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Ecommerce continues to grow as a percent of total shopping dollars and retailers are taking advantage of that demand by creating online retail moments that mirror traditional brick and mortar deep discount shopping days.

Events like Black Friday, (the day after Thanksgiving in the US) and Boxing Day, (the day after Christmas in the UK) are some of the most traditional events. New digital-only events like these are popping up across the globe and offer great opportunities for brands if they are executed right. In our latest lesson eRetail Event Planning Best Practice we walk through how to ensure a brand is set up to win and maximize the time an investment put into these events.


 What is an eRetail event and why does it matter?

eRetail events are large deep-discount shopping days created by major retailers to drive traffic to their on-line stores and often times, reward their loyal customers with “member only” discounts. Some of the most popular are Amazon Prime Day and Alibaba’s Singles Day, along with the traditional omnichannel holiday moments that have expanded online like the Cyber 5 (the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday). These dates are marketed as limited time deals and often feature deeply discounted products to create excitement and traffic to the site. The discounts span a wide range of products including music, books, cosmetics and electronics.

These major online shopping days are important because they generate significant amount of demand and traffic to brand websites. According to NeilsenIQ over 50% of Americans navigated to Amazon to shop on Prime Day. If leveraged correctly, these events can create great value to manufacturers and brands. However, before a brand jumps in it is important to be clear about why a brand is participating so expectations can be set. Participation and successful execution can be very resource intensive - this lesson will ensure your team knows the ins and outs and is set up to win.

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What are the benefits of eRetail events for a brand?

There are many benefits to participating in these events beside the most obvious which is revenue. Here are a few to consider as you start planning:


1. Brand and Product Awareness

These retail moments can be great opportunities to introduce your brand to a new audience and/or create top of mind awareness for your brand and product.


2. New Customer Acquisition (and Loyalty)

The event days can be great opportunities to acquire new customers so you can begin to build a relationship with them. You just need to make sure you have a plan to capture their information and invite them into your brand. 


3. Inventory Liquidation

Supply chain disruptions and economic uncertainty over the past few years have caused a lot of retailers and manufacturers to over-buy and store up a lot of inventory. These events can be great ways to liquidate excess inventory that is either at the retailer already or in the manufacturers warehouse.

For more benefits and details on how to maximize these benefits, check out the lesson: eRetail Event Planning Best Practice


What are the challenges for a brand?

The biggest challenge for a manufacturer in participating in eRetail event days is profitability. The discount combined with the requisite placement and media expense often result in a lower-than-normal profit margin for the manufacturer.

Another challenge is ensuring your inventory is available and reaches the retailer warehouse well in advance of the promotion so it can be fulfilled in a timely manner.

The final challenge is competition among retailers. Many retailers run promotions at the same time to capitalize on consumer demand and willingness to shop and buy. They monitor each other’s sites and all want a deal specific to them for each key event.  

Some advice… It takes a lot of work to pull off and execute a successful eRetail event. Here are details on the four key steps you and your team should take:


1. Assemble the right team

It takes a full cross-functional team to execute a successful eRetail event as they touch all parts of the organization from marketing, to sales and supply chain.


2. Clearly articulate the goals and vision for success

The entire team needs to be aligned to same outcomes so you build the right strategy and get the right outcomes. Make sure you are on the same page about what benefit(s) you want to maximize.


3. Set your KPIs and make a plan to measure

Make a plan to measure your success. As they say, "what gets measured, gets done."


4. Test and Learn. Put a plan together and get started

It is okay to start small and learn, with each event you will get better.

My best advice is to jump in and take the lesson eRetail Event Planning Best Practice to learn all of the details and get your organization ready to maximize these moments!

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