Digital Merchandising for BFCM 2019 - Vertebrae

Digital Merchandising for BFCM 2019

How to Maximize Your Holiday Sales Strategy in Time for Code Freeze

Back to school sales are still available and retailers are already planning for Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) 2019.  It is, afterall, one of the biggest retail events of the year. Much like the last few years, we expect spending overall to increase. Cyber Monday is projected to bring in more than $9B. Meanwhile, Thanksgiving lands on November 28th this year, meaning a closer proximity to the Christmas holiday. Shoppers will be looking for those doorbuster deals they’re used to seeing, as well as finding sales to fit their holiday shopping lists. So how can retailers maximize their opportunities to win with consumers during the holiday season?  Let’s take a stroll through what happened during BFCM 2018 for a better understanding of what we’re up against and the opportunities to maximize sales before BFCM code freeze this year.

BFCM 2018 Key Insights & What They Mean for 2019

Black Friday/Cyber Monday actually consists of 4 full days of epic sales and spending, including Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Sunday (no special name, but still important), and Cyber Monday.  Last year Cyber Monday took the lead as the biggest eCommerce day, with Black Friday being a close second. Last year, that aforementioned Sunday brought in $3.38B, which was more than Small Business Saturday’s total by $360M.

Multi-channel shopping was preferred in 2018, with 54% of consumers moving across devices and channels before making a purchase. We believe this is largely due to the research process. Today’s consumers want more information, and with holiday sales in sight, consumers are starting their analysis now if they haven’t already.

According to CNBC, more than 40% of shoppers begin their December holiday shopping before Halloween.

Retailers with a focus on making product details and value readily accessible across the purchase journey are likely to have a competitive advantage.

Empowering Consumer Research

Consumer access to product information comes in many forms: reviews, imagery, video, in-store experiences, and of course, 3D & AR experiences. While a comprehensive BFCM strategy is in order, a few key decisions must be made first:

  • What will you promote this BFCM?  Which products will make the most impact?
  • How will you share your promotions with shoppers?
  • What work is required to be ready for holiday sales before code freeze?

The first question is something that can only be answered by each company internally, based on a variety of factors like metrics from last year, product and campaign specific KPIs, and so on. Now let’s dive into the second question about sharing promotional information. As we mentioned earlier, multi-channel shopping is on the rise. Email has been the BFCM champion for years, bringing in 24% of sales last year. Additionally, data shows that consumer research takes place everywhere from in-app to social channels to in-store to online, and has the power to change a shopper’s mind about a given product or brand. Consequently, retailers should prioritize empowering consumers with access to product information at every touchpoint.

This is where implementing 3D & AR commerce comes in. Immersive product experiences are information packed, providing physical interactivity and the context of real life – eliminating the need for consumers to head to the store to gauge physical product details. Furthermore, activating an immersive product experience anywhere your consumers are is now possible. These experiences can be distributed across email, social media, paid media, in-app, online, and via QR code. Given that immersive commerce is ubiquitous with building consumer confidence and increasing conversion, implementing these experiences across the purchase journey is a no brainer. This brings us to our final question.

Thanks to technological advances made by Apple and Google to enable 3D & AR across devices, immersive commerce is available everywhere via the same 3D assets. Leveraging a new form of media may sound like an undertaking, but with the right technology partner, integration is quick and painless, averaging 2-4 weeks to go live. Vertebrae’s Axis CMS ensures optimal exposure of 3D assets, as well as conversion and quality support. Axis is a one-stop-shop for 3D and AR experience organization, optimization, distribution, and measurement. Retailers need only to sync their product feed with Axis to start managing and planning their immersive commerce strategy, all from one place. Built for multiple distribution points in collaboration with leading technology and hardware partners, Axis enables 3D & AR commerce experiences online, in-app, on Facebook and Instagram, in Google Search, and in paid media.

More importantly, the results of 3D & AR commerce are dramatic. Online-only retailer, Tenth Street Hats saw a 52% increase in conversion and a 41.8% increase in revenue per user after implementing 3D & AR product experiences on their site.  Overall, users were 2.2x more likely to purchase after experiencing a Tenth Street Hats product in 3D & AR.

As immersive shopping experiences head toward ubiquity, consumers will expect and prioritize retailers facilitating the purchase journey with 3D & AR implementations. To compete during BFCM 2019, innovation is key, and now might just be the time to go for it.

For a deeper dive into BFCM 2018, check out our Insights & Highlights Recap from last year.  To learn more about getting started with 3D & AR commerce today, connect via the button below.

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