Women’s Wear Daily’s Executive Editor, Arthur Zaczkiewicz, recapped key findings over the shopping holiday blitz in his piece ‘Cyber Monday Week’ a Win With Tactical Markdowns. Arthur tapped DynamicAction CMO, Sarah Engel, for her insight into how the industry fared.
Key excerpts include:
"In a report focused on global online transactions, researchers at DynamicAction examined Cyber Week retail transactions that totaled $10.5 billion — $4.8 billion in North America, and close to $5.7 billion in Europe.
Sarah Engel, chief marketing officer at the firm, said 'all reports pointed to growth in online spending over the holidays, and retailers spent to ensure they got their portion of that spending. Marketing spend was up 136 percent on Thanksgiving Day 2018 versus 2017, up 173 percent on Black Friday and up an average of 109 percent for the full Cyber Weekend (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday).'
'As retailers continue full-steam-ahead into the holiday sales season and capitalize on the remaining 27 shopping days [at the time of the report], the results that shaped Cyber Weekend 2018 will continue to impact the sale season for North American retailers,' Engel said, adding that aside from higher spending on marketing by retailers, other trends to follow include the impact of free shipping.
'With free shipping and free returns the ‘new normal,’ returns are impacting retailers more than ever,' Engel said in her report. 'Even during the busy buying period of Cyber Weekend 2018, consumers took the opportunity to return unwanted merchandise. The value of returns was up an average of 22 percent on Thanksgiving Day, up 34 percent on Black Friday versus 2017 and up 22 percent during Cyber Weekend 2018 versus 2017.'
DynamicAction also noted higher promotions that started earlier in the season this year.
With inventory, Engel said North American retailers 'have held more inventory thus far in 2018 and had an average of 18 percent increase in inventory value held during Cyber Weekend versus 2017. However, the good news for consumers is that retailers are holding the right inventory heading into the holidays. Inventory held in stock that customers are actually seeking online is up an average 6 percent over Cyber Weekend 2018 versus 2017.'
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Like any check-up, dedicating a brief hour to assess the health of your holiday strategy is incredibly valuable. This analysis will shed light on how you are performing so far this season against the holiday benchmarks set by retailers similar to your organisation and highlight the largest areas of opportunity for 2019 performance improvements.
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