With all the challenges the retail industry has been through in the past few years, from Covid-19 to the breakdown of the global supply chain, you’d be tempted to think this was the season to catch a much-deserved break.  But if retail has anything to teach us, it’s that unpredictability and change is constant.  

Indeed, heading into this year’s Cyber season, “unpredictable” was a theme top of mind for retail leaders.  Would consumers pressured by inflation cut back on spending?  Would they be able to reduce bloated inventories down to manageable levels?  As the early results from Cyber Week arrive, we can begin to gain clarity on these very questions.

Adobe Analytics recorded record-breaking online sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with Black Friday ringing up $9.12 billion and Cyber Monday $11.3 billion, giving retailers hope that a strong ending to the year is within reach.

Of course, the question that comes to mind is, to what degree did discounts and promotions drive these strong sales numbers?  StyleSage data dives into the trends to understand, in historical context, what’s going on this year.

Note: today’s post is a snapshot of StyleSage’s in-depth report on Cyber Week, which covers the geographic markets of US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, and also dives into which category performance.  Download your copy here.

US Luxury Retail

Our research includes multi-brand digital natives and department store formats in the luxury sector.

StyleSage research shows a reduced proportion of goods on discount this Cyber Week in the US luxury sector. While lower income luxury shoppers may have pulled back due to inflation, this data reflects that core luxury shoppers remain healthy and luxury retailers have strong assortments this season.

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US Specialty Retail

The US specialty retail sector comprises retailers whose primary business is selling apparel, footwear, and accessories.

While this sector generally sees a large proportion of goods on discount, this season sees even higher discounts. Discount penetration is 22% higher and average discounts 20% higher than last Cyber Week, indicating that retailers had to dial up discounting to incentivize shoppers to buy.

US Beauty Retail

This sector coverage includes department stores’ beauty assortments, multi-brand beauty specialty retail, and standalone beauty brands.

While the fashion industry is often plagued with high and frequent discounts, the beauty industry tends to be more disciplined in its approach, with fewer products on sale at lower discounts. That being said, discounts are up significantly from last Cyber Week, indicating that beauty is feeling some pressure.

Germany

As we cross the ocean, we want to highlight a few markets’ data this Cyber season.  For the full report, which also includes data from France, Italy, and Sweden, access it here.

German retailers have dialed up the discounting at the start of the holiday season. StyleSage data shows that the average discount penetration is up 18% and average discount up 19% this Cyber Week, landing at 60% and 19%, respectively.

UK

Our data from the UK market covers a group of specialty, digital native, and multi-brand retailers.

Despite strong economic headwinds (including a CPI of 11.1% in October 2022*), Cyber Week discounting is about the same as last year in the UK market. Nonetheless, discounts are prevalent, with roughly two-thirds of goods marked down, and average discounts of 22%.

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Want the full picture on Cyber Week performance?  Download our full report here.