Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 19, 2012 01:38 PM
As holiday season is now upon us, the two major U.S. shippers are gearing up as e-commerce and mobile access portend a healthy economic surge this week, through Grey Thursday, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and into full-fledged holiday shopping mania.
According to the National Retail Federation, overall holiday sales are expected to rise 4.1% compared to last year – a bellwether for the health of the economy, with electronic items, apparel, and luxury comprising a significant portion of total holiday shipping volumes.
Both UPS and FedEx have delivery contracts with most of the biggest e-tailers including Toys R Us, Kohl's, Walmart, Macy's, eBay and Amazon.
UPS (the brand formerly known as United Parcel Service) expects shipments to hit record levels up 10% from last year and plans to hire 55,000 seasonal workers, and estimates it will deliver 527 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas, topping last year’s record of 480 million.
Their busiest day will be Dec. 20, with an estimated 28 million packages delivered, up from the regular 15.8 million packages daily.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 16, 2012 12:02 PM
The retail stampede is on, as early bird shoppers are being wooed this year to become pre-bird shoppers.
Whether Black Friday actually starts on Thanksgiving Thursday at 5:23 p.m., which is when eBay says it starts, or 9 p.m., which is when Target is opening its doors, doesn't really matter anymore. The fact is that America's biggest shopping day is getting a jump on itself, and there's no going back. Neither will retailers trying to get a jump on Black Friday by pre-positioning themselves with shoppers weeks ahead of time as they set their Black Friday plans.
Walmart already has released its Black Friday promotions online — buy now! — telling USA Today that it has bought so "deep" that it will have enough of some of the hottest electronics items — including iPad 2s — to satisfy shoppers who are sure to swarm their stores on Thanksgiving night while the day's slate of NFL games on TV is still playing itself out. Of course, retail workers are outraged, with charges of "pure greed" being bandied about, while at least one Walmart (in Bergen County, NJ) is being forced to close for two hours on Thanksgiving to give staffers a chance to gobble down some turkey.
Walmart and other bricks-and-mortar chains have been shifting more of their deals for Black Friday to the web for some time now. Staples plans to begin on Thanksgiving Day with some special mobile offers. The National Retail Federation projects that fewer Americans will brave physical stores this year than last year — but thanks to the deals and ease of shopping online, they'll spend more.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 7, 2012 12:41 PM
Thanksgiving is coming up. And while cans of vegetables will last for years, Del Monte decided that the timing couldn't be better to remind American consumers about the easiest way to elbow onto the Turkey Day table with side dishes worthy of the buxom bird: get them out of a can. Preferably a can of Del Monte vegetables.
So the brand is launching its most extensive and expensive ad campaign in a decade, under the tagline "Bursting with Life." The idea is to emphasize the freshness of Del Monte vegetables — an attribute that consumers don't naturally associate with foods that have been preserved in a cylinder of metal for weeks or months.
While they're not trying to make eating your veggies (let alone canned veggies) sexy, Del Monte hopes to claim a bigger share of mind stomach of a collective American household that at least is thinking more about vegetables these days, and the nutritional value of consuming them.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Dale Buss on April 26, 2012 05:04 PM
Are you ready for some football? Tonight the NFL draft begins, on ESPN, seasonally ushering in the source of America's most popular TV programming — and one of its biggest branding vehicles —back into the cultural discourse.
As we noted earlier, Nike is running with its "Fast is Faster" campaign touting its new NFL uniforms during the 2012 draft. PepsiCo's Quaker Oats brand also kicked off its new status as the "Official Hot Cereal Sponsor" of the NFL yesterday with a Play 60 Youth Football Festival that starred Andrew Luck, the fortuitously-named Stanford University quarterback who is the presumptive No. 1 choice in tonight's draft.
And Google, not missing a chance to promote its social networking platform, is inviting fans to join the top two draft picks (Luck and Robert Griffin III) virtually via Google+ hangouts. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 2, 2011 01:41 PM
'Tis the season for certain types of brands. And before we get to the January marketing blowout for weight-management brands, there's something we all must get past. It's gastronomic, too, but it requires overconsumption rather than dieting. It's holiday eating — or, rather, overeating. And Pepto-Bismol is all over it.
The pink post-feast recovery remedy by Procter & Gamble has launched an opportunistic advertising campaign that uses humor, elves and lots of food to make points about Pepto-Bismol. While the references to extreme digestive distress are only oblique, however — no "plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is" jingle a la Alka Seltzer — the point is the timing of the ads.
While Pepto-Bismol ranks as one of P&G's highest-penetration brands, only 7 percent of consumers surveyed claimed to have used it over the last 12 months, according to the New York Times. So now, instead of advertising steadily throughout the year as Pepto-Bismol used to do, the company is taking a "pulsed marketing approach where we focus our spending and our efforts around times when we know people are celebrating," a spokeswoman told the Times.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 27, 2011 09:01 PM
Cyber Monday, the first Monday after American Thanksgiving, is the busiest online shopping day of the year thanks to promotions by brands (such as Verizon, above) touting web-exclusive specials to lure (panicked) holiday shoppers. This year's Cyber Monday tally is expected to reach $1.2 billion in sales, topping last year's $1 billion Cyber Monday take, according to comScore analyst Andrew Lipsman.
As for the just passed Black Friday web sales, comScore reported Sunday that U.S. retail e-commerce spending rose 26% on Nov. 25th compared with the same day last year. The firm reported $816 million in online sales for the day, up from $648 million.
"Despite some analysts’ predictions that the flurry of brick-and-mortar retailers opening their doors early for Black Friday would pull dollars from online retail, we still saw a banner day for e-commerce with more than $800 million in spending,” commented comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni. "With brick-and-mortar retail also reporting strong gains on Black Friday, it’s clear that the heavy promotional activity had a positive impact on both channels."
Another web-only special returning year: in advance of Cyber Monday, U.S. officials have reportedly shut down more than 130 websites selling counterfeit goods by seizing their domain names.
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 25, 2011 12:28 PM
Retailers are seeing bigger crowds at America's malls and stores in the wake of chains like Macy's and Target opening their doors at midnight. Toys R Us and a few other stores that opened on Thanksgiving Day are still overflowing with shoppers, reports AP.
Depending how today's retail rally goes, sales at U.S. brick-and-mortar stores may rise 2.8 percent — compared with 5.2 percent last year — to $465.6 billion this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation estimates. Online revenue, fueled by Cyber Monday, could advance 15 percent to $37.6 billion, according to ComScore.
Black Friday/Cyber Monday isn't just an American phenom, with Canadian retailers getting into the spirit, and brands like Apple offering worldwide sales today. The down side: reports of violence in at least five states, primarily at Walmart stores, including two shootings and a pepper-spraying incident.
social media watch
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 24, 2011 07:30 PM
Google bought airtime during the Detroit Lions/Green Bay Packers Thanksgiving Day game in the U.S. to promote its answer to Facebook, Google+, with this commercial. The tagline: "Google+: Sharing but like real life."
CNET's Chris Matyszczyk finds the spot, at 90 seconds, overly long: "Would it really have been entirely impossible to sum up the gorgeous joys of Google+ in, say, 30 or 40 seconds? Perhaps it would. Perhaps that's why Google+ is reportedly struggling to retain user excitement. Perhaps that's why it's suddenly being advertised during an NFL game with a long, long spot."