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Thanksgiving weekend shoppers like omnichannel options

November 29, 2016 04:04 PM
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Momentum from Thanksgiving weekend is giving retailers a strong start to the 2016 holiday shopping season, and omnichannel initiatives are proving key for several multichannel merchants.

Kohl’s Corp., No. 19 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, says Thanksgiving and Black Friday were its two busiest days ever in terms of online sales and traffic; it received 8.18 million website visitors (including 4.49 million on mobile devices) on Thanksgiving Day and 7.79 million on Black Friday (including 4.28 million on mobile devices), according to data from digital measurement firm SimilarWeb Ltd. And from Nov. 21-27, more than 60% of the retailer’s website traffic came from shoppers on mobile devices.

A sizable chunk of those online shoppers then came to Kohl’s stores to pick up their online orders.

When Kohl’s announced its holiday hiring plans in September, it said seasonal store associates were going to, in part, focus on fulfilling online orders. Here’s why:  “Nearly 40% of our Kohls.com orders were fulfilled through buy online, pick up in store or ship from store,” Kohl’s said Tuesday. Kohl’s did not break out the number of orders picked up in stores compared with online orders shipped from store. Earlier this month, the retail chain reported that 5-6% of all online orders were fulfilled through buy online, pick up in store.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (No. 4), meanwhile, says shoppers were able to pick up their online orders in store in 30% less time this year compared with last year, and mobile shoppers accounted for almost half of all buy online, pick up in-store orders. Wal-Mart did not specify what the average time was or what percentage of total orders were picked up in store.

Online-only swimwear retailer SwimOutlet.com (No. 211) says its sales grew more than 40% year over year on Cyber Monday, which the retailer attributes to a more focused email campaign and being “smarter” about the products it discounted. The retailer, which has Internet Retailer-estimated web sales of $135.0 million in 2015, also received a bump due to higher interest generated by the U.S. Olympic swim team and 2016 being an Olympic year.

"We expected a good year and we planned for the [Cyber Monday] traffic surge by staffing our technology office in Vietnam around the clock and ramping up the capabilities at our fulfillment center—but our sales numbers were far beyond our expectations,” says chief marketing officer Alexander Sienkiewicz. “We hope to see these positive numbers continue through the holiday shopping season."

Electronics retailer Newegg Inc. (No. 17) says the Thanksgiving weekend generated a record amount of sales, though senior vice president Merle McIntosh declined to specify a dollar figure or percentage increase.

E-retailer Zazzle Inc. (No. 148), which sells customizable products including smartphone cases, mugs, canvas prints and apparel, says sales across all Zazzle global domains—17, according to Top500Guide.com—were strong on Black Friday with more than a 16% increase in orders compared with last year, when it had triple-digit increases. Zazzle's 2015 web sales were an Internet Retailer-estimated $226.0 million, according to Top500Guide.com.

 

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