As predicted, Black Friday will look a good bit different than previous years – but it’s not all doom and gloom. This is a time of opportunity for brands ready to take online by storm, and many are. And we’ll show you how!
Using consumer and market intelligence we’ll explore:
- The holy trinity – Amazon, Target and Walmart – how they’ve mastered our new online shopping experience
- Where we’re seeing direct-to-consumer (DTC) becoming king, as brands decide to become more accessible to customers
- And how DTC is found in the lap of luxury these days as well, with Louis Vuitton offering a case in point
As always, there are statistics to round out our understanding of this market:
- DTC brands seized 18% more market share this year over last, while native brick-and-mortar shops plummeted
- DTC sales are forecasted to account for $17.75 billion of total ecommerce sales in 2020; up 24.3% from 2019.
- 77% of consumers view brands more positively if they seek out and utilize customer feedback
2020 has turned into a game of agility and adaptation – and the three biggest names in the game are its top players.
Amazon, Target & Walmart Master the Online Universe
DTC sales are forecasted to account for $17.75 billion of total ecommerce sales in 2020 and most consumers have already seen at least one commercial advertising Black Friday sales beginning now – and it’s a trend you can expect to see both in store and online.
The timeline of conversation around DTC sales shows which subjects are trending and when, helping brands to easily spot emerging trends in their segment. Customer Experience continues to be a common theme throughout the past month, and Black Friday Sales is currently growing.
And everyone’s favorite trend-setting retail store, Target, has leashed its pony to the ecommerce wagon. In the first quarter of 2020 Target’s digital sales climbed 141% with same-day services growing twice as fast. It’s no wonder they began offering Black Friday deals early and online. And they’re adopting price matching for the season, something their big competition, Walmart, does regularly and with success – proving you don’t have to be a first mover if you have the tools to read the room.
And consumer and market intelligence supports offering these early deals, as consumers are looking to purchase from brands with the me-to-we mindset. How does this relate? Spreading out Black Friday sales to combat large crowds and making them ecommerce accessible is key to pleasing pandemic-wary consumers.
But that’s not the sum of the conversation, as there’s lots more discussed online right now to inform these DTC efforts. To dig in, we can explore top companies mentioned and the context surrounding each.
Company Dataset Provides Consumer & Market Intelligence Context
Walmart didn’t become a leader in retail without business acumen. And it shows, with a pandemic pivot that resulted in their 2020 ecommerce sales alone toppling 21.5 billion USD. They’ve learned to use consumer sentiment as a guide. And this year, consumer sentiment is spelled O-N-L-I-N-E. To accommodate, Walmart has been running holiday sales since early October.
And then ecommerce leader Amazon has online sales predicted to rise 17.2% to $260.86 billion—4 percentage points higher than expected. And social listening reveals why their sales are soaring. Everyone seems to love them, not only for their sales but for their service and commercials.
Amazon is doing a great job taking the consumer experience, and purchase path into consideration from beginning to end.
And that is what’s driving DTC sales in general. As more consumers look to connect with the brands they buy from, more brands are meeting this demand and making their mark both in-store and online.
DTC Brands Making Their Mark
DTC marketing brands seized 18% more market share this year over 2019. While native brick-and-mortar shops plummeted, DTC has opened up the doors for any brand bold enough to step through.
Market intelligence and consumer intelligence are both critical to brands trying to work out what consumers want, as their wants and needs have changed dramatically during the pandemic. Also? They’re sure to change again, so social media monitoring is now table stakes too.
Social media analysis keeps brands on-point and captures these changes in real-time. Applying a personal narrative theme, which captures consumer posts of ‘I love’ and ‘I wish’ to our search is powerful. It locates what consumers want when shopping for clothes, and what they’d like to see. And for Adidas (for example), it’s more shirts like the one pictured:
As we know, 77% of consumers view brands more positively if they seek out and utilize customer feedback, capturing this sort of consumer intelligence and offering precisely what consumers want is vital.
Knowing what your consumers are thinking helps brands create more genuine connections that increase loyalty – and that’s a long-term goal every brand strives for. In fact, this Black Friday will be as much about nurturing those connections as it will be about sales. Or it should be!
And even haute couture brands are focused on connected with DTC tactics – and Louis Vuitton is among them, leading the way.
A Land for Luxury – Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton, the most valuable luxury brand in the world, played trendsetter and hero when they began producing hand sanitizer out of their perfume factories when the pandemic first hit. LV knew the power of adaptation and rolled with the punches, earning the praise of consumers everywhere. From the start, they’ve been offering hope, exemplifying solidarity and switching narratives from ‘me to we’…and they haven’t stopped yet.
And they’re no newbie when it comes to DTC sales and how to connect with consumers. This post from Louis Vuitton, acknowledging that people are restless to travel and helping them do so by great photography, is one example of their consumer savvy:
And social media listening shows the brand’s efforts are being received well by consumers, as evidenced by this little write up in Senatus, a lifestyle magazine:
Or this one from Tumblr:
Perhaps LV knew that 67% of consumers want to take a vacation and aren’t sure they’ll actually be able to travel. And this prompted them to produce timely advertisements to help these longing consumers dream. That understanding has propelled LV through this pandemic and will continue to.
And just as Louis Vuitton did, brands need to be able not only adapt but connect with consumers in meaningful ways. The only thing for sure in this world is change, and as 2020 has proven, it happens every other day. Be ready, armed with the best that consumer and market intelligence can offer – and reach out for a demo to experience the potential!