Holiday Insights: Supply Chain Concerns and Mobile Communications

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Each month, Street Fight sources expert insights from the businesses in our ecosystem on our theme. This month’s theme is the Hybrid Holidays, and our experts share their takes on navigating supply chain concerns, taking advantage of mobile, and building trust with customers.

Dani Nadel, president and COO, Feedvisor, on navigating supply chain concerns

Since last holiday season, consumer shopping preferences have continued to shift toward online purchasing. Compared to Q4 2020, Amazon and e-marketplaces have projected year-over-year growth of 25-32.5%. 

This shift, along with ongoing supply chain bottlenecks and labor shortages, could create major disruptions for merchants this holiday season. For marketplace sellers on e-commerce channels such as Amazon and Walmart, securing product, diversifying fulfillment capabilities, and expanding their e-commerce channels will be critical to avoiding stockouts and delivery delays that could hinder Q4 success. 

Sellers should calculate expected holiday demand based on prior benchmarks and recent data from marquee sales events including Prime Day 2021. During the event, third-party sellers saw a 100% year-over-year sales increase and had the biggest two-day selling period yet, according to Amazon. By adding a 20% inventory increase for non-seasonal items and ensuring inventory arrives at Amazon’s fulfillment centers weeks in advance, sellers can curtail potential supply chain concerns. 

Furthermore, it is important for sellers to understand the relationship between pricing, advertising, and inventory for optimal holiday performance. It is only by understanding the correlation between these metrics that sellers will be able to make the most informed strategic business decisions and instantly take profitable actions during this peak sales season.

Alex Campbell, co-founder and CIO, Vibes, on mobile connections

This holiday season, consumers will demand convenient channels to help make their shopping journeys easier, especially as in-person and online buying continues to evolve into a hybrid experience. As a result, mobile will be key to helping retailers cater to a wide spectrum of preferences and comfort levels, especially if we continue to see geographic differences in Covid spread and mandates.

With mobile, brands can remove barriers in the shopping and buying process, increasing brand access to both new and existing customers. Offering a variety of multi-channel engagement, such as BOPIS and curbside, is vital to driving revenue, especially around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We saw this last year when mobile accounted for 39% of consumers’ online shopping from December 1-9, and we predict significant growth this year as well.

Mobile engagement will allow retailers to cut through the clutter and to have a direct relationship with shoppers. By satisfying consumer expectations, mobile drives consumers to specific destinations and helps consumers complete their buying journey. That way, shoppers can get the best of both the physical and digital worlds as they start their holiday shopping.

Gavin Laugenie, head of strategy & insight, dotdigital, on consumer trust

As we approach the Q4 holiday sales season, brand marketers will play a key role in either cementing consumer loyalty or eroding it depending on their strategies. Our recent consumer survey of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers found that 51% of respondents said they had become more aware of how their data was used by brands as online shopping rates accelerated during the pandemic. Accordingly, 68% of consumers were concerned their data would be passed on to third parties for marketing purposes, with another 69% worried their personal information would be passed to other companies without their consent. 

This concern is well founded with 86% of U.S. shoppers reporting they had received unsolicited texts or email messages from companies to which had not provided their data. More than one-third (36%) said they had continued to be marketed to by brands, even after they had asked to be removed from the database or opted out. Thirteen percent even resorted to reporting a brand for continuing to market to them after their repeated requests to be opted out of communications were ignored.

This research highlights the need for brands and retailers to put data stewardship at the heart of their marketing efforts to reassure consumers and build long-term meaningful relationships that drive loyalty, build customer lifetime value, and most importantly drive sales. The world is changing and the shift to consumer-friendly marketing that respects privacy cannot be ignored. Building customer trust will be vitally important as we head into one of the most important shopping seasons of the year.