According to Google Trends – from 2013-2015, the term “labor day” is usually searched in March, increases in May, then exponentially peaks in August. Historical consumer behavior suggests that retailers should plan marketing strategies in March and launch promotions in August.
Second to Black Friday, Labor Day is considered one of the most popular shopping holidays. Some shoppers argue that Labor Day deals aren’t worth it and prefer to wait until Black Friday instead. However, the advantage in fashion and apparel is that styles are constantly changing. With that, consumers react quickly to promotions so they can be up to date with the most recent trends. Even though Labor Day promotions may not be as deep as Black Friday deals, it is still a great opportunity to generate sales.
With Fall fast approaching, consumers aren’t on the lookout for deep discounts on out of season deals like swimwear or shorts. Instead, give the customer something to be excited about. Offer a friends and family promotion on recent trends – ‘new arrivals’ and in season products that will entice customers without compromising your margin.
Creative Marketing – Email & Social Media
Since the holiday is associated with spending time with loved ones, retailers have traditionally passed out flyers hoping customers will spread the word to their friends and family. In digital marketing, the equivalent of ‘spreading the word’ is shared through e-mail and social media.
E-mails drive both in-store and eCommerce sales. In 2013, Friends and Family based promotions increased average order values and generated nearly twice the revenue compared to other promotional emails.
According to 2014 statistics from Social Times, it has been observed that social sharing buttons integrated into promotional e-mails can increase click-through-rates by 160%. 75% of consumers say that purchasing decisions are influenced by social media. With that if companies are prompt in their responses, 71% of consumers are most likely to refer the brand to friends and family.
These compelling statistics suggest that promotional e-mails that incorporate social media to advertise provide an opportunity to reach out to a bigger audience. Social media helps facilitate customer engagement with the brand, allowing the opportunity to increase brand visibility and sales.
Measuring Product Performance
At the beginning of each season, retailers plan how many mark-downs and promotions they can allow in order to remain profitable. Dependent on the business model, various cost, demand, and production factors are taken into consideration.
Large retailers typically have the ability to plan pre-season and adjust accordingly in-season with reliable historical data. In contrast, off-price and fast fashion retailers are more reactive to sales performance. Furthermore, styles and inventory levels are constantly changing within a 4-6 week time frame, making it difficult to consistently measure performance.
Most retailers push outerwear and Fall apparel during the months of July and August. The timing is appropriate because it allows a few weeks to introduce new arrivals, track regular priced sales and see how certain products sell through.
Depending on the nature of your business, data on seasonal products can be erratic. Sales are usually stable and predictable within a 4-8 week time frame, however, for some businesses, 2-4 weeks of data can be sufficient.