Hopefully you were too busy showering your mother with compliments and praise this weekend and you had already purchased your gift for her well in advance. But if you procrastinated or just felt like browsing the weekend sales during family dinner then there were some interesting things to take note of in the retail promotional market. To start with, we can break it down into three overall themes we saw in the ecommerce world:
1. Mother’s Day Weekend
2. Moving away from promotional marketing and into the aspirational
3. Customer loyalty through credit card and rewards program incentives
Let’s take a closer look at the specific sales and marketing activity to understand what this means amidst the greater promotional trends, specifically that last point at number three.
Who was on sale?
The overall average discount amongst top promotional retailers was 38% - hovering slightly higher than the promotional value has been lately. But this number has a catch. In order to receive that extra bit off, customers have to devote their undying loyalty to the retailer. Okay I jest. Not that far, but they do have to participate in the company’s credit card or rewards program to get to that top tier of promotion. Take for instance Urban Outfitters giving 20% off to UO Rewards members all weekend long or the Gap Inc. brands (Gap, Old Navy, etc.) giving 40% off for credit cardmembers as opposed to 30% for all other shoppers.
What did it look like to customers?
For customers, this wasn’t just an exclusive email that gave them a heads-up in their inbox. Marketing across homepages spoke to this incentive.
Just for context, the second theme we identified from this weekend focused on more aspirational marketing messages - devoid of the usual promotional messaging. Juxtaposed to the rewards incentives seen across many retailers, the paired down imagery provides a starch contrast that lets you think of your next wardrobe without the math problem waiting for you at checkout.
So what did this last weekend teach us about promotions?
That retailers are focusing on their customers. In a decidedly un-loyal ecommerce time where customers float from one brand to the next, retailers are attempting to keep customers coming back. It’s a simple math problem: repeat customers means more orders which means more money. In a troubling retail environment, customer retention has become a luxury and a security and with this change in promotional tactic we see retailers longing to get back into this comfort zone.
Sound like a bad relationship? Nah, it’s just the promotional business and we can help you decode it. Check us out here for more info.