Tag Archives: ecommerce

Holiday Shopping: Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2022

Black Friday has become almost another holiday for consumers – and a challenge for marketers.  After two years shopping online, people were ready to go back to the stores.

The day after Thanksgiving saw millions of American consumers hit the stores and malls. In pre-pandemic years it was wild with crowds of shoppers piled into big box stores and malls for doorbuster promotions. But fewer people were out shopping early this year. Probably because retailers were offering Black Friday (early) deals in October to entice earlier holiday purchases (and lighten excess inventory).

Sales at brick-and-mortar stores grew roughly 18%; online purchases were up nearly 4%. Cyber Monday was definitely the biggest shopping day online with sales of $11.3 billion, an increase of 5.8% from 2021.

According to the National Retail Federation shopping survey, top gift categories are clothing, gift cards, and toys. But the national economy has an impact on spending, with most households planning to buy fewer gifts this year.

Some additional shopping highlights:

  • Shoppers spent an average of $325.44 on holiday purchases.
  • Overall shopping increased 8% from 2021.
  • Roughly 197 million shoppers visited stores or bought online between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
  • Traffic in physical stores increased 17% from 2021.
  • Online spending reached more than $9 billion on Black Friday.
  • Online shoppers increased only 2.3% from 2021.

Despite inflation fears, we still like to give gifts.

What did you buy?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the changes in U.S. consumers’ shopping habits now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted.
  2. Poll students: What new shopping habits have the students formed?
  3. Where do they shop? Why? Online and in person?
  4. Show WSJ’s photos/article about the changes in store for Black Friday shopping: https://www.wsj.com/story/black-friday-is-back-with-smaller-crowds-5e22045b?mod=Searchresults_pos7&page=1
  5. Poll students about their shopping over Thanksgiving Week – Cyber Monday.
  6. Divide students into teams.
  7. In teams, have students tally how much they spent, which products were sought after, etc. See which teams are the biggest spenders.
  8. Have each team design a holiday sales promotion for a company of their choosing.

Source: Nassauer, S. (29 November 2022). Black Friday weekend drew millions of shoppers back to stores. Wall Street Journal.: WSJ Staff (25 November 2022). Black Friday is back, with smaller crowds. Wall Street Journal.

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Peloton Now Available on Amazon

Like many other direct-to-consumer companies, Peloton did great during the pandemic. Its sales were at an all-time high and the company couldn’t keep up with demand. Peloton sold only through its own retail stores and online – no other distribution channel. This model allowed Peloton to keep a larger portion of the sales price, but the narrow distribution hampered sales and delivery. It just couldn’t keep up with demand.

But now things have changed in retail, and changed for Peloton in particular. In a move designed to expand its customer base and sell more product, its fitness equipment and apparel will now be available from Amazon. This is the first such partnership for Peloton’s distribution channel.

The Peloton bike retails for $1,445 – a pretty large sum for a product on Amazon. Also on Amazon, Peloton will sell its strength product, the Peloton Guide, for $295 plus branded cycling shorts, weights, yoga blocks, and other apparel. (At this time, the more expensive Bike+ and Tread treadmill are not available on Amazon.) Bike customers can now select a self-assembly option instead of having Peloton staff assemble and install the Bike.

Peloton is not the only company expanding its sales from DTC to brick-and-mortar stores. Consider Warby Parker and Allbirds; both companies started by selling products online only, but have now expanded to their own stores and other retailers.

Where will you purchase?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. In order to be successful, companies must be able to physically get a product into the hands of the customers. Discuss how a distribution channel works.
  2. For Peloton Bike, what distribution channels are used now?
  3. How can the channel be expanded? What approach could be used?
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a flow chart for the distribution of the product.
  5. View Peloton’s store on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Peloton/page/08F7A78F-F893-478F-975C-27223FD08B5F?ref_=ast_bln&pd_rd_w=W3EIN&content-id=amzn1.sym.73ac3f51-c1c2-4951-89eb-8ee3c7bb7bd8&pf_rd_p=73ac3f51-c1c2-4951-89eb-8ee3c7bb7bd8&pf_rd_r=3E7328ME1FKNQGD6VTW8&pd_rd_wg=vNHwA&pd_rd_r=b66f4f9e-6c64-45f2-b2b7-29299228d75c
  6. View video: https://youtu.be/J1pKZts_K3s
  7. View Peloton’s website: https://www.onepeloton.com/

Sources:  Ovide, S. (25 August 2022). Why Peloton is selling on Amazon. New York Times.; Thomas, L. (24 August 2022). Peloton strikes a deal to sell fitness equipment and apparel on Amazon.

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Branding in the Metaverse

In an average day consumers see thousands of different brands and messages. And all of them want our attention and money! But sometimes it’s too much and we long to escape all the noise. Perhaps a video game will give us that break from brands? Well, actually, no it will not. In fact, the metaverse is rapidly becoming a new platform for building brands and engaging consumers.

Let’s start with the metaverse. The metaverse is any kind of digital immersive experience on the Internet that is persistent, 3D, and virtual and it is not happening in the physical real world – or is it?  The promise of the metaverse gives us opportunity to play, work, connect, and buy. However, there is not just a single, universal metaverse. Instead there are multiple of these playgrounds/worlds and each has its own access, rules, and membership. If this sounds similar to video game settings, it is.

PC games have already created metaverse playboxes where players socialize with others such as Minecraft from Microsoft. Other entries include Roblox which allows players to create and play across numerous worlds. Another is Dencentraland – a 3D virtual world owned by users who create virtual structures and then charge others to visit. For example, Decentraland held an immersive Metaverse Festival for a music event featuring performances by Deadmau5 and others. Snoop Dogg holds private metaverse parties and offers exclusive NFTs.

Many brands are creating immersive branded experiences as well. For example, Nike has filed for patents for virtual goods and the opportunity to build virtual retail environments to sell those goods. Social media also plays a roll with virtual showrooms, fashion shows and dressing rooms. Other companies buy or rent digital space from the platforms. They can rent out digital land that they own to other brands, plus sell NFTs to consumers to build a new revenue stream. Metaverse Group, bought about 313,000 square feet in Decentraland’s fashion district (at a cost of $2.5 million) for a fashion week in March. Decentraland even has its own cryptocurrency for making transactions.

What should brands do to engage in the metaverse? It’s the same marketing principles as real life: Choose target markets, examine competitors, develop new products/services, and above all – be ready to pivot quickly.

After all, the virtual world is an extension of the real world, isn’t it?

Where will you go to play in the metaverse?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Define what the metaverse is for them.
  2. Poll students: List ideas for placing brands in the metaverse.
  3. Consider showing a video about the metaverse: https://youtu.be/99BnZ8js1_k
  4. Have students explore sites such as The Sandbox: https://www.sandbox.game/en/shop/?collections=26 , and Decentraland: https://decentraland.org/
  5. What are the strengths of the metaverse? Weaknesses? Opportunities?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a brand and then develop a marketing plan for expanding into the metaverse.

Source:  Alcantara, A. (3 March 2022). Marketers explore metaverse. Wall Street Journal; Balis. J. (3 January 2022). How brands can enter the metaverse. Harvard Business Review; Gunn., E. (2 February 2022). Building a brand in the metaverse. Fast Company; other news sources.

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