For the second year running, the Retail Golden Quarter may not be quite the bumper event that had been hoped for.
Encompassing Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Singles Day and Christmas, this period is one of the most profitable for retailers, with 35% of annual profit coming in the period leading up to Christmas.
But what sets this year apart are the continuing global supply chain issues that have caused shortages of food, fuel and everything in between over the last few months. Global brands have been especially hard hit, as the crisis constantly evolves and problems vary in each territory.
Despite this, advertising spend is set to soar – with UK brands alone increasing above the line ad spend by £1 billion over the period.
The trend continues for brands to value e-commerce and they are increasing investment to own the end consumer relationship. All brands have the different level of maturity in the e-commerce space, but generally understanding and owning the relationship with the consumer is key. All direct opportunities for selling, should not undermine the need for investment in brand equity.
Supply chain uncertainty
The issues affecting the global supply chains are myriad, and often distinct to specific regions. The global pandemic is obviously one of the key causes, with Covid outbreaks still causing port closures and staff shortages.
Compounding this are record-high ocean freight prices, with shipping costs on Asia to US and Asia to Europe routes increasing tenfold since 2019. Regional issues, such as energy crises in both China and Europe, along with Brexit in the UK, have made stretched supply chains even harder to navigate for global companies.
Retailers themselves have not helped matters. Over ordering or placing orders too early is causing a ‘bullwhip effect’ – a term that describes how small changes in demand at the retail level can have a large impact on wholesalers, manufacturers, and distributors.
Accounting for the unexpected
The Golden Quarter is usually a dependable period for retailers, but the supply chain issues could leave many consumers empty-handed. With ad spend continuing to see healthy gains, advertisers will have to show the same levels of flexibility and creativity that were on display during the pandemic. It’s important that brands continue to be front of mind with the consumers, but the message may be altered to account for supply chain issues.
Customers are well aware of the supply chain issues, but marketers will need to be adaptable to keep them engaged. According to Forrester, brands are likely to lose half of their sales on back-ordered items unless they are able to compensate with customer support. Marketers will also have to quickly pivot from performance-driven campaigns to awareness-driven campaigns as supply diminishes.
With this need for agility, it has never been more important for marketers to have a single source of truth for their media data, including e-commerce activity. A global overview with granular local details and clean, harmonised data they can view in real-time will be vital this Golden Quarter.
Having a clear view of competitors is also key to helping marketers effectively reach their customers during this crucial period. Being able to easily compare insights such as global competitor media strategy or analysis of competitive spend strategies can give brands the upper hand.
To navigate around the global supply chain issues, marketers will need to be light on their feet. This is only possible if they have both global and local data in a single source. By being less siloed, media spending can be adjusted faster and, ultimately, lead to maximised global profits.
How are you tackling the Golden Quarter this year? Get in touch if you need help to get a clear view of your media data.