Bolstered by improving consumer confidence and unemployment numbers,
retailers are expressing increased optimism for Black Friday and Cyber
Monday sales. According to a survey of top retail chief marketing
officers by BDO
USA, LLP, retailers project a 3.1 percent increase in sales on Black
Friday. This optimism follows last year's modest projection of 1.6
percent growth, which preceded record sales over Thanksgiving weekend.
In 2011, Cyber Monday marked the biggest online spending day in history,
with sales topping $1.25 billion. While it was followed by several more
billion-dollar online shopping days, retailers expect it will be another
banner event this year. CMOs anticipate a 4.3 percent increase in Cyber
Monday sales, the largest projected increase in the survey’s history.
The optimism surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday aligns with
retailers' broader positivity heading into the holiday shopping season.
However, strong Thanksgiving weekend sales will not come without heavy
promotions. A majority of CMOs (66 percent) expect an uptick in
discounts and promotions this holiday season.
"Retailers have learned to adapt to new consumer realities and shape
them to their advantage," says Ted
Vaughan, partner in the Retail
and Consumer Products practice at BDO
USA, LLP. "Consumers are looking to spend, and retailers are
responding by offering a broad mix of offline and online deals not just
on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but throughout the season.”
These findings are from the most recent edition of the BDO Retail
Compass Survey of CMOs, which examined the
opinions of 100 chief marketing officers at leading retailers located
throughout the country. The retailers in the study are among the largest
in the country, including 20 retailers in the top 100 based on annual
sales revenue. The telephone survey was conducted in September and
October of 2012.
Additional findings of the 2012 BDO Retail Compass Survey of CMOs
Email promotions and free shipping are top online sales triggers. Retailers
are casting a wide net to reach their customers online and will offer a
variety of incentives for online holiday shoppers. Over one-third (34
percent) of survey respondents cite free shipping as their top tactic to
generate online sales, and 31 percent cite email promotions. Now that
“Free Shipping Day” has become a mainstay of the holiday calendar, CMOs
at the top 100 largest retailers by revenue indicate an overwhelming
preference for free shipping promotions. Despite the strain it can place
on margins, 70 percent say they expect it to be their top driver of
online holiday sales.
Retailers hope to bolster sales with in-store-only deals. When
asked which promotional tactic they will focus on to draw customers into
their brick and mortar locations, most retailers (66 percent) identify
in-store exclusive deals. Despite the emerging trends of exclusive
in-store brands and retail partnerships, retailers understand that value
remains a top priority for consumers who are looking to stretch their
dollars as much as possible during the holiday season.
Consumers to receive equal share of online and offline promotions. With
more and more consumers expecting a cohesive brand experience across
multiple platforms, a plurality (44 percent) of retailers say they will
devote equal efforts to online and in-store campaigns. However, getting
shoppers in stores is still a major priority for 41 percent of
retailers, who will focus the majority of their promotional activities
on in-store deals. Consumers can expect to see extended store hours,
doorbusters and loyalty rewards again this year.
The BDO Retail Compass Survey of CMOs is a national
telephone survey conducted by Market Measurement, Inc., an independent
market research consulting firm, whose executive interviewers spoke
directly to chief marketing officers using a telephone survey conducted
within a scientifically-developed, pure random sample of the nation’s
Material discussed in this release is meant to provide general
information and should not be acted on without professional advice
tailored to your firm’s individual needs.
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