Holiday shopping: Go big and shop from home
In the latest episode of Mintel’s Little Conversation podcast, “[Podcast] Winning Black Friday: Retail predictions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019” three Mintel analysts and Comperemedia analyst Lierin Ehmke reviewed predictions for Black Friday/Cyber Monday and discussed how these holiday shopping events have evolved over the years.
Comperemedia released holiday predictions before Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year based on Mintel consumer data and 2018 advertising trends from big box retailers. While we are still in the midst of holiday shopping, the results of Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday provided intel on the accuracy of our predicted holiday shopping trends.
- Prediction 1: Due to the short shopping season, consumers will want peace of mind through convenient purchases, such as buying online and picking up in-store.
- Result: As predicted, the need for convenience during a short shopping season resulted in a significant 43% year-over-year increase for click-and-collect orders and online sales, while overall in-store foot traffic was down on Black Friday. Brands that capitalized on convenient shopping features, like Walmart and Target, were noted as having larger volumes of foot traffic Black Friday weekend.
- Prediction 2: Omnichannel will be essential in order to stand out among competition.
- Result: Omnichannel was an important part of staying ahead, but it served as a vehicle for the successful brand’s main strategy: promoting early deals. Through a paid Facebook campaign, Walmart enticed consumers to come in-store early for Black Friday via coffee and snacks, Best Buy pushed deals during the weeks leading up to Black Friday via video and display ads, and Target promoted online ‘doorbusters’ the day before Cyber Monday. The efforts were fruitful, as online sales the day before Thanksgiving increased 22% Y/Y.
- Prediction 3: Brands will use the high visibility of the holidays to boost its brand platforms and humanize their brands.
- Result: As predicted, brands like Everlane and REI used Black Friday to generate awareness for their brand causes. Additionally, Amazon invested in humanizing its brand: In the wake of criticism for working conditions at shipping centers, Amazon launched a video campaign highlighting workplace satisfaction, which interviews warehouse workers and highlights their love of working for Amazon. The ad worked to alleviate consumer concerns surrounding a period of high package volume.
- Prediction 4: 2019 holiday shopping will be the year of Walmart.
- Result: While the holiday shopping season is not yet over, Walmart’s efforts in early deals, convenient shopping, and omnichannel focused allowed the brand to stand out both on and offline sales. Other brands, like Amazon, Target, and Best Buy were also noted for strong sales and traffic, so time will tell who will be the big winner this holiday season.
What we think:
The holiday season is not yet over, and there’s still time for brands to win big this season. According to Comperemedia data on holiday shopping predictions, a convenient shopping experience is the most valuable asset for consumers this holiday season. The use of mobile, click-and-collect, and high online sale volumes from Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2019 confirm that convenience is top-of-mind for consumers. Savvy and successful brands will continue to prioritize ease-of-use for consumers through order-and-pickup, immediate delivery, and omnichannel experiences.