For months on end, retailers prepare for this doozy of a weekend that handles more sales and site visits than any other weekend during the year. While we know that Black Friday is a major component of the U.S. sales that occur during the Thanksgiving Weekend shopping spree, site visits and purchases also increased on the days before and after Black Friday. This year, more than 141 million shoppers took advantage of the deep discounts and promotions during the big Thanksgiving weekend – that’s 2 million more shoppers than last year at this time! According to the Pulse by Custora, U.S. e-commerce revenue grew by 18% compared to 2012 for the holiday shopping period, and e-commerce site visits increased by 23%. An impressive 40% of the $59 billion in sales that racked up on Black Friday weekend came from online shoppers – a 17% increase from 2012!
E-commerce sales soared as retailers nationwide opened their doors earlier than any previous year with deals and promos starting on Thanksgiving Day. For the first time ever, Thanksgiving Day online sales topped a whopping $1 billion in the U.S.! Of the 141 million shoppers that took to the aisles, virtual or physical, almost a quarter of those shoppers ventured out on Thanksgiving Day. Now that the chaos has subsided, retailers are seeing a slight drop in Black Friday sales in exchange for a boost in Thanksgiving Day purchases. This year, shoppers spent almost $10 billion on Black Friday, and while it’s a notable figure, it’s still a 13.2% drop compared to sales in 2012.
Here are more staggering stats from retail’s biggest shopping weekend of the year:
Before the widespread use of laptops and later mobile phone and tablets, shopping on Thanksgiving Day was impossible due to closed doors of almost all stores and shops. Now any shopper can access these deals and discounts from the comfort of their own living room, regardless of how much turkey and pie was consumed. Whether a dedicated bargain-hunter supreme, or just the average Joe looking for a quick and easy gift for the neighbors, e-commerce and online shopping in the retail space has transformed the holiday shopping experience.
It’s the time of year we’ve all been waiting for: pumpkin pie, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and major bargains from our favorite retailers. What are retailers doing to bring in the crowds this holiday season? In addition to the traditional price-matching and deep discounts, brands are driving consumers to their home pages for a one-stop shop on all specials and promotions for the holidays. A recent survey conducted by Internet Retailer looked at home pages from 1000 retailers in the 2013 Top 500 and Second 500 guides from early November of this year. In the second installment of our holiday blog series, we’ll take a closer look at this year’s home page promotion strategies leading the retail industry.
Price-Matching Guarantees. During the holidays, retailers will go to extreme lengths to beat the competition on price. While this trend isn’t as emphasized during the off season, retailers chase a competitive price advantage to win those precious holiday budget dollars. According to Internet Retailer’s survey, 37 of the Top 1000 are currently promoting their price-matching policies on their home pages. Banner ads and pop-up overlays are popular methods for this push with brands such as Best Buy and Staples.
Free-Shipping. Free-shipping is like the tasty dollop of whipped cream on your pumpkin pie – the perfect addition to any etailer’s online shopping experience. More than 50% of the Top 1000 retailers spotlight free-shipping promotions on their home page. According to a Shop.org eHoliday survey, 34.9% of retailers offer free-shipping year-round, and 16.3% of etailers started their shipping promotions the week of Halloween. Of the 623 retailers offering free-shipping, 255 enable it for all orders, while the rest require a minimum purchase amount.
Deals, Discounts and Free Trials. Dollar savings and percentages-off promotions are present on 600 retailers’ home pages of the Top 1000, with an average discount of 39%. These average savings are major incentives for consumers looking to save on their online shopping efforts. Consumer entertainment brands like Netflix, Hulu and Gamefly use their home pages to promote free trials and trial subscriptions, as these services thrive off of monthly memberships and customer loyalty. At the end of the day, who can turn down almost 40% off?
Gift buying is a delicate process that requires not only weeks of consideration but budget planning and deal hunting in advance. With strict constraints on spending this holiday season, shoppers are determined to stick to their budgets, unless they are otherwise enticed to go above and beyond. Deals and incentives encourage shoppers to spend just a little bit beyond their budgets. Special gifts with purchase or discounts can work wonders for the shopper that otherwise can’t quite decide if the latest Cuisinart stand mixer is worth the cost.
How are you planning to approach home page promotions this holiday season? We’d love to hear from you!
While the holiday shopping season is six days shorter than last year’s, there’s no need to panic. Etailers are preparing for as many as 140 million U.S. consumers to shop online during that first holiday weekend starting on Turkey Day, with 33 million of those shoppers taking advantage of Thanksgiving Day deals. In response to this decreased holiday shopping period, retailers aren’t waiting to hype offers like one-day sales, free gifts with purchase promos, free shipping, and more during the long holiday weekend. We’ve highlighted a few of the bigger trends to keep your eye on this shopping season:
What are some holiday trends you’ve seen making a big splash in ecommerce? We’d love to hear how you’re ramping up for what’s sure to be a busy shopping season!
With less than seven weeks left in the make-or-break holiday shopping season, e-commerce retailers and brands are gearing up for the annual post-holiday ritual: the peak returns season.
According to a recent article in Internet Retailer, “returns typically vary from 10% to as much as 40% of holiday sales volume, depending on the merchandise category.”1 Shop.org predicts that e-commerce holiday sales will increase between 13% and 15% to as much as $82 billion in November and December, which means that merchants will again be faced with a record number of returns.
As eTailers prepare for the inevitable flood of returns, there are four key principles to keep in mind. By focusing on these, e-commerce merchants can make the most of the busy post-holiday returns season, providing a better experience for shoppers and improving their internal operations as well.
Examine your returns policy. Merchants should make sure that policies are clearly stated and easy to understand, and that their policies enable omnichannel returns. It’s not too late for a quick review. By doing a thorough returns policy review ahead of the holiday rush, retailers and brands can help ensure that returns don’t increase the demands on staffing, and they can also reduce wait times in order to deliver a better customer experience.
Simplify the process with pre-paid return labels. One of the easiest ways to simplify returns is to provide a pre-paid, USPS-based return label with each shipment. Newgistics is the #1 provider of USPS® Parcel Return Service solutions, and the Newgistics SmartLabel is widely recognized as a leading customer returns technology. Not only do pre-paid return labels such as SmartLabels reduce customer frustrations with the return process and improve satisfaction, but merchants can also choose to deduct the return shipping cost from the refund, or charge a small premium for the use of the service, resulting in an additional opportunity for incremental income.
Newgistics’ SmartLabels also provide an operational advantage for merchants, since the barcode labels contain a wealth of information that can reduce operational issues on the back-end. Door-to-door tracking visibility from the pre-paid labels will reach retailers far ahead of the returned merchandise. This will alert the retailer to potential issues with quality, sizing, or any other number of problems, in time for buyers and planners to make sale-saving adjustments and negotiate vendor concessions. Better data can also improve labor planning, inventory management and asset-recovery rates.
Be proactive with customer communications.
Whenever customers return merchandise, it creates an opportunity to reach them in new ways with personalized, branded messages based on specific actions. Merchants can proactively notify customers when a return has been received and when the refund is issued, creating a better brand experience, increasing the likelihood of repeat purchases, and letting customers know that they’re important. Proactive communications can also minimize unnecessary customer service calls, providing an important operational advantage.
Process refunds and store credits quickly. A common area of frustration for customers is the wait to receive a full or partial refund or store credit once the merchandise has been returned. Merchants should examine the current wait time to receive a credit and remove any roadblocks that can delay the transactions. As mentioned above, one of the easiest ways to do this is to communicate often and clearly with the customer.
The post-holiday returns season will always be a hectic time for retailers and brands. However, by taking a close look at their return practices and applying these four principles, merchants can make the most out of the busiest season for merchandise returns.
1Internet Retailer, “Ready for Returns,” Nov. 4, 2013
“These new facilities demonstrate our continued growth as a company and our commitment to providing our shipping customers a best-in-class experience at a cost-effective price point,” said Bill Razzouk, chairman and CEO of Newgistics. “Each location was carefully selected because it is well-situated to minimize transit times and shipping expenses for direct-to-consumer merchants.”
We’re at Shop.org’s Annual Summit 2013 in Chicago this week! It’s been a great show so far, and we’re especially excited as this marks the official launch of our new end-to-end e-commerce solution! If you haven’t had the chance to make it by our booth, #1036, let’s try to connect after the show.
Here’s the full press release for the details of our official launch:
Newgistics Launches End-to-End E-Commerce Solution at Shop.org Annual Summit 2013
Austin, TEXAS—Oct. 2, 2013—Newgistics, a provider of e-commerce solutions and services for leading brands and retailers, officially launches its end-to-end e-commerce solution at the National Retail Federation’s Shop.org Annual Summit 2013, today in Chicago.
Newgistics recently announced its evolution from a provider of technology-driven order fulfillment, delivery and return solutions to an end-to-end e-commerce company. Through new relationships with hybris, an SAP company, and Manhattan Associates, along with the acquisition of Tacit Knowledge, Newgistics now offers a complete omni-channel commerce solution that fully integrates every step in the order life cycle, from customer acquisition through fulfillment, delivery and returns.
From the start, Newgistics has built the company by identifying needs in the e-commerce industry and responding with innovative solutions. It began with the Newgistics SmartLabel® and continued as the company evolved into the e-commerce logistics expert. The same spirit of innovation guides Newgistics today with the introduction of the industry’s leading omni-channel commerce and order management software as part of a complete end-to-end e-commerce solution that provides customers with systems designed for growth. Anyone wishing to schedule a media interview should contact newgisticsPR@ketnergroup.com.
“Newgistics has a history of innovating technology-driven solutions that facilitate e-commerce,” said Bill Razzouk, CEO of Newgistics. “We are thrilled to build on that legacy—and open a new chapter in our company’s history—with the launch of our end-to-end e-commerce solution.”
To discuss e-commerce, fulfillment or shipping needs, retailers should contact Jane Bergos, director of marketing, at 1-866-647-0688.
Newgistics has always been a leader in forward and reverse shipping, with many of the world’s top brands trusting us as a partner. Last month, we shared our biggest news yet when we announced our capability to deliver a complete, end-to-end e-commerce solution.
We’ve worked with eTailers for more than 10 years, and we’ve gotten to know their unique challenges intimately. As a result, we sought to deliver an end-to-end e-commercesolution that would meet their needs from start to finish. This new offering provides retailers with web design, implementation, integration, hosting and support services as well as order management technology and order fulfillment, parcel delivery and returns management.
Our commitment to excellence led us to hybris, an SAP company and the world’s fastest-growing commerce platform provider, to be the platform that powers our new end-to-end e-commerce solution.
The hybris platform offers Newgistics’ e-commerce customers the tools to provide state-of-the-art shopping experiences across channels and unify commerce processes on one highly flexible platform. This highly modular and omni-channelB2C Commerce platform also scales seamlessly with retailers as they grow, eliminating the need to re-platform in the future.
hybris was founded in 1997 with a simple mission: to create superbly engineered commerce solutions. Today, hybris has expanded well beyond its central Europe roots to operations in 15 countries, accelerated in 2011 by the acquisition of another highly ranked on-demand commerce provider in North America, iCongo, which gave it a strong presence in the U.S. and Canada.
hybris now serves over 400 customers, including some of the most-recognized companies in the world: global B2B brands as well as consumer brands. It is now by far the fastest-growing major commerce platform company with a compound annual growth rate since 2009 of83%.
Newgistics CEO Bill Razzouk summed it up well when Newgistics made our initial hybris announcement saying, “hybris is at the forefront of providing the technology solutions that retailers need to succeed in this dynamic environment.”
We are extremely excited about this new chapter in our company history, and are proud to have a solution backed by the continual innovation and proven expertise of hybris.
We are proud to partner with the supply chain solutions provider of choice for supply chain leaders around the world. Manhattan Associates has partnered with more than 1,200 customers globally, representing many of the world’s best-known brands. For more than 20 years, Manhattan Associates has provided services for multi-channel retailers, consumer goods manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, 3PLs and wholesale distributors.
Manhattan’s revolutionary platform-based approach to supply chain has helped companies worldwide achieve measurable efficiencies—decreased labor costs, lower inventory costs and improved asset utilization. Many have achieved transportation savings of 10-15 percent, labor savings of 15-30 percent and inventory savings of 8-10 percent—real-world, bottom-line results.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Newgistics! Two weeks ago we made three major announcements:
LONDON – August 28, 2013 – Mulberry, the global luxury fashion group renowned for its expertly crafted iconic handbags, has announced the relaunch of its e-commerce site, built and delivered by Tacit Knowledge a Newgistics company, a digital commerce consultancy that brings Silicon Valley innovation to retail organizations around the world. Crafted using the hybris ecommerce framework, the stylish new site is available at www.mulberry.com.
“The underlying principal of everything we do at Mulberry revolves around quality and delivering the best possible customer experience, which is why Tacit’s belief and approach to software as a craft had strong resonance for us,” said Charlotte O’Sullivan, Mulberry’s Head of Online. “We were extremely impressed with the skill, pragmatism and professionalism of Tacit’s teams from the outset, and are delighted with the results of our partnership.”
As a hybris gold level partner, Tacit Knowledge seamlessly integrated the compelling and responsive customer experience design, devised by Poke, into an expertly implemented e-commerce system, harnessing the flexible, stable and scalable hybris framework.
“Tacit Knowledge applied solid engineering principles to every aspect of the project they were involved with, and collaborated effectively with our third parties to deliver the platform within our timeline, in an impressive example of agile methodology at its best,” said Richard Cunningham, Group Head of IT at Mulberry. “We have been consistently impressed with the technical competence and the quality of Tacit’s development and consultancy teams.”
The flourishing partnership between Tacit Knowledge and Mulberry was built on a shared obsession with craftsmanship, detail and quality.
“It’s a real privilege to collaborate with an iconic brand like Mulberry,” added Chris Andrisick, CEO of Tacit Knowledge. “When we do our job, the technical underpinnings fade into the background. What remains in this case is an online experience elegantly showcasing a catalogue of refined products.”
Mulberry is a British luxury brand renowned world-wide for its craftsmanship and quality. The brand’s backbone is an extensive line of luxury leather bags for men and women that combine stylish, stand-out design with the finest leathers and detailing. In addition to leather goods, Mulberry’s product range includes womenswear, soft accessories and footwear.
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About Tacit Knowledge, a Newgistics Company
Tacit Knowledge is the digital commerce consultancy that delivers Silicon Valley innovation to retail organizations around the world. Founded in 2002 by a group of software engineers, Tacit implements packaged applications and builds custom software for globally recognized multichannel organizations, including some of Internet Retailer’s Top 25. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and employs more than 80 people across five international offices. For more information please visit tacitknowledge.com or follow us on Twitter @tacitknowledge.
Mike Reilly, fama PR
Phone +1 617-986-5008
Sabina Szymura, Press Officer
Phone +44 (0)207 491 4323