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How Marketers Can Opt-In to Understanding Holiday Behavior in the New Opt-Out World

Recent changes blocking the tracking of consumer data unless they specifically opt-in has created consternation among the Marketing departments at many companies, who are now unable to track who their shoppers are and where else they are spending their money.  CE Transact data can help, providing demographic information and allowing companies to track shopper behavior both online and offline.  In today’s Insight Flash, we dig into holiday sales for Asos, BaubleBar, and Urban Outfitters Online to understand where else shoppers took their holiday spend, and which age groups were most likely to be lured by Black Friday deals.

One interesting analysis it to try to understand for a given brand, which brands customers also shopped at in a set time period.  This allows marketers to understand where cross-shopping is strongest throughout the holiday season, getting rid of any biases from early versus late shoppers.  Asos saw its highest cross-shop along this dimension among fellow European fashion brands Missguided.com, Bershka, and Boohoo as well as shoe seller Dolce Vita.  Over 7% of Missguided.com and Bershka holiday shoppers also made a purchase at Asos in the same holiday week.  BaubleBar also attracted the highest cross-shop in its own space, with 1.3% of Alex and Ani holiday shoppers also making a purchase from BaubleBar in the same week.  However, its other highest-frequency cross-shop brands were in adjacent categories selling broader apparel – Rent the Runway, Revolve, and Free People.  Customers who shopped Urban Outfitters’s website during the holiday saw the highest cross-shop among smaller brands like Brandy Melville and Princess Polly, as well as sister brand Free People.  Seeing where their customers are also shopping can help retailers understand white space in their own brands and opportunities to increase basket size.

Cross-Purchase by Holiday Week Cohort

Note:  November 22 – December 26, 2021; for a given calendar week, % of x axis listed brand shoppers who also shopped at title brand; only brands with at least five cross-shoppers included; three days added to promotional period to account for credit card data capturing ship date of purchase

Another way to look at cross-shop is to see where customers spent the largest percentage of their wallet over the total holiday season.  Although Amazon, Walmart, and Target tend to be popular cross-shop destinations, indexing by a brand’s overall wallet share can surface smaller competitors that a specific company’s customers are uniquely drawn to.  For instance, Asos shoppers spent almost 300x their holiday wallet at Homesick Candles as the overall population.  BaubleBar shoppers spent 76x at competitor Ring Concierge.  And Urban Outfitters online shoppers weren’t channel loyal – they spent 25x the wallet share of the average shopper also visiting Urban Outfitters brick and mortar locations. 

Share of Wallet Overlap

Note:  Share of wallet for each x-axis brand relative to overall population share of wallet for each x-axis brand November 22 – December 26, 2021; for a given calendar week, x axis brands with less than 0.05% total share of wallet excluded

For many marketers, a key question is not only how much of a shopper’s wallet a particular promotion is capturing, but also which characteristics are being driven to a promotion.  Consumer Edge data provides access to nine different demographic cohorts and granular geographic cuts, allowing for deep dives like which age groups saw the biggest increase in individuals shopping at a brand during a promotional period, and further monitoring of the post-promotional period to see whether that change was solely related to the sale or might be driven by more fundamental changes in brand perception.  For instance, Asos’s Black Friday sale on November 26-27 saw a positive year-over-year change in 25-34 year olds and 55-64 year olds shopping on the site.  However, the 25-34 year olds were more drawn in by other sales later in the holiday, while the 55-64 year olds had a decline in individuals shopping in later periods.  BaubleBar’s promotion gave it a 200% increase in 25-34 year olds shopping the site November 22-30, a wide margin over the growth for the rest of the holiday.  Urban Outfitter’s one-day event on November 26 generated positive growth in the number of 35-44 year olds and 55-64 year olds making a purchase, but the 35-44 year olds showed a smaller decline for the rest of the holiday.

Increase in Purchasers by Age Driven by Promotion

Note:  Post-Sale captures purchases from the end of each retailer’s promotion through December 26, 2021; three days added to promotional period to account for credit card data capturing ship date of purchase