Bizrate Insights· Author
Cyber Week typically makes or breaks the holiday season. During this period, Bizrate Insights conducted a complete set of surveys to provide retailers with the voice of customer insights to power both immediate changes and opportunities for growth in the coming year.
During Cyber Week, we analyzed 25 retailers who experienced high holiday sales in various categories. Our analysis helped us gain insights into various factors, such as the availability of free shipping and the extent of discounts offered to shoppers. We also came across some interesting tactics adopted by retailers, which we will highlight in this post.
Retailer Mystery Shopping Sites
Shoppers Dictate Channel Preferences
The channels shoppers use for holiday purchases tell us which ones best meet their needs. 3 in 4 online shoppers agree that pre-Thanksgiving week, they will shop in stores less than usual in favor of online shopping. The retail store must go the extra mile with omnichannel services and in-store experiences to capture shoppers’ attention.
Of course, inquiring minds want to know why shoppers increasingly choose the online channel. As expected – at 71% – it’s better deals that draw them away from brick-and-mortar shops.
Mobile is the device of choice
Almost universally (97%), shoppers use their mobile phones to shop online. Only 1 in 4 used their desktop or laptop, indicating the shift continues to compel investment in the mobile experience.
Early in Cyber Week, we see retailers like Sephora guiding their visitors to their mobile app for special Black Friday previews. This tactic can help grow a business’s customer list during high-traffic periods by leveraging mobile’s essential role in customer retention.
Diving into shopper sentiment on online deals reveals that 30% of survey respondents love them, and 18% of shoppers are driven solely by sales. 17% report that shopping with discounts is more important than in previous years, which could be due to economic conditions. 12% can’t resist a deal, while an additional 12% report having more restraint and only taking advantage of the deal if they already planned to buy an item.
Dick’s Sporting Goods had deals that reached up to 50% off. On average, the 21 retailers who extended discounts offered a 39% reduction to their customers. Their Best Price Guarantee instilled confidence by promising to match lower prices.
Free Shipping Is Covered
During Cyber Week, retailers heavily leverage free shipping, the most popular promotion among customers. 21% offered free shipping with no minimum. The largest group (45%) required a minimum purchase amount with an average of $52. Another area of interest is the 32% of retailers who offered free shipping as part of a membership program, a surefire way to build one’s audience. Lululemon offers free shipping for orders of any size, even taking it further with extended returns.
Cyber Week creative gallery
Beyond promotions, this gallery looks at how retailers get creative to inspire and engage shoppers. Retailers like Aerie embrace the Friendsgiving trend, which is very much in keeping with their younger target audience. Their 40% off promotion on leggings and tops is a category-centric approach that avoids extending discounts on the entire site.
Best Buy highlights its wide and diverse inventory with the clever headline, “Yes, Best Buy has that.” Their biggest promotion was prominently displayed on their homepage, with a discount of 35%.
Fat Brain Toys, a specialty retailer, leverages technology to help shoppers find the perfect gift. A series of attributes from gender, age, price, and even country of origin are included to customize the experience and deliver targeted results. They offer free shipping on orders over $99, though there was no home page promotion of this highly-valued feature.
Nike uses a clever “holiday hall of fame” metaphor pointing shoppers to winning gifts sure to inspire athletes looking to be their best. Their membership program offers free shipping, and the site boasts 60% off must-have holiday gifts.
On the Monday of Cyber Week, retailers were ready as never before; 84% at least mentioned Black Friday. Only Fat Brain Toys, Lego, The North Face, and Urban Outfitters waited until the holidays got closer.
The retailers make choices about which holidays will be promoted throughout Cyber Week. Instead of offering a week-long cyber promotion, Target featured a traditional Black Friday offer leading up to the weekend when they will likely shift to Cyber Monday tactics.
Alternatively, Fanatics has an early Cyber Monday sale as its leading message with a strong discount sitewide of up to 65%.
If you post it, they will come
It’s important to remember that mobile shoppers are usually in a hurry compared to those on desktops. They constantly scan the web for the best deals and prefer free shipping. Online shopping has become the go-to option for shoppers, as they are attracted to the various promotions that retailers have to offer. Here’s hoping you have the perfect mix of deals to satisfy your shoppers for the rest of the year.