On September 8th, we hosted our annual Q4 webinar Behind the Cash Back. Our panel of experts discussed strategies to drive holiday shopping during the busiest, and most opportunistic, time of year. The insight packed hour included:
- New insight into shopper behavior and trends in retail and ecommerce.
- Actionable planning and targeting strategies to drive shopping and customer loyalty this season.
- The impact of Cash Back, data targeting and personalization strategies in bridging acquisition and re-engagement strategies to retention and loyalty.
Shopper behavior has changed the approach to the retail calendar
The past two holiday seasons have presented an interesting challenge for brands and retailers. This season brings new learning to familiar themes, as well as new opportunity.
As weather recent economic changes and uncertainty, brands and retail find new opportunity in a fresh approach to the retail calendar, stemming from four critical changes shopping behavior.
October kickoff is official
In 2021, 30% of consumers started their shopping in October. The pandemic amplified early shopping and the pull forward of holiday calendar. Retailers and brands adjusted their plans to meet consumer demand and address inventory concerns, by offering early discounting in October and November. The calendar is hereto stay.
With Amazon’s recent announcement of Prime Early Access, shoppers will expect more deals to surface and will seek adjacent retail events
- Brand challenge – Brands must be in market with offers by October 1st , but the foundation is built in Q3.
- The opportunity – Use Q3 to drive new-to-file and re-engage lapsed shoppers to build a bigger, active CRM heading into Q4. Elevate Cash Back to capture active shoppers, seeking the best deal.
Always on shopping
Q4 ecommerce will grow by 15.5% to $235.8B this year. The acceleration of ecommerce over past two years has disrupted traditional shopper behavior from event-based to always-on. Consumers will expect to find a holiday deal, whenever they are searching for one.
- Brand challenge – Aligning promotions to the traditional retail calendar is no longer enough to drive purchase or brand loyalty.
- The opportunity – Maintain a consistent offer to meet customer demand for deals. Use Cash Back as a lever to drive full price efficiently for the business with also offering discounts.
Longer & flatter retail calendar
Brands and retailers are looking at a longer, flatter holiday calendar that is less concentrated around the 5 cyber days. With the introduction of October Prime Day, Thanksgiving Day store closures, and the pull forward to the retail calendar, consumers don’t need to concentrate their spending around the traditional tentpoles. 61% of 2021 holiday shopping happened before Thanksgiving.
- Brand challenge – The new retail calendar is less concentrated around the Cyber Days. Consumers will shop the Cyber Days, but they will not be the only days that matter.
- The opportunity – Strategically leverage the moments before and after the Cyber Days to win shoppers before the tentpoles, drive 2nd and 3rd purchases, and build loyalty.
Omni-channel is table stakes
Ecommerce is still growing but stores are also showing positive momentum again. Brick-and-mortar retail will account for $1 Trillion this season, and services like Curbside pickup will account for nearly 10% of total retail ecommerce over the next 3 years.
- Brand challenge – Consumers expect frictionless, omnichannel shopping experiences.
- The opportunity – Seamless, customer-first engagement strategies that deliver connectivity, convenience and availability will win shoppers.
Actionable opportunity for brands and retailers
Brands are met with an opportunity to capture their share of wallets and shoppers,
as well as a challenge to retain customers. To effectively and efficiently meet the opportunity-challenge, successful brands will focus on programs and tactics that bridge acquisition and re-engagement strategies to retention and loyalty.
Make Cash Back an integral part of your marketing mix. Cash Back impacts shopper behavior from acquisition to conversion, building loyalty and long-term customer value.
Because Cash Back is data-driven and elastic, taking factors such as seasonality, competition and shopper behavior into account, Rakuten is able to work with you to determine the most effective and efficient rates to activate and retain customers across their shopper journey.
Read Rakuten’s full Q4 Playbook here.