Strategy

Track record of success cases: VTEX customers during Black Friday

Gabriela Porto
Gabriela Porto October 20, 2021
Track record of success cases: VTEX customers during Black Friday

If you own a commerce operation, it is safe to assume that Black Friday is the most important moment of the year for your business. Whether it’s in a digital space or in brick-and-mortar stores, it is an extraordinary moment for shoppers, but a challenging day for brands.

Black Friday 2020 has demonstrated that it is as digital as ever: in the US alone, online sales increased 21,6% according to Adobe Analytics. In that same year, shoppers spent over $34 billion USD on holiday shopping deals, says the report. By 2021, this number is expected to grow between 7% to 9%, according to Deloitte. These numbers are just a few that highlight the importance of a well-structured ecommerce plan during the holiday shopping season. 

As the Enterprise Digital Commerce Platform, VTEX recognizes that retailers must focus on sales and acknowledge that their operations will flow steadily, all that while guaranteeing the strategy behind brands and stores will be executed as close as it was planned. We are here to help retailers run a profitable, secure and stable Black Friday, and the cases below are examples of our expertise.

Successful cases from Black Friday

There is a lot to learn from the successes and failures of other businesses. By observing an industry’s pattern of behavior, retailers and sellers can understand what works and what doesn’t, as well as how to apply that knowledge into smart sales-oriented strategies. 

Success is not only about sales, though. It encompasses factors such as website performance, diverse payment methods, targeted social media ads, campaigns, fulfillment and even brick-and-mortar integrations. They all lead to a larger conversion rate and a great customer experience, which is what companies should aim to have.

The brands selected below come from different backgrounds and various industries, but they have one thing in common: they excelled in their strategies and execution for the biggest retail event and had VTEX by their side to help and support them. 

1. Inter

Inter is a Brazilian bank. It has a super app that aims to cater to a diverse audience with many services, which include a digital bank, credit solution offers, money withdrawal, transfers, loans and even business accounts, amongst others. But, with its marketplace Inter Shop, also available in the super app, Inter has grown to be so much more. 

Inter Shop reached an outstanding number of over $19 million USD in Black Friday sales, during the last weekend of November 2020. Through VTEX’s native marketplace solution, Inter was able to easily onboard new sellers and automatically synchronize products and inventory. This was all possible thanks to VTEX’s headless capabilities and API-first structure.

Exclusivity

One of the capabilities of a super app is being able to connect different services amongst themselves. During Black Friday, customers were also offered special exclusive discounts and a cashback benefit on top of Black Friday deals if they were already a client from the bank. 

Through VTEX’s microservices architecture, different modules can be assembled into various functional components, like promotions or pricing services that can be used separately from one another. This makes adding or changing promotions and pricing easier and seamless for Inter.

Branding

Relying on a good market and brand positioning during big events is very important. Inter had a trial run for what Black Friday would look like with their own Inter Day, a 24-hour event that reached a GMV 12% higher than that of the entire month of June 2020. And the event went on seamlessly, all thanks to the VTEX platform’s agility and scalability.

Beyond Inter Day, Inter reframed their Black Friday by naming it Orange Friday, in line with its brand main color. By focusing on this, Inter can enjoy one of the main advantages of Black Friday and Cyber Monday: product discovery and new clients. With a solid market position and strategy, Inter boasts its super app status to make customers stick around for a bit longer.

2. C&A

C&A has established a solid operation in Brazil with VTEX, orchestrating omnichannel and marketplace features in their ecommerce and brick-and-mortar stores.

During the holiday season, they sold millions online due to brand popularity and a wide variety of products. 

The early bird catches the worm

C&A has implemented a strategy of starting out giving away discounts earlier, to attract those customers who “can’t miss a deal” while also creating a sense of high traffic to its website. 

By offering them this early access and a sneak peek of what is to come and opening up a doorway to even better discounts during the actual holiday sales days, C&A takes into consideration the customer’s decision to purchase. 

In the same way Inter took advantage of VTEX microservices, C&A’s applied the promotion modules on its website to attend to their needs and the strategies it thought were most aligned with its customers’ needs. 

Reach customers everywhere

The website might be the first point of contact for customers, but it is fundamental to remember that it is not the only one. C&A manages to keep customers close no matter where they are. With exclusive discounts and promotional codes, clients can choose to download C&A’s app and shop online from the palm of their hands. 

C&A’s mobile application has been one of the leaders in the fashion category when it comes to number of downloads. Built entirely on top of VTEX APIs, it pushed for a significant increase in sales, and also in the visibility of the brand. Over 50% of C&A’s digital sales are derived from this channel.

This highly affects customer experience because it relies on performance and a seamless end-to-end journey — online and hassle-free.

The brand has also invested in conversational commerce and social selling alongside VTEX as some of the main tools to get in touch with customers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to expand customer base reach and use remarketing strategies during high traffic moments.

3. Al’s Sporting Goods

Al’s Sporting Goods is a full-line sporting goods business based in the United States. Ever since joining VTEX in 2019, Al’s has witnessed great results regarding its customers’ online shopping experience. 

Seamless checkout experience

With VTEX’s SmartCheckoutTM, checkout is quicker, easier and safer. It enables retailers to capitalize on exceptional conversion rates. Through that, any returning customer, whether they had created an account or not, would have all their information, (including payment information) saved and accessible just by entering their email address. This improved checkout experience was responsible for a conversion rate increase of 10% during the peak of the holiday season. 

By enhancing this step, Al’s was able to deliver a better experience to its customers while creating a high-performance website environment. The average cart abandonment rate is 69.8%, according to statistics from the Baymard Institute, and most of that comes from customers who are unsatisfied with long checkout processes.

Effective promotions

During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Al’s was able to run different banners and promotions, all automated, that would go live throughout the day, as well as different email marketing campaigns. This was all thanks to VTEX’s plug-and-play features and through VTEX IO. This way, Al’s could be more dynamic than in the past during the holiday shopping weekend.

Running effective promotions with correct pricing can be difficult, especially when there are lots of SKUs to tend to. That is why it’s so important to test out coupons and discount codes before passing them on to the public. And during the peak holiday sales season, not having the correct price available for customers can impact heavily on numbers.

The feature mentioned above was the one responsible for a 96% year-over-year increase in Cyber Monday revenue and an 84% year-over-year increase in Cyber Five (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) revenue.

4. Grupo SOMA

Grupo SOMA is one of the largest fashion retail groups in Brazil, with over 12 brands and multiple M&A and acquisitions. Also expanding internationally with FARM Rio, the group reached a revenue of $34 million USD and a GMV of $12,1 million USD during the record-breaking 2020 fourth quarter, which includes Black Friday and Christmas. 

It achieved this by highly investing in omnichannel and providing quality customer service. Since the health crisis has started, digital commerce has grown more than 200% and digital commerce now represents the source of 60% of the group’s revenue.

Unified shopping experience

Grupo SOMA was able to overcome the challenge of selling from a distance with heavy investment in omnichannel by transforming its brands’ 200 brick-and-mortar stores into small distribution centers to complete that last mile even faster. Moreover, diverse fulfillment options were enabled, such as click & reserve, ship-from-store, pick-up in-store or ship-to-home, which provide faster order delivery. 

This is made possible by VTEX’s centralized OMS and its commitment to a collaborative commerce future, where stores and customers are connected. With VTEX’s platform, business owners are able to integrate orders and inventory across all channels in a cost-effective way while optimizing fulfillment and delivery. In that way, there are no more inventory shortages and there are more selling opportunities.

Fast and free shipping

When it comes to holiday shopping, logistics matter, especially to those time-sensitive gifts or products that need to come at a certain time. With its omnichannel operation, Grupo SOMA was able to scale fast delivery up to 5 days to all purchases in the peak of Black Friday weekend. Besides that, shipping is always free with a sales associate’s special code.

Fast and free shipping are two of the main steps when the customer decides to shop, especially last-minute gift buyers. Even if you are not able to afford free shipping all year long, you should consider organizing pricing and promotions in order to be able to do so. This makes shopping more convenient.

Conclusion

By observing other behaviors, retailers can create concrete plans on how to future-proof their business for some of the busiest shopping days of the year. 

Looking back to 2020 Black Friday numbers and testimonials is essential since it was the first year where digital sales surpassed the physical stores’ and also the first year retailers saw the real potential of a good online sales strategy through the peak of the holiday season.

It is also fundamental to count on a provider who can offer you the technology and reliable structure you need for the holiday season, as well as showcase success stories and expertise. Here is where we get involved: VTEX is the Enterprise Digital Commerce Platform that helps you boost sales with the confidence to plan, execute and scale your strategies in a secure and reliable way. Click here and contact a VTEX expert for Black Friday relief.

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