How Did Retailers Compete With The Prime Early Access Sale?

On October 11 and 12, Amazon held its Prime Early Access Sale, intended to “[give Prime] members a chance to kick off the holiday shopping season early.” Last year, we found that 30% of US online adults started their holiday shopping in October or earlier, so it’s not surprising that Amazon, along with other major retailers, announced major sales events for this month.

To get a closer look at what retailers and brands did during the Prime Early Access event, we reviewed 50 retailer’s and brands’ websites, spanning numerous categories. Among other highlights, we found that:

  • Nearly two-thirds of these 50 retailers and brands participated. Of these retailers and brands, 60% ran some form of a promotion, but only 8% held a sitewide sale. Instead, many offered sales on select products or ran additional promotions on their already-discounted sales sections. Additionally, a mere 6% offered free shipping with no minimum
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Are Consumers Really Eco-Conscious? The US Shopper And Environmental Sustainability

US consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious, although they’re still behind other countries, particularly in Europe, when it comes to adopting more sustainable shopping behaviors. In our just-published report, The State Of The US Shopper And Environmental Sustainability, 2022, we dive into Forrester’s consumer data to uncover US consumers’ attitudes and behaviors toward environmentally conscious and sustainable shopping habits. Here’s a sneak peek of some of the data from the full report:

  • US shoppers expect and want companies to be environmentally conscious. When shopping, 34% of US online adults are strongly influenced by companies that engage in limiting waste, and 26% are strongly influenced by those that actively support environmental and climate change policies.
  • US shoppers do not always consider the environmental impact of their behaviors, however. When asked what’s most important for retailers to include on their website, social or environmental policies were low on US consumers’ list.
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Design Do’s And Don’ts For Retailers This Holiday Season

The season of sales is already here, and with Black Friday almost here, retailers are preparing for an influx of site traffic, store visitors, and (hopefully) purchases. You might be out of time to launch brand-new features or completely redesign your site, but you should still review some of your current design practices and maybe even make a few last-minute tweaks. Retailers can improve their websites this holiday season by:

  • Decreasing clutter in websites and apps. Bizrate Insights found that, around the 2021 holiday season, only 12% of US online shoppers said they “love deals — the more, the merrier!” compared to 31% the year prior. Coupons, discounts, and promotions can benefit customers, but the common practice of overloading sites with promotional content detracts from the site’s usability. Websites are difficult to use when the experience is interrupted by pop-ups, autoplay videos, and animated content like carousels. Test your digital
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Bold Shifts In Retail Models Take Hold

As we finish out 2022, retailers and consumer brands are bracing for strong, macro-level headwinds, including inflation, labor shortages, and supply chain. Retailers are wondering where the unturned stones of profitability may lie. In 2023, we see retailers and brands taking advantage of new opportunities for incremental revenue, transforming their business models to capture additional market share, and implementing cost-saving innovations for operational survival.

Those that find success in these areas will have analyzed where the biggest risks and rewards are. They will also have executed strategies that translate to healthier results. The elite among those will leverage technology that enables their company to quickly reconfigure business structures and capabilities to meet future customer and employee needs with adaptivity, creativity, and resilience. We call this future fit, and our data show that future-fit companies outperform their peers by 2.8 times.

What trends will differentiate future-fit retailers and brands in 2023?

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Commerce Operations Will Change The Game

Digital businesses will shed the shackles of pandemic era survival at all costs. In 2023, we predict that they will refocus on the cost — and value — of their commerce operations.

To survive over the past few years, retailers invested heavily in tech to support quick pivots to store fulfillment and to squeeze conversion and higher order value out of their suddenly all-digital orders. They found their legacy commerce tech often hindered their agility in response to new market demands.

In the face of an uncertain 2023, retailers are changing tack again, ratcheting back high-cost purchase incentives like generous guarantees and free returns or delivery. The shift to managing rising costs amid operational and supply chain challenges will bring renewed focus to commerce operations and the tech that enables it.

What will 2023 bring? Here’s a peek at some of Forrester’s 2023 predictions for commerce:

  1. Businesses will slash promises
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