Nearly two-thirds of Top 1000 retailers promoted a sales offer to consumers this week, and numerous e-retailers began offering deals normally reserved for the days after Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving might be a week away, but e-retailers over the last week decked their sites with discounts and promotional offers intended to draw early-season shoppers.
About two-thirds, 634, of the 1000 e-retailers ranked in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 and Second 500 Guides offered some sort of discount or promotion, such as a free gift with purchase, this week to holiday shoppers. The discount most frequently promoted on the home pages of Top 1000 merchants was 20% off, offered by 86 retailers. E-retailers offering a 20% discount included Toys 'R' Us Inc. (No. 34 in the Top 500), Shoebuy.com (No. 100) and Kate Spade (No. 176). The second most-popular discount was 50%, offered by 81 retailers on their home pages, including 15 retailers in the Top 100. (50% was the most popular percent-off offer among the Top 100.) E-retailers offering a 50% discount on their home pages include The Home Depot Inc. (No. 16), BarnesandNoble.com (No. 28), Eddie Bauer LLC (No. 104), OmahaSteaks.com Inc. (No. 142), Baseball Rampage (No. 626 in the Second 500) and UtahSkis.com (No. 981). The median discount offered by e-retailers giving consumers a percentage off a purchase was 40%.
At 96%, Christianbook.com LLC (No. 467) offered the largest percentage-off discount. The e-retailer of religious goods and wholesome products’ home page greets consumers with a “Christmas shopping at its best—early Black Friday deals” promotion. Clicking the image takes consumers to a page of discounts organized by price range, such as “top picks under $10” and “kids’ stocking stuffers under $5.”
Groupon Inc. (No. 44) came in second place, offering a 90% discount at Groupon Goods this week. Clicking from the home page into its holiday shop, Groupon shoppers discover they can buy a Fraser fir or Black Hill spruce Christmas tree for $44.99, advertised as a 44% discount, or a box of 100 Ponderosa pine cones for $39.99, a 65% discount.
Numerous e-retailers also used their home page real estate to either tease the offers they will make available the day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, or just went ahead and started offering them a full week or more ahead of that day. North America’s largest e-retailer, Amazon.com Inc. (No. 1) grabbed headlines by launching its Black Friday deals today, but it has plenty of company among Top 1000 retailers that also decided to give consumers a head start. That includes one of Amazon’s biggest competitors, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 4 in the Top 500. The central image on Walmart.com declares: “Pre Black Friday. It’s on. Big deals before the big day. 10 days of savings start now.”
Several other e-retailers are proclaiming similar deals. “Why wait for Black Friday? We aren’t—save up to 60%” says outdoor gear and sporting goods e-retailer Evo (No. 414) on its home page. Watch and jewelry e-retailer Ashford.com (No. 268) is offering “sneak peek pricing” on its Black Friday offers, which are live on the site. Consumers can nab a men’s Bulova watch for $165; regular price $625. US-Mattress (No. 336), which on Oct.24 was the first Top 1000 retailer to start hyping Black Friday, is offering “Black Friday Now” promotions on mattresses.
Other top retailers are using the home page real estate to prime consumers for the deals they will offer starting next Friday. Kohls.com (No. 23) displays a banner at the top of its home page saying, “Sneak a peek at our Black Friday deals” with a link to browse the catalog of offers. Its primary sales offer this week is a 20% friends and family discount offer. Visitors to Macys.com (No. 8), too, can preview the department store retailer’s Black Friday deals. Meanwhile, women’s apparel retailer The Talbots Inc. (No. 170) eschewed Black Friday language on its home page but planted it on a pop-up visitors see when they arrive at Talbots.com. “Be our BFF,” it says. BFF in this instance standing for Black Friday Friend; the pop-up encourages consumers to sign up for Talbot’s e-mail distribution list so its Black Friday offers arrive in their inbox.
By Allison Enright Editor
November 21, 2014, 10:06 AM