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the e-tailing group & neustar webinar Countdown to a Creative & Profitable Selling Season. August 17, 2010. The Voice of Cross-Channel Merchandising Straight talk from “in-the-trenches” online merchandising experts. 15 years e-commerce consulting Author, It’s Just Shopping

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the e tailing group neustar webinar countdown to a creative profitable selling season

the e-tailing group & neustarwebinarCountdown to a Creative& Profitable Selling Season

August 17, 2010

slide2
The Voice of Cross-Channel MerchandisingStraight talk from “in-the-trenches” online merchandising experts
  • 15 years e-commerce consulting
  • Author, It’s Just Shopping
  • 50+ years traditional retail and catalog experience
  • Fortune 500 client projects ranging from strategic planning, merchandising, marketing, to technology development and messaging
  • Cross-category projects spanning specialty retail to departments
  • Proprietary research studies on mystery shopping, merchandising and consumer behavior
holiday forecast cautious optimism
Holiday Forecast-Cautious Optimism
  • Q1 ecommerce sales grew by 6%1 while forecasts suggest annual growth of 10% a year through 2013 2
  • US retail sales are only poised to see 3-4% gains3
  • Consumers will still be frugal this holiday season so deal seekers will be on the prowl
  • Christmas falls on a Saturday so retailers have 29 days to market post Thanksgiving
  • Consumers shop across a range of retailers online from Amazon to Zappos so competition will remain fierce where multi-channel merchants will likely have an edge due to their significant investments
  • Today’s consumers are increasingly choosing to both research and shop via the web so cross-channel investments will continue to pay off where mobile and social will begin to take hold

1) comScore 2)eMarketer 3)NRF

the primary reasons for shopping online are still convenience and savings
The primary reasons for shopping online are stillconvenience and savings

Mindset of a Multichannel Shopper Study; 2009

Q17

the e tailing group 100 4q09
the e-tailing group 100 4Q09

1-800-flowers Diapers.com King Arthur Flour Sephora

Aeropostale Dick’s Sporting Goods Kohl’s Shop NBC

Amazon .com Discovery Channel L.L. Bean Shop PBS

American Girl Drs Foster & Smith Lamps Plus Skecher’s

Apple Drugstore.com Lancôme USA Solutions

Armani Exchange eBags.com Lands’ End Sony Style

Aveda EBGames Lego Staples

Bare Necessities eToys Lowes Sundance

Barnes & Noble Famous Footwear Macy’s Target

Bass Pro Forever 21 MoMa The Avenue

Bath & Body Works Frontgate New Egg The Children’s Place

Bed Bath & Beyond Gaiam Nordstrom The Container Store

BEST BUY Gap Office Depot The Home Depot

Blue Nile Gardener’s Supply Orvis Things Remembered

Bluefly Garnet Hill Overstock Toys ‘R Us

Borders Giggle PetSmart Under Armour

Brooks Brothers Godiva Polo Urban Outfitters

Brookstone Golfsmith Pottery Barn Victoria’s Secret

Buy.com Green Mountain QVC Vitamin Shoppe

Cabela’s Harry & David Radio Shack Walgreen’s

Clinique HP Home & Home Office RedEnvelope Wal-Mart

Coach HSN REI Williams-Sonoma

Cooking.com iRobot Road Runner Sports Wine.com

Crate & Barrel J.Crew Saks Fifth Avenue Zales

Crutchfield JCPenney Sears Zappos

employ essentials
Employ Essentials
  • One-stop shopping for gift giving
  • Price-point links
  • Recipient segmentation
  • Gift card touted as “the gift that always fits”
  • Holiday delivery timing
suggestively sell your products provide promotional offers to close the sale
Suggestively Sell Your Products & Provide Promotional Offers To Close The Sale
  • Selection and value with, “Hundreds of gifts under $50!” messaging
  • Gift card sweepstakes
  • Free shipping designated on holiday décor and specified product
the gift card should keep on giving
The Gift Card Should Keep on Giving
  • 90% of the EG100 currently making them available on their sites
  • Consumers prefer choice relative to type and redemption option
    • 90% offer to mail the card
    • 60% offer digital delivery (unfortunately)
  • Cross-channel redemption optimal so merchants should strive to accommodate both format and channel flexibility
personalize and customize gift cards
Personalize and Customize Gift Cards
  • 1 in 5 merchants offered custom capability in 2009
  • 1/3 of consumers spent between $50 and $200 total on gift cards purchased online-BigResearch-4Q09
  • An array of engaging house designs available
  • Design your own card
enable group gifting
Enable Group Gifting
  • Best Buy gets creative with their Pitch In™ Card. It’s a hybrid between a gift card and a wish list that enables group gifting.
  • Shoppers simply sign up for a free card
  • Friends/family can add funds at any time
  • Recipient can draw from for purchases on the site
innovation via mobile giftcards and giftcoins
Innovation via Mobile GiftCards and GiftCoins
  • Target’s customers can take advantage of two more innovative gift card options:
  • Mobile GiftCards- save their gift card to their phone to check balances and make in-store purchases
  • GiftCoins in denominations of $5 sold in-store only in bags of five for $25 making them ideal as “small gifts, rewards or prizes.”
give clear directions for wish list use
Give Clear Directions for Wish List Use
  • Relative to value ranking of website gifting features consumers gave wish lists 2nd billing behind only gift centers
  • 4Q09 Mystery Shopping penetration up from 49% to 56%
  • One can quickly find, create or update a wish list
  • Tips are wisely shared including cross-channel wish list creation capabilities
  • Helpful links are merchandising-driven beginning with top sellers
  • Subsequent options help find the right product by age and category
showcase top sellers top rated
Showcase Top Sellers & Top Rated

Customer ratings/ reviews were the most important capability for retailers to have on their websites when it comes to selecting and purchasing product

PowerReviews/e-tailing group 2010 Social Shopping Study

inspire with creative promotions
Inspire with Creative Promotions
  • Out-of-the box thinking is mandatory to compete with the savviest of merchants
  • Test and Tweak in the 4th Quarter to see what resonates with your customers
an array of promotional tactics is sure to appeal
An Array of Promotional Tactics is Sure to Appeal
  • Bath&BodyWorks : $10 and Under Stocking Stuffers + Santa’s Secret Sale
  • 6 value-priced products with links to more
  • Prime real estate devoted to holiday shipping cut-off dates
  • Online only sale with rotating offers
  • $3 shipping on orders of $50 or more
  • Purchase-with-purchase
daily deals generate impulse buying
Daily Deals Generate Impulse Buying
  • Over a 4-day campaign Discovery Store’s home page presents 3 deals a day
  • Sneak peak of tomorrow’s deals fosters return visits
  • Floorline links facilitate easy shopping for holiday gifts
buy more save more in time for christmas
Buy More/Save More – In Time For Christmas
  • Bluefly: 12/19/09 email
  • SAVE Up to 65% + $2 Two-Day
  • Shipping – In Time for Christmas!
  • Guaranteed delivery by Christmas
  • 2-day shipping only $2.00
  • Enticement of new designer shoes starting at 20% off
optimize outlets clearance events
Optimize Outlets & Clearance Events
  • Frontgate: 12/11/09 email
  • Save up to 50%: All New Holiday
  • Reductions!
  • Over 100 holiday items just added
  • Reductions to 50%
  • Organized by department
tout free shipping benefits
Tout Free Shipping Benefits
  • 40% of 4Q09 EG100 merchants offered free shipping tying it to a dollar threshold (i.e. free shipping on orders over $100)
  • 47% made that same offer based on a pre-designated product selection
  • Urban Outfitters Creative Free Shipping Email
  • Free Returns and Exchanges highlighted
  • Stocking Stuffer link for impulse buying
put a promotional calendar in place around key dates
Put a Promotional Calendar in Place Around Key Dates
  • From Black Friday to Cyber Monday and post-Christmas have a calendar of promotions ready to put in to action
  • Include promotions for early-bird selling through holiday clearance sales which are an important source of year-end traffic
  • Early January is an opportune time to showcase new products in hopes of maintaining margin during this heavy markdown period
  • Augment gifting tactics with targeted onsite placement during the fourth-quarter

4Q09 Top Revenue Days

choose visibility tactics based on the importance of gifting to your overall business
Choose Visibility Tactics Based on the Importance of Gifting to Your Overall Business

Visibility tactics can include any or all of the following:

  • Gift certificate positioned in universal navigation and select other locations
  • Top navigation link with holiday color or with holiday design treatment
  • Recommendations of gift product, services or tools from the home page to the product page or via shopping cart
  • .
after early bird october tactics post thanksgiving cyber monday kicks off the online season
After Early-bird October Tactics, Post-thanksgiving Cyber Monday Kicks Off The Online Season
  • Online-only exclusive deals
  • Limited-time offers kick-off a 25-day customer communication program
  • Traditional standards from Buy More/Save More to take an extra percentage off one’s total purchase
  • Gift center access
reinforce year round opportunities
Reinforce Year-round Opportunities

Secure visibility onsite via navigation and key page placement

add timely last minute messaging from the home page to the gift center to checkout
Add Timely “Last Minute” Messaging from the Home Page to the Gift Center to Checkout
  • Lego’sgift center is a prime example of how to incorporate this information
  • Holiday shipping cut-off dates top the page
  • A holiday countdown re-enforces the urgency to buy now
  • A gift card feature provides excellent suggestive selling for the undecided
last minute selling strategies drive revenues
Last MinuteSelling StrategiesDrive Revenues
  • Forever 21 aggregates value prices with gifts under $20
  • Message to timely delivery
  • Supported with Free standard shipping
  • Free upgrade to expedited shipping when orders are placed by 12/21
extend shipper options at the last minute
Extend Shipper Options at the Last Minute
  • Crate & Barrel extends shipper options with a “2-day gift countdown”
  • Free shipping, a gift card promotion, and a link to last minute gifts
  • Holiday and gift card links are visible in seasonal colors
  • Annual furniture clearance starting the day after Christmas noted
  • Localized effort with closest store to encourage shoppers to visit before and after the holidays
plant the idea of sending gift cards with reminders throughout the site and via email
Plant the Idea of Sending Gift Cards with Reminders Throughout the Site and via Email
  • Crutchfield boldly expresses the need and the solution in this email sent on 12/23/09 with the subject line, “There’s still time: e-mail gift cards still available”
  • Execution is clear from the headline “Need a present? Problem solved” Headline
  • December 24th deadline for e-gift cards
  • Card visual showing available denominations
  • Express shipping cut-off dates accompany a link for last minute gifts
  • Toll-free phone number for personal touch
when in doubt drive traffic in store
When In Doubt Drive Traffic In-store

42% of US retail sales were accounted for or influenced by the web

  • Incentivize on total Purchase
  • Reinforce rewards
  • Highlight social links

Forrester Research

include merchandising in post order communications to boost year end sales
Include Merchandising in Post-Order Communications To Boost Year-End Sales
  • HSN’s comprehensive onsite order confirmation includes a right-hand column with three product suggestions based on “customers who bought this item also bought…”
  • At the bottom of the page 3 banners in holiday red/green offer 3 more suggestive selling messages to promote a charity tie-in, gift cards, and a contest.
circle back with post christmas cheer
Circle Back with Post-Christmas Cheer
  • Reminding recipients to use gift cards particularly post-Christmas
customer service should be a differentiator
Customer Service Should be a Differentiator
  • Strong customer service starts with onsite tools that can be self-service in nature starting with comprehensive contact information coupled with complete details delineated by FAQs
  • Ensure that your customer service representatives respond swiftly to all email queries and are well trained in both product knowledge and corporate protocol
  • Customers have heightened expectations that often stem from last minute purchasing; communicate quickly and clearly when out-of-stock situations arise
  • Deliver in a timely fashion; 4Q09 delivery time on orders placed via standard delivery was 4.05 days and sophisticated sellers will push this time
slide33

Customer assistance “top 2 ratings” for importance whenbuying gifts online find that accessible contact information(ideally toll free) and access to one’s cart at all timessmooth shopping experiences

Q20

Insert MarketLive Logo

marry customer service merchandising
Marry Customer Service & Merchandising
  • Williams-Sonoma’s order confirmation
  • Clear links to track one’s order
  • Visible 800#
  • Customer service hours of operation
  • All occasion Gift Card touted
  • What’s New in Store drives cross-channel traffic and preserves margin
the e tailing group holiday readiness checklist
the e-tailing group Holiday Readiness Checklist
  • Review your current 4Q plan including performance metrics from last holiday season
  • Brainstorm with your entire team and re-prioritize your promotions and gifting strategies based on current business trends
  • Get creative developing compelling tactics that inspire customers to spend freely
  • Build-out a calendar that includes all key selling dates and associated merchandising strategies from early-bird to post-holiday
  • Evaluate all potential marketing tools taking advantage of traditional tactics including email to more forward thinking social strategies that foster reach
  • Test tactics early in order to revisit as the season swings into full gear
  • Focus on having products in-stock and when that is not possible communicate with customers about back-order status
  • Institute and/or upgrade your gift card offerings to ideally offer them electronically as well as via mail with redemption in all selling channels
  • Assess if wish list functionality is appropriate for your site and your customers
  • Make delivering best-in-class customer service a priority year-round
thank you
Thank You
  • Lauren Freedman
  • President, the e-tailing group
  • LF@e-tailing.com
  • 773-975-7280