The holiday shopping season can make or break any retailer’s year, and brick-and-mortar retailers are keenly aware that e-commerce will continue to claim a larger portion of sales during this critical season. As retail executives evaluate ways to adapt to the changing landscape, several brands decided to explore new approaches for the 2017 holiday season.
Did they work?
In short, yes. Holiday shopping season trips increased 0.6% in November compared to the previous year, and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve was the highest growth week for retail & consumer goods in-store sales in all of 2017, according to Nielsen. Some retailers further exceeded these gains, though, by taking advantage of the holiday shopping season’s strong outlook to test new retail strategies. These successful retailers fought back against e-commerce domination by forming strategic partnerships, prioritizing improved shopping experiences and heavily investing in branded e-commerce to complement physical locations.
Many retail executives may think attempting to “out e-commerce” brands like Amazon is the answer. Interestingly, Kohl’s embraced and partnered with Amazon to achieve mutual benefit. Kohl’s launched this initiative in October, placing Amazon shops in 10 brick-and-mortar locations in Chicago and Los Angeles. In an effort to improve the retail experience and make shopping easier, these locations accepted product returns of items sold on Amazon.com. How did this pay off? Kohl’s holiday sales rose 6.9% when compared to 2016- beating the industry as a whole.
Today’s digital age has consumers searching for convenience above all, and several retailers have taken notice. Strong online sales aided Target in growing same-store sales numbers. Taking a page out of Amazon’s book, Target’s stores entered the holiday season with a re-focused purpose and were transformed into fulfillment centers for online orders. This allowed customers the option to order online and collect in stores. These stores fulfilled 70% of Target’s digital orders and played a critical role in driving 80% of same-store sales growth.
Improving The Retail Experience
When consumers can order any product at the best price with the click of a button, it forces retail executives to create a compelling reason to visit a physical store. Athleisure brand Lululemon had the answer, as it created 22 pop-up shops in high-traffic areas across the U.S. during the holidays to capture as many consumers as possible. The plan paid off, as Lululemon broke brand records after reporting its highest traffic and largest revenue day ever on Black Friday.
A Combination Holiday Shopping Season Approach
In a hybrid of all three of the above tactics, Calvin Klein also teamed up with Amazon to create a one-of-a-kind holiday experience that included pop-up shops in New York City and Los Angeles. Customers were able to buy items online and pick them up in-store, but these pop-ups also offered a unique and interactive shopping experience with exciting technology integrations throughout. For example, fitting rooms were equipped with Amazon Echo devices, enabling shoppers to ask Alexa questions about the products, drawing customers out of their homes and into stores.
These retailers were certainly driven by strong analytics strategies that helped them determine the opportunities this holiday season presented. Download Prevedere’s retail analytics playbook here to learn more about integrating analytics into your forecasting and demand planning initiatives.
This free illustrated playbook describes the 5-critical steps to incorporate the latest in quality data and business intelligence to predict consumer purchase behavior for the 2017 holiday season, with remarkable accuracy. Click to download here.