Memorial Day sales are unfailingly popular with consumers looking to score deals on seasonal goods, and apparel retailers are reaping the benefits.
Data released by e-commerce solutions provider GroupBy showed that the company’s retail customers experienced explosive year-over-year increases in online searches for festive clothing and outdoor wear this Memorial Day weekend compared with the same holiday weekend in 2018.
Searches for patterned clothing (like animal prints and tie-dye) increased by 290 percent, while search terms denoting different types of waterproof and hiking-related outerwear increased by 175 percent.
Niche brands stand to benefit from the Memorial Day shopping boom. According to the GroupBy data, searches for items made by larger brands decreased by 50 percent year-over-year, while searches for smaller brands increased.
“This year-over-year search comparison demonstrates consumers are increasingly becoming more sophisticated in their product searches as they turn to e-commerce to begin their shopping journey,” said Roland Gossage, CEO of GroupBy.
“To capitalize on this behavior during the traditionally slow summer sales months, retailers should look to amplify their product search capabilities further to help consumers arrive at a specific product faster to maximize sales. By doing so, retailers will also be able to further capitalize on consumers’ heightened attention during key summer shopping events such as Fourth of July, Amazon Prime Day and Labor Day.”
A recently-released report from Salesforce backs up Gossage’s assertion.
According to the data, 52 percent of online shoppers expect to be able to find exactly what they’re looking for in three clicks or less. But those expectations aren’t in line with reality: only 40 percent of consumers said they were able to accomplish their shopping goals that quickly.
That disconnect spells missed sales for retailers, who risk leaving potential customers with a negative impression of their brand or marketplace.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are playing an increasingly significant role in personalizing consumer experiences. In fact, 60 percent of consumers expect that previous interactions with brands will yield a more tailored engagement approach moving forward, according to the Salesforce report.
AI allows brands and retailers to make quick adjustments to content on their sites, for example, so that consumers are served products that resonate with them personally. Despite concerns about privacy, most consumers (62 percent) are open to the use of AI because they believe it provides them with a more efficient shopping experience.
Still, brands have a long way to go in convincing consumers that they’re good stewards of personal information.
Though 55 percent of consumers are willing to give up their personal data to brands if the end use is transparent and beneficial, 63 percent of those surveyed don’t believe companies are transparent, and 55 percent said that they don’t believe the data gathering has benefited their experience.