News Roundups 10


How retailers are promoting their holiday shipping cut-off dates

Modern Retail | 10 December 2021

In the past few weeks, major retailers and big-box stores have been preparing their customers for delays by advertising shipping “deadlines.” Some, like Gap and Kohl’s, are incentivizing rewards members with free or discounted shipping rates if they shop online early. Meanwhile, other retailers, like Walmart and Apple, have already begun promoting their same-day shipping or pickup options to customers waiting until the last week before Christmas to buy gifts.

As one of the major online shopping destinations, Amazon is tailoring its shipping deadlines based on item availability. Despite its one- and two-day Prime delivery promise, Amazon is also labeling listings based on their gifting potential. Amazon doesn’t have an official site-wide banner for Christmas delivery windows yet. However, the e-commerce giant has “Arrives before Christmas” tags on eligible products across its marketplace. Similarly, Walmart doesn’t have a uniform shipping deadline across its website and seller marketplace. Instead, the retailer has been promoting local pickup and free same-day delivery via its Walmart+ membership program.

Jeremy Horowitz, head of marketing at e-commerce analytics platform Daasity, said promoting shipping cut-offs is about “setting proper expectations” for customers. “It’s also critical in preventing returns or cancellations and driving one final pre-holiday sales push,” Horowitz said. But most importantly, from a marketing perspective, an ordering deadline is “a free reason to reach out to customers,” he said.

US Retail Sales Trail Forecast, Suggesting Drag From Inflation

BOF | 15 Dec 2021

US retail sales rose by less than forecast in November, suggesting that consumers are tempering purchases against a backdrop of the fastest inflation in decades. The value of overall retail purchases increased 0.3 percent, the smallest advance in four months after a revised 1.8 percent gain in October, Commerce Department figures showed Wednesday. Excluding gas and motor vehicles, sales climbed 0.2 percent in November. The figures aren’t adjusted for inflation.

The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.8 percent gain in overall retail sales from the prior month. The S&P 500 edged lower and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note ticked higher ahead of the conclusion of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting. The softer-than-expected report may also reflect the pulling forward of holiday sales as many Americans, aware of supply chain slowdowns, shopped earlier than usual. In October, the sales increase was the strongest in seven months.

“Crowding more holiday shopping earlier in the fall does not change our estimate for stellar consumer performance in the final quarter of the year, barring a harsher-than-expected impact from omicron and higher inflation,” Bloomberg Economics’ Yelena Shulyatyeva and Eliza Winger said in a note. US consumer prices are rising at the fastest rate in almost 40 years. Accelerating inflation risks may give consumers additional pause in coming months, especially as remaining fiscal supports like a moratorium on federal student loan payments end early next year.

Ahead of Black Friday, fashion and beauty companies flock to buy-now, pay-later platforms

Glossy | 23 November 2021

In the last two months, a number of new brands and retailers have adopted Afterpay in anticipation of holiday shopping. They include Nordstrom, Aldo, Alo Yoga, J. Crew, Madewell, Morphe, Le Creuset, American Eagle and Aerie. According to Zahir Khoja, gm of Afterpay North America, buy-now, pay-later services are ideal in periods of increased spending in a short time. And many of the retailers that have joined Afterpay in the last three weeks are offering the option for customers to use Afterpay in-store. Afterpay provides users with a physical card, which is used by more than 6 million people and can be used as a mobile payment in-store.

In 2021, Afterpay’s partners have already seen $4.5 billion in net benefits from being part of the platform, said Khoja. Those have come in the form of increases in average order value, increases in basket size total sales volume and decreases in returns. Afterpay facilitated more than $10 billion in sales in the first half of 2021 alone. And brands see a particular benefit around the holiday. Last year, Afterpay ran a holiday campaign featuring brands like Levi’s that was centered on shoppable social media posts across platforms. Those retailers saw a 121% increase in Black Friday sales over the year before. Fashion brands using Afterpay typically see a 50% increase in new customers in the first six months, said Melissa Davis, Afterpay chief revenue officer.

Beauty & Wellness Briefing: Beauty collaborations are no longer a one-trick pony

Glossy | 23 November 2021

Collaborations are taking shape in multiple ways beyond the typical surprise-and-delight tactics. And beauty companies are using them to further their brand development, grow their retail presence and celebrate their brand differences. Ongoing business collaborations are trending. For example, biotech and beauty company Amyris Inc. recently built up its portfolio entirely through collaborations. They include JVN Hair with Jonathan Van Ness and Rose Inc. with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Caroline Hadfield, Rose Inc. CEO, said that the brand is a combination of Huntington-Whiteley’s 20-year beauty knowledge and the proprietary clean ingredients of Amyris, such as squalane. 

Reaching Gen Zers is not the only reason brands are launching collaborations. Still, it is one of the biggest motivators. Take Ulta Beauty with Target and Walmart with P&G. Ulta Beauty has 100 shop-in-shops within Target locations. Both retailers already over-index with Gen Z, but wanted to continue cementing their position as Gen-Z favorites. “It was important to create something digestible and curated so that it was easy for our guests to shop,” said Monica Arnaudo, chief merchandising officer at Ulta Beauty. “We sat with Cassandra Jones [vp and gm of beauty at Target], and we cooked this up together. We have over 50 prestige brands in the mix; it’s a merchant’s dream to start from scratch.”

Global Warming Is Coming For Our Beauty Bags

ELLE | 22 November 2021

Melting makeup, evaporating eau de cologne, and stylers that liquefy in sunlight have become commonplace. As extreme climate events sweep the globe, melting makeup, evaporating eau de cologne, and stylers that liquefy in sunlight have become commonplace. Many of our products just aren’t built for the record temperatures we’ve seen this summer and last summer, this winter, and the winter before. But with sweltering heat forecasts to make frequent future appearances, how will brands adapt?

“People are leaning towards products like sheet masks and hydrating mists which provide moisture and nourishment, along with cooling relief to the skin in heat,” she says. “Paper soaps and shampoo or soap bars are also well-accepted as they are not affected by heat.” And while these sturdier products should see us through the heatwaves to come, other staples are a little more delicate. “Creams can break at higher temperatures, either because the water phase is lacking a water-binding agent like a polymer, or a suitable hydrocolloid, like xanthan gum,” Hardikar explains. “Or, the emulsifier type or amount is not enough to keep the cream together.”

But climate change doesn’t just affect what’s inside the jar; containers might need to adapt too. “The main problem is high temperatures and temperature changes,” Matteo Mariani, a packaging designer at the Milan-based MAIS Project tells me. “If the packaging is not designed for this, these two situations can seriously damage the integrity of the product. With plastics, “heat can change the stiffness, it can create cracks on the surface, it can change the color or the shape.”

Still, adapting our products to resist heat and handle water scarcity isn’t enough. Climate change isn’t only affecting our haircare and skincare products, it’s also changing our hair and skin. That dust frequently contains particle pollutants, which break hair and breach the skin barrier. Extreme heat can push up ozone levels, multiplying free radicals which damage cells and have long been linked to wrinkles, premature greys, and hair loss. Demand for anti-pollution skincare and haircare products is already here, but the effects go much deeper.


Beauty Matter | 22 November 2021

Instagram has always been at the core of beauty trends, with 67% of beauty buyers admitting to buying products as a result of scrolling through the app. Paving the way for consumers throughout the 2010s, Instagram has presented multiple statement looks we’ve stuck with, and now, more than ever, content creators are looking for the next big trend to catch the community’s eye. From washing machines made to specifically clean beauty blenders soaring in sales on Amazon to a 621% rise in searches for at-home treatments and old-school Egyptian beauty rituals, BeautyMatter has the lowdown on the trends that have captivated Instagram this month.

Wonder Blading – Wonderskin’s Peel and Reveal lip stain kit has been every beauty blogger’s go-to for the past few months. The kit, named People’s “Number One Product Worth the Hype in 2021,” applies as a futuristic electric blue and peels off in one of nine available shades. 

Adhesive Eyeliner – Two-in-one products have been a statement in the beauty industry for many years, with adhesive eyeliner being the latest to take Instagram by storm. Both an eyeliner and an eyelash glue, adhesive eyeliner is perfect for those trying to free up space in their makeup bag.

Almond Eye Looks – Almond eye makeup, originally an ancient Egyptian beauty secret, has recently surfaced on many beauty Instragrammers’ grids.

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