This year’s Q4 will probably be very different compared to the Q4s of the past decade. Impulse buying due to a global health crisis has retailers and CPG brands wondering how this will impact the most profitable quarter of the year. You have to understand that many companies make payday just by the holiday season alone. What happens when consumers don’t hit the shelves because they have already stocked up at an extreme-couponer level?
Coresight completed a survey on April 8th, 70% of respondents said they expect to go back to regular purchasing habits in about three months or less, that would be July this upcoming month. But does this actually reflect consumers' reality?
People haven't stopped shopping, but their consumer behavior has drastically shifted. Categories that wouldn't usually get the attention are booming right now. According to JungleScout 2020 Consumer Spending & Preferences report, about 50% of consumers are buying more groceries and cleaning supplies as 30% or more are buying fewer electronics, office supplies, and clothing. This means marketers have to focus on being present in online shopping platforms to stand out from an ocean of competitors.
According to Adobe Analytics, In the .U.S., online sales increased by about 49% in April over the prior year. Target sold more on an average day in April than on Cyber Monday. Some countries in Latin America virtually got ahead by almost two years compared to previous expectations. It took a pandemic for Latin America to fully embrace e-comm.
With brick and mortar stores closed or partially operating, there’s a collective need for brands to become e-comm natives and understand their way around the specs to stand out from the crowd. Luckily for brands, there's still a chance to make this year's Q4 the most profitable ever. To succeed, brand managers and executives must invest in pimping up their social channels and e-comm profiles because today, virtual sites are even more important than your regular storefronts. The level of product and brand exposure is just incredibly different with the plus that an online store never closes. Talk about making money in your sleep!
For the next three major shopping holiday events, marketers need to bring their A-game to make the most out of this year’s Q4. Let the shopping mania begin!
AMAZON PRIME DAY
About 90% of U.S. consumers have shopped on Amazon. Amazon Prime Day, the famous retail holiday, has only grown since 2015. Typically set in amidst summer season where we can enjoy “Christmas in July”. Last Prime Day went on for 48 hours straight; prime users could enjoy exceptional deals and take advantage of their express shipping.
Other companies have followed Amazon’s lead and have also set their own shopping “holidays”. Nike has launched Air Max Day, whereas Nordstrom has its big Anniversary Sale. This year the shopping mania had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lack of workforce in warehouses and supply chain constraints have made it inevitable for Amazon to pause and regroup. September seems to be the month where Prime Day will take place this year.
Up next 11 amazing facts about Amazon and its made-up holiday:
We could go on and on endlessly over Amazon’s unbelievable commercial reach. Still, by now, you probably already know that you can virtually get anything over one of the world's largest e-comm platforms, and depending on the city you live in, you can even have it delivered to your front porch within a few hours. What a time to be alive!
We are guilty about always lecturing marketers and brand managers on how they need to pay attention to every single itsy-bitsy tiny detail, but bear with us, we've got a point here. 150.6 million mobile users accessed Amazon's app only in September 2019. Brands have to make sure they're displaying their products’ best angle and what better way to achieve it than through surreal CGIs and a jaw-dropping Amazon A+ page. You know we know what we’re talking about!
We admire Amazon’s pioneer spirit always to be one step ahead. To make up for the absence of our beloved Christmas in July, Amazon has launched Its first-ever Big Style Sale. This time the e-comm platform will partner up with clothing power brands to offer the best deals to prime and non-prime members.
Some of us are guilty of have been wondering around in our home offices in sweats and pajamas. Retailers have suffered from our lack of socializing and our motivation to present the best version of ourselves. Zoom calls only require so much of us, just make sure there’s no mirror behind you, we don’t want to be looking at your underwear. Retailers will attempt to get rid of the unsold stock from late winter and this spring. The sale will run for seven days straight, from June 22nd to Sunday, June 28th. Let the collective glow-up begin!
Halloween is not even over when Thanksgiving arrives, and immediately the shopping fever-filled month is officially inaugurated. Retailers smother us with themed discounts and holiday sales. Black Friday, November 27th, marks the beginning of the most anticipated holiday shopping season of the year; every celebration from this day to New Year’s Eve is a month-long shopping spree.
Right after Black Friday the spotlight quickly shifts to “Cyber Monday", some like to argue over which one offers the best deals, we say go all-in on both! However, Business Insider claims that whereas Black Friday is best for those seeking to buy big-ticket items, Cyber Monday the best day to shop in stores or to cash in on tech deals and smaller gifts. Nevertheless, this year they're most likely to have a leveled battlefield since many have chosen to delay non-essential purchases.
According to SurveyMonkey, about 81% who dislike shopping on Black Friday state that the reason they don't like it is because of overcrowded stores. That doesn't happen on e-comm platforms. Does it?
Other complaints from shoppers tend to be about the lines being too long, the chaos within stores, and how they just get stressed out over the complete shopping experience. Luckily for consumers and brands, everybody can just chill a little bit more, well, mostly shoppers. This Black Friday is way more likely to take place from the comfort of home. A millennial or an older person can both enjoy a painless and frictionless experience from their mobile devices and computers without having to deal with the chaos related to the hassle of regular shopping centers.
We didn't want to miss the chance to talk about another massive shopping event that takes place in eastern markets a few weeks before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Singles’ Day, a holiday that started as an unofficial celebration for bachelors, originated in China and rapidly expanded to other Asian countries. The event is scheduled on November 11th and features attractive sales both in traditional retail and e-comm platforms.
Alibaba hit record sales by $38.4 billion in last year (2019), just so you get an idea of the massive accomplishment, in the U.S., Cyber Monday took in $7.9 billion that same year. The Chinese know how to make an entrance, to inaugurate the 24-hour shopping mania they hired famous pop singer Taylor Swift, who gave a live performance from Shanghai which was streamed followed by marketing and content for more than 1,000 brands.
Marketers and Brand Managers will always want to have a sneak peek at their eastern competitors.
Some brands are dealing with opposed feelings. Some retailers are wondering ether they will have enough goods stocked for Christmas. Because of the pandemic, there's been a substantial commercial impact on Chinese and other Asian manufacturers. Some will need to find alternatives to supply the jolly demand of the season.
Once again, Chinese manufacturers are worried that due to global circumstances, they might not receive as many orders as usual. Taking into account that Christmas goods and decoration start months before the holiday season.
But brands are still exploring an outlook where we would have to social distance from Santa at least for 2020. In the U.K., 2 of the most important events where children meet and greet Santa are already canceled. Christmas 2020's outlook seems a bit uncertain. But as stocks start recovering and nations begin to resume their "normal" lives carefully. Brands are optimistic that they will be able to step in amidst a global recovery.
Other companies are preparing to go all in and make up for this whirlwind year. It’s a fact that brick and mortar stores are still responsible for 80% of the retail industry's sales during Christmas shopping. So, this year it's crucial for brands to start building up their social channels so they can increase their conversion rate to make up for the lack of in-store shopping.
Omnichannel and mobile services will be a crucial component for brands to get rollin’ their merchandise. This merry season of the year will likely offer unforeseen sales so brands can create an outflow of stored unsold stock and prepare to level to jumpstart 2021 with a more positive outlook. Nothing will stop X-MAS!
Equipping brands e-comm profiles
Retailers like Zara expect e-comm sales to account for 25% of its total profits by 2022. Currently, online sales only account for 14% of total profits. Online shopping will increase the probability of solidifying consumers' loyalty to a brand. In the U.S., 69% of surveyed consumers say they intend to maintain or increase their online spending even after brick and mortar stores reopen.
Despite several downturns referring to public health and economy, enhancing e-comm platforms will benefit consumers like never before. Driving traffic from brands’ social into their e-comm profiles will make a huge difference in exposure and profits.
Our advice to every marketer and brand manager out there. Don't you dare neglect your brand's social nor your e-comm platforms. Your audience wants to hear from you. Your Amazon A+ page, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok profiles are your big-ticket into increasing not only Q4 earnings but also tomorrow’s profits!
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Last Edited on May 25, 2018