Who is Ready for Holiday Shopping?

To be a profittable omnichannel brand, you have to do it well. Many brands are struggling to do so and with the holidays coming up, they are losing time.  “Omnichannel success requires a three-fold approach that aligns technology, systems and compensation incentives with knowledgeable in-store staff.”

Retailers are having to find new ways to get holiday shoppers to shop in general this year, and they are finding that their holiday sales have been sliced in half. L2 gathered crucial data and found that shoppers who used to go to five stores on average on a mall trip, are now only averaging three. They also found that less teens are shopping at malls because of more teenage unemployment and also “15 percent of items stocked in malls are regularly purchased online.”

Retailers are not only having a difficult time drawing customers into their brick and mortar stores, but are also having a tough time with online shoppers. Many shoppers are leaving websites before fulfilling their web orders. Customers have grown to be more price savvy and compare prices between platforms, or even purchase at an entirely different site. They are also dropping their orders before completion because of high shipping costs. L2 found that this is effecting sales so dramatically that, 60 percent of retailers are switching to one flat rate. 70 percent of retailers offer free express shipping when your order reaches a certain point, such as Tory Burch where you have to spend $300 and Ulta, where you spend $25. Some brands know to compete with Amazon Prime for the holidays and are experimenting with unlimited free shipping.

Social media is also something that retailers know increases sales, with Facebook having the largest audience of on average four million members, Instagram has the most success with 26 times greater interaction rate than Facebook. Retailers are seeing success when they have visible inventory data on websites, but not many are doing so, especially higher end luxury brands, for some reason. In fact,  “44 percent of all luxury good sales  online-influenced, despite only 4 percent being purchased via e-commerce. Implementations cite that customers already expect omnichannel capabilities (62 percent) and that competitors have started to invest (55 percent) –inspiring retailers to play catch-up, fast.”  Saks Fifth Avenue, Guess, Walgreens and Walmart are examples of big hitters that are strong offline and online, with  Coach, Gap, Neiman Marcus and Sephora following tightly behind.  “These brands balance online and offline investments with a focus on consistency across channels, including flexible fulfillment options, strong mobile app experiences, and consumer loyalty programs that facilitate data capture.”

I guess we will see who has the most sales this holiday season, and who isn’t omnichannel ;)