April showers bring May…. sales? Seems like it. We already know that the US retail market is incredibly promotional. But we also know that it is predictable in terms of themes and cadence. So, as we are approaching May’s significant holiday time period (Mother’s Day on May 14th! Call your mom!) we know that we should brace ourselves for a few good sales. But what does that liminal period look like before the holiday, and what does it look for retailers that aren’t targeting towards “moms”?
Who Was on Sale?
Answering these questions is difficult to do when looking at the promotions themselves. Since a coupon code and free shipping have become the default settings of ecommerce in the United States, you can’t get the full picture from the fine print. But just for research’s sake let’s look at the details. The average promotional value this weekend hovered around 36% across top retailers in the industry. We also seemed to be a little “extra” heavy in the coupon specifics. Otherwise, we don’t get the full story here when trying to understand the promotional landscape right before Mother’s Day. That’s where we have to go to the marketing activity.
How did they tell us?
Homepages and emails from over the weekend give us that “Aha!” moment. We do see two directions in speaking to the customers and giving promotions life - what draws us in and makes us want to purchase beyond just the number taken off in your cart. The first is Mother’s Day marketing. More mid-market, multi-category retailers spoke to gifting and general “mom” themes.
The second direction was more focused on category specifics, for the people who may just be a “cat mom” and may be purchasing something special for themselves. This promotional activity was targeted within shoes, dresses, rompers, and other more exciting additions to your wardrobe for a fun little splurge.
What can we learn from this past week’s promotions?
Sometimes, seeing through the promotional clutter requires a marketer’s eye. Looking at an actual promotion on paper does not give you the full picture. We have reached a point where retailers are offering multiple promotions at once to drive targeted traffic and engagement. So what is important? Look at the marketing real estate. That is valuable space. If a promotion is not featured on the homepage or email, then it may not be a significant volume driver in the retailer’s eyes. It may also be an opportunity from a competitive perspective to highlight what other’s have not.
So, want that eagle eye into the full promotional story? We’ve got the scoop. Check us out here.