacrificing margins for shifting stock.

We looked at four international retailers that have gone to extraordinary lengths to secure online Christmas sales through their visual merchandising, product planning and marketing output.

1. Net-a-Porter

The first signs of Christmas from Net-a-Porter HQ came with 17th November‘s newsletter which offered ‘Party Chic‘ ideas. Soon followed by the Christmas gift edition of the sites online magazine on the 23rd Nov. Excellent editorial pulled together selections for three female personality types. www.net-a-porter.com

2. ASOS

ASOS got in early with the first mentions of the party season in their ‘50% Off Party Shoes‘ newsletter on the 6th November. On the 14th their gift guide appeared within Fashion Finder, organised by pricing and covering all bases from clothes to accessories and homewares. Three days later Women’s and Men’s Gift headers appeared on the homepage.  www.fashionfinder.asos.com

3. Matches

A great gift guide selection providing for seven female personality types and six males – really covering all possible luxury customers. These only linked through to shopping pages, rather than editorial, but an excellent product-focused video featured on both the men’s and women’s homepages from the 17th November. We’ve noticed an increased awareness towards digital from Matches lately, and this video plays up to it well. On the same day a free delivery & returns newsletter was sent out. www.matchesfashion.com

4. Urban Outfitters

Winning the prize for the longest festive season, Urban Outfitters announced a Christmas giveaway via newsletter on the 2nd November. The homepage was then updated on the 8th with their well-photographed gift guide. Like ASOS, this provided plenty of ideas across price points.  www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk

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