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e-commerce Editor's pick

Cyber Monday keeps top e-shopping title

nordstrom-cyber-monday

Another day, another special retail event. It’s Cyber Monday (as if you didn’t know) and the question is: will it retain its status in the US as the biggest online shopping day?

Some thought it wouldn’t as Black Friday’s online migration has picked up pace and shoppers no longer need to wait until they get back to work to take advantage of fast internet connections.

But, as Mark Twain would say, reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. Yes, fewer people plan to shop online today but they’re still going to be online in greater numbers than last Friday. Perhaps that’s inevitable given that they had the luxury of shopping in-store when they were off work on Friday but haven’t today.

Anyway, the National Retail Federation’s Cyber Monday Expectations Survey (conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics over the weekend), showed 121m shoppers (49.5%) plan to shop online today, down from the 126.9m a year ago. The NRF said 103m people shopped online over the weekend.

Why today? It’s all down to the deals. “Unlike 10 years ago, we live in a world in which you can shop anywhere at any time,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “It’s no longer about one day, but a season of digital deals, and savvy online shoppers are ready to see what exclusive promotions retailers have in store for Cyber Monday. Shoppers have seen promotions roll out for the past several weeks, but if the price is right on Cyber Monday, they’ll definitely show up ready to spend.”

What else does the survey show us?

  • Mobile is key but not dominant. While 29.6m (24.4%) consumers said they will use their mobile device to shop on Cyber Monday, eight in 10 (80%) said they will use their home computers to shop online, despite heavy retailer investment in optimising their mobile websites
  • That’s interesting as data has also shown that online shopping from traditional computers rose nearly 10% on Black Friday
  • As many as 42.4% of Cyber Monday shoppers plan to shop online in the early morning, while a third (33%) will shop in the late morning
  • Many will wait until lunchtime to shop (16.6%) and over a quarter will take a more leisurely approach, waiting until early afternoon (29.5%)

This post first appeared on Trendwalk.net, a style-meets-business blog by journalist, trends specialist and business analyst, Sandra Halliday

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Comment e-commerce

Comment counts: Are you prepared for Black Friday UK’s £1bn shopping day?

With Black Friday on the horizon, retailers should have completed their final stages of preparation, ready to capitalise on the sales potential of the day and beyond. John Beechen of Salmon, outlines a final checklist.

blackfriday

This year it has been predicted that Black Friday will lead to the UK’s first £1bn online shopping day. In order to ensure success, retailers need to take learnings from 2014 to prepare for the increased level of activity. While a spike on the peak trading days was anticipated last year, it was clear many were not ready. As bargain hunters searched online for deals, some websites went offline for long periods of time, while others were slower at processing orders due to customer overloads, resulting in frustration from customers.

As an annual event, everyone knows it’s coming this week, but the scale of consumer demand at any given time can be unpredictable. Retailers need to have addressed their online operations in a bid to prevent anything that could damage the customer experience and result in lost sales. Those who are as prepared as possible, from front-end to back-end, will be the ones who triumph.

Here are five key things retailers need to have done ahead of the UK’s biggest retail event of the year:

1. Staggered marketing activities

Although a surge on Black Friday is inevitable, feeding customer deals gradually in the time leading up to and beyond the big day will have kept consumers shopping throughout the peak and on Cyber Monday, while reducing strain on infrastructure and fulfilment teams.

2. Briefed the business

Retailers need to have ensured every department is au fait with the plan for peak trading on 27 November – not just in silo but across the entire business. Being aligned will ensure all online trading and operations teams can anticipate surges and be ready.

3. Run an incident test

Ideally, the majority – if not all – performance checks will have already been completed across all online platforms. Simulating a major incident to understand how watertight your contingency plan is, will enable retailers to understand how they will cope with a “dam burst” scenario if faced with an unexpected influx of traffic on the day.

4. Created a back-up plan

If you are completely unprepared it’s not too late to put some basic functionality in place. For example, adding a queuing system whereby customers are placed in a waiting line to access the website will help to control the surge and reduce the chances of the site crashing. This is also a good contingency plan for retailers on the day, should they suffer unexpected problems, implementing a queuing system can relieve strain on back end operations whilst the problem is fixed.

5. Ensured staffing plans are set

Your staffing plans and shifts should be set, with everyone involved in peak operations (including your vendors) aware of their role and responsibility during the period. Shifts should be in place for both Black Friday and the weekend, and contact details published.

John Beechen is head of managed services at global commerce service provider, Salmon.

Comment Counts is a series of opinion pieces from experts within the industry. Do you have something to say? Get in touch via info@fashionandmash.com.

Categories
data e-commerce Editor's pick

Lyst data shows Mansur Gavriel bucket bags, classic Burberry trenches to trend in Black Friday fashion sales

Mansur Gavriel Leather Bucket Bag 1

Fashion marketplace Lyst is predicting what will be a top seller during the sales period this Thanksgiving weekend off the back of consumer behaviour witnessed on its platform.

It places bucket bags and luxe backpacks like the Mansur Gavriel styles, as well as luxury lingerie from Myla, Agent Provocateur and Calvin Klein as among the big items. Others include fluffy coats from contemporary labels like Sandro, Maje and Zara, and classic styles like the trench coat, peacoat and robe coats in luxury fabrications from the likes of Burberry and Maxmara.

Brands including J Cew, Alexander Wang, Acne and APC will see uptake across basic sweats, t-shirts and fine knits in navy, grey and black, while statement shoes will play out through Balenciaga, Jimmy Choo, Steve Madden and Sophia Webster choices.

Lyst’s data scientists have pulled information from what’s currently trending on its site, as well as what people are adding to their feeds to receive sales alerts on.

Burberry-Holiday-2014

The top 10 most searched-for designers on Lyst right now are: Prada, Givenchy, Gucci, Burberry, Valentino, Saint Laurent, Zara, Kenzo, Balmain and Topshop.

Lyst is expecting to have two million visitors to its site over the four days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday inclusively, and will be generating approximately 500,000 product updates every hour to help customers know immediately when the piece they have been lusting after go on sale, at the best price.

It will also launch The Holiday Shop on November 28, a virtual pop-up area on the site showcasing the hottest offers from the world of fashion in a bid to help facilitate consumers with their shopping. It will likewise provide real-time stock and price updates, this time all in one place across a broad variety of brands.

Lyst - The Holiday Shop

Categories
Blocks film

Sofia Coppola directs Gap’s holiday ads

gap_sofiacoppola

AdWeek hit the nailed on the head today when it referred to Gap’s holiday campaign directed by Sofia Coppola as “odd but charming”.

A series of four short spots have been released (all below), each one of them showcasing awkward moments between friends and family over the festive period – a young girl arrives home to a household of relatives in one; a boy stares longingly at a woman under the mistletoe in another. Both of those two, called Gauntlet and Mistletoe respectively, will air on television, while the others, Crooner and Pinball will run online.

Anchoring the series from Wieden + Kennedy is the tagline: “You don’t have to get them to give them Gap.” In other words, while the basis of the brand’s broader campaign for the season might be called “Dress normal”, for many people the Holidays are anything but.

Seth Farbman, Gap’s global CMO, said: “We wanted the campaign, and the films in particular, to focus on the best part of the season – family and friends. While the holidays look different in every home across the country, Sofia has brilliantly translated Gap’s snapshots of these authentic family characters to the screen. Our aim was to create a campaign that would be very warm, very honest and very Gap. And even if you don’t always get your family, our message this season is that it’s easy to give them Gap.”

Music is central to each of the videos, with the soundtrack including “I Got Stripes” by Johnny Cash, “I’m Not Ready for Love” by The Promise, “Cry” by Johnnie Ray, and “Deep Down” by Hazel and the Jolly Boys.

The first campaign under the Dress Normal moniker from Gap, was directed by David Fincher, and likewise included a series of short narrative-based films.

Categories
digital snippets e-commerce mobile social media

Digital snippets: Holiday retail round-up special

Given it’s the day before Thanksgiving in the US – meaning retailers are about to go all out on heavy promotions – here’s a special round-up of all the ways they’re using social and digital to help lure the seasonal shopper and start converting those all-important Holiday sales…

ebayinc_digitalstorefront_rm4 (2)

  • eBay debuts shoppable touchscreens and digital storefronts for Sony, Toms And Rebecca Minkoff in San Francisco (as pictured) [TechCrunch]
  • Target launches “most digitally enabled campaign” in its history, pins hopes on Pinterest this holiday season [Co.Create]
  • Topshop partners with Pinterest for online and offline Holiday campaign [Fashion&Mash]
  • JC Penney launches first Holiday campaign under new marketing head, includes crowdsourcing initiative inviting users to upload videos of themselves singing ‘Silent Night’ [AdAge]
  • ‘Reserve in Store’ service rolling out to all Banana Republic stores across the US, 200 Gap [CNBC]
  • Jingle all the way at Kmart with #showyourjoe Christmas ad [Fashion&Mash]
  • Kohl’s adds emotional brand spots to Holiday mix [AdAge]
  • Hollister teases Black Friday deals on YouTube [ClickZ]
  • All the interactive elements accompanying John Lewis’ #bearandhare Christmas ad [Fashion&Mash]
  • Cath Kidston, Bauble Bar driving traffic with Christmas treasure hunt campaigns [Fashion&Mash]
  • Michaels offers interactive Holiday help with live elf available through streaming video [Chain Store Age]
  • M&S teases Christmas #magicandsparkle campaign over social [Fashion&Mash]
  • Louis Vuitton highlights gift ideas on interactive goose game [Luxury Daily]
  • Tillys runs ugly Christmas sweater contest over Instagram [Tillys]
  • Neiman Marcus teams up with Shapeways to offer 3D printed holiday capsule collection [PSFK]
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Uncategorized

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade app

Macy’s has released an official mobile app for the 85th year of its Thanksgiving Day Parade tomorrow.

Launched by MyCityWay and available on both iOS and Android, it features a route map, participant tracker, guide to the city, wifi hotspot finder and weather forecasts.

It also provides information on tonight’s balloon inflation event, not to mention tips on transportation, restrooms and more.

Find out more about it, here.