Tag Archives: retail

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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Nice nails. You get those from a robot?

We have written a number of articles about robots and the use of robotics in different aspects of business. One usually think of robots being used in factories, warehouses, and manufacturing. Big jobs and big tasks.

There are robots driving trucks, assembling cars, stocking warehouses, retrieving packages, vacuuming floors, cutting grass, and greeting guests at businesses. And let’s not forget Flippy the hamburger-making robot, and Spot the incredible wonder dog from Boston Robotics.

But here is one you probably have not heard of – a robot that provides manicures. Well, at least it provides the nail polish coats – a sort of mini-manicure.

The robot is from San Francisco startup “Clockwork” and paints nails in 10-minutes for $8 at several select Target stores in Chaska (Minn.), Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Francisco. Appointments can be booked online at Clockworks. With 24 colors in hues of neutrals, darks, brights, metallics, reds, and more, there is a color to fit any mood or fashion.

The box-like machine is located in the beauty department and is staffed by Target employees. The nail robot uses both AI and 3D technology for careful application. According to Clockwork, the average woman spends 3,120 minutes per year on nails and hundreds of dollars. Why not shorten the time and lower the cost?

What color would you like?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students about manicures. How much do they spend? How much time does it take?
  2. Show video: https://youtu.be/oQjLg3brTH8
  3. Show website: https://www.likeclockwork.com/
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a marketing program for robotic manicures.
  5. How could experiential marketing be used in the promotion?

Sources:  Hutton, R. (31 August 2022). Chaska Target pilots $10 robot manicures. Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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General Mills Adds Brand Loyalty Program

High prices and inflation are big issues for consumers these days. Food inflation reached a 43-year high in June. As inflation keeps prices going high, many consumers are switching to lower-cost store brands instead of higher priced name brands.

To help keep loyal consumers, and to gain new ones, General Mills has launched its first-ever brand loyalty program called Good Rewards. The program includes special offers and points for consumers that can be redeemed for products, gift cards, and more, helping families stretch their grocery dollars.

The program gives consumers rewards every time they purchase General Mills products. Consumers scan receipts after shopping to get rewards, including one percent back on all General Mills purchases.

Good Rewards is part of the popular app Fetch Reward. With roughly 15 million Fetch users, it is the top downloaded shopping app for iPhone and the second most downloaded app for Android users. General Mills has a goal of 1 million consumers to use Good Rewards within a year; in less than a month the gained 350,000 users.

Rewards programs also offer brands a detailed look at consumer behavior and purchase habits. The better companies are at understanding their customers, the more opportunity exists to offer personalized rewards.

Get rewarded!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Start with a discussion about loyalty and rewards programs and their use in marketing.
  2. Have students count up the number of different rewards programs they participate with. Who has the most?
  3. Show Good Rewards website: https://www.generalmills.com/news/stories/introducing-good-rewards
  4. Show Fetch Rewards website: https://www.fetchrewards.com/
  5. Discuss setting SMART objectives (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound).
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop five SMART objectives for General Mills Good Rewards.
  7. Discuss the objectives. How would the objectives change if a different strategy was used?

Sources:  Johnson, B. (5 August 2022). General Mills adds loyalty app. Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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