Ahead of the launch of our retail peak research next week, we speak to Roel Overgoor, Global Digital Marketing Manager D2C at Philips.
Next week we’ll launch the findings from our new research looking at retail peak. Having surveyed over 400 UK and US marketers to understand what we can expect from Black Friday and the holidays in 2019, we also caught up with marketing leaders in the industry to get their perspectives. In this interview, we were joined by Roel Overgoor, Global Digital Marketing Manager D2C at Philips, to discuss his predictions and plans for the holiday season.
Hi Roel, first of all, it would be great if you could tell us a bit about peak planning at Philips?
So for peak we divide it up between what is centrally planned, organized and activated and what is activated and planned in the markets. For both aspects, we’ll start in summer, so pretty early! The first conversations and planning discussions for Black Friday, for example, kicked off in June. (Editor’s note – to give you a sneak peek at the research, 77.4% of retailers have started planning by August!)
As to what it involves, first we look at our proposition and our assortment for the holiday season. Then over July and August, we connect with the different markets on the actual planning, marketing budgets and forecasts.
It sounds like it can be quite complex, especially with lots of different markets. How do you prioritize what you need to do?
First, it’ll be the proposition we want to have, and then the level of discount, together with our assortment offering. That’s the basis of the campaign and therefore needs to happen first. After that it’s really about forecasting demands and getting all the stock levels and planning in place. This ensures we have enough time for the last step; the actual execution of bringing Black Friday to life on our platform and in our marketing. The advertising and the activation part is really the last piece and that can be done from September onwards.
I’d be interested to know what you think future holds for shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, especially, now we have things like Prime Day from Amazon?
I think there will be more! Indeed, days like Black Friday are already a big deal for our industry. Maybe in the future, every brand will try to claim its own day and moment. I think these types of activities will become almost always on. There’s always an event or type of day you can jump on as a brand or manufacturer. It used to be only the traditional moments, which weren’t specific to an industry or a market place, like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Valentine’s, that sort of thing. But now, brands are creating their own, so there’s a lot of opportunity.
Have you seen any impact from days like Black Friday and Prime Day on the traditional holiday shopping season?
Yes, during the holiday season we have noticed an impact. People are anticipating those big moments in the shopping calendar. Many retailers probably see a slow down in sales leading up to it. For example, if your normal growth rate is around 60%, in the weeks leading up to the Black Friday it can drop to like 20 or 30%, for example. Now Black Friday is getting so well known and consumers are so used to it, they’ll just postpone their purchase until the offers start.
Do you think that we’ll see any differences this year versus last year, or do you have any peak predictions you can share?
Other than generic trends such as mobile, and then the fact that days like Black Friday have become more well-known and mainstream across all industries, a big difference is the fact Black Friday will be pretty late this year. It’s really close to the holiday season compared to last year when there was still a gap between Black Friday and Christmas shopping. Based on this I anticipate that we’ll see a move toward consumers doing their Christmas shopping during Black Friday, as it’s so close together.
Aside from the shortened shopping time, what other challenges will you be contending with this peak season?
As a manufacturer, the sales we do ourselves are closely linked with really building a relationship with the consumer. Via a reseller or our retailers, we don’t really get that one-to-one relationship, so that’s always our main goal when we sell ourselves. So for example, ahead of Black Friday, offering visitors a chance to ‘pre-subscribe’ or opt-in via email so they come back to us on the day.
It’s a big reason why we sell anyway, especially during Black Friday, as for us it’s a bit newer than the pureplay e-tailers. We are looking to build up our data and get insights into how valuable these consumers are compared to our ‘every day’ new visitors.
So when you get these visitors and new traffic to your e-commerce site, are there any specific tactics you’re using to increase this data collection or increase conversions?
Yes, of course, so I’ve already mentioned the option to pre-subscribe to grow your base, for the people that are anticipating Black Friday. You can also use tactics like countdown timers and flash sales. But when it comes to the products and the assortments we carry, we’re steering more towards a subscription-based offering.
A lot of our products naturally allow for a subscription model, so you already know that you can follow up. So, we’ll focus more on that side, products like the OneBlade razor, or toothbrushes with replacement brush heads than say, an air-fryer.
In the future, what would be interesting for us, at least, is to learn to which extent we can use Black Friday on Market Places and on platforms outside of our own webshop. We are in control of what we sell of course, but to what extent can we influence what happens with our brands and products during Black Friday on all the other places that we are being sold?
We’ll be releasing the full findings of our peak season research next week*, but until then… why not grab a sneak peek at some of the key insights to help you with your planning? Download your copy of our free Peak Season Preparation Checklist below:
*UPDATE: Find the research report here