Online retailers will push consumers to make more of their holiday purchases earlier with offers of free shipping and accelerated promotional calendars, according to a survey conducted by BIGinsight for the National Retail Federation’s Shop.org division.
More than three in five online retailers — 61.6 percent — will start their holiday marketing and promotion campaigns by Halloween, up from 52.9 percent in the 2011 survey. Responding to a question not asked in last year’s survey, just 10.3 percent will not offer some kind of free shipping during the holiday season.
“More than 89 percent of stores will have some form of free shipping,” Vicki Cantrell, executive director of Shop.org, told WWD. “They may have to buy an extra item to qualify for it, but they’ll be disappointed if they get to the end of the transaction and there isn’t some provision for it.” RELATED STORY: Consumers Less Tense, Still Thrifty, for Holiday >>
She expects a change in the cadence of holiday business as online purchasers, many of them users of flash sites, bring greater urgency to the task of buying holiday gifts, decorations and related items. “They have been educated to the idea of limited-time offers and understand that, if you don’t buy it now, you may not be able to get it, whether it’s the item itself or the deal,” she said. “And they’re not looking at unlimited availability. From everything we’re seeing, retailers’ inventories are much sharper and much tighter than they have been in recent years. You don’t have the option of ‘unlimited product.’”
The survey included detailed responses from 39 retailers, including Internet pure plays. More than five in nine — 56.4 percent — were multichannel retailers who derived more than half their business from brick-and-mortar stores.
While the percentage of retailers offering free standard shipping with conditions such as a minimum purchase amount fell to 37.5 percent from 49 percent in 2011, that was more than offset by the marked rise in those offering free standard shipping without conditions, up to 30 percent from 15.7 percent. The most popular incentive was a coupon offering a certain percentage off, favored by 47.5 percent of respondents versus 43.1 percent a year ago. Besides the free shipping options, the only other promotion to draw more than 30 percent of the sample was limited-time promotions, up to 32.5 percent from 31.4 percent a year ago. Stores were asked to indicate the three promotions behind which they planned to put the greatest emphasis.
When asked how the economy had affected their holiday plans as compared to a year ago, the most popular response was “increased use of Facebook,” garnering a 57.5 percent rating, followed by increased use of Google Product Listing Ads at 52.5 percent, the same share that checked off “same discount schedule as last year.” In descending order of popularity, the next three most popular options were increased use of Pinterest and higher inventory levels, both at 45 percent, and increased use of Twitter, at 40 percent.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion