Insights From the 2023 Cyber 5 Season

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Cyber 5, encompassing Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, is a pivotal period for retailers to capture holiday sales. In a recent webinar, retail experts delved into the trends, insights and key takeaways from this season’s shopping extravaganza. From Buy Now, Pay Later dynamics to shifting consumer behaviors, here’s a comprehensive recap of the discussion.

Speakers:

• Jason Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer, Publicis
• Deb Radcliff, Global CMO, 5.11 Tactical
• Renee Halvorsen, CMO, Marine Layer
• Erica Sheffield, VP of Strategic Research and Insights Communications, Synchrony
• Moderator: Scott Silverman, Co-Founder, CommerceNext

Statistical Overview: Unveiling the 2024 Numbers

The beginning of the webinar focused on Jason Goldberg’s statistical overview of the Cyber 5 season. Goldberg delved into nuanced data, providing a closer look at the reported growth and its interpretation by various sources. According to Jason’s insights, the Cyber 5 period saw a reported 7% growth in overall retail sales compared to the previous year.

However, Goldberg urged a cautious interpretation, emphasizing that when accounting for inflation and other economic factors, the net growth is more nuanced than the surface numbers suggest. It’s important to consider contextual factors in analyzing retail performance.

2019-2023 Monthly Retail Sales

Shifting Trends in Consumer Spending

The panelists provided valuable insights into consumer spending behaviors during the Cyber 5 period. Radcliff from 5.11 Tactical highlighted a trend towards more thoughtful and considered spending. Consumers, she noted, are becoming increasingly careful with their purchases, signaling a shift from impulsive buying to more intentional decision-making.

Strategic Timing of Holiday Promotions

Webinar participants discussed diverse approaches to holiday marketing. Halvorsen, CMO of Marine Layer, shared the strategy of delaying the launch of holiday promotions until Black Friday. This deliberate move aimed to preserve the early November space for self-purchases and a celebration of individual preferences. This approach marked a departure from the traditional early-November emphasis on gifting messages. Instead, Marine Layer opted for a more gradual transition into the holiday spirit. The first part of November was dedicated to the joy of embracing winter, with a focus on bright and joyful apparel. The more overt holiday messaging was reserved for Black Friday and beyond.

The Impact of Discounting

The panel’s discussion also focused on how price remains a critical factor in consumers’ decision-making. In the highly promotional Cyber 5 period, retailers grapple with the challenge of standing out amid major discount days dominated by industry giants. Some retailers are adopting strategic alternatives, recognizing that they may not compete head-to-head on these high-stakes days.

Ecommerce Marketing and Customer Segmentation

The discussion turned towards ecommerce marketing strategies and customer acquisition in the evolving digital space. Radcliff shared 5.11 Tactical’s focus on Google PPC, affiliate marketing and social media, with a particular emphasis on personalization for specific customer segments. The importance of effective data collection and integration across teams for successful personalization was emphasized.

Looking Ahead to 2024

Our retail panelists agreed that the coming year will present a challenging landscape, with winners and losers based on the ability to resonate with consumers and provide a differentiated offering. The importance of customer-focused metrics, multi-channel personalization and strategic marketing approaches will be key elements for success in 2024.

If you’re looking for more ways to connect with customers for the coming year, make sure to register for the CommerceNext Growth Show on June 11-13th! We’ll be covering everything ecommerce and marketing, from tactical how-to’s to leadership advice to customer acquisition strategies and more. Make sure you’re on the list!