1. Not Just Another Manic Cyber Monday

According to Adobe Analytics, consumers in the US spent a record-breaking  $9.4 billion in online sales. In peak shopping times, online shoppers spent $12 million per minute, and the total amounted to $1.5 billion more than 2018’s total. 

$48.4 billion was spent via a desktop computer, while $29 billion came through smartphones and $4.1 billion was garnered through tablets. Optimizing commerce for mobile is as important as ever as more and more consumers are choosing to shop via the convenience of their smartphone. 

Black Friday evokes images of stampede-worthy deals and waking up before dawn to snag the hot new products from store shelves. Cyber Monday, on the other hand, eliminates the stress and mania of the craziest brick-and-mortar shopping day of the year — consumers can take advantage of promotions from the comfort of their home or office. It’s no wonder that Cyber Monday sales are continually surpassing Black Friday revenue — we should expect to see Cyber Monday numbers increase year by year as online retailers continue to expand their offerings and make online shopping an increasingly appealing retail solution.

[TechCrunch]

 

2. The Demand for Data

As megaretailers like Amazon gain influence in more and more industries, consumer packaged goods companies are determined not to see grocery become another industry controlled by one player.

CPG companies are dancing a delicate dance; they need to work with Amazon, but also want to maintain some autonomy. As a result, many CPG companies are starting to view their biggest retailers as marketing channels as well as sales generators.

“As the CPG advertisers renegotiate their agreements with retailers, everyone is trying to regain footing in what is a very volatile market,” Peter Sedlarcik, chief data officer at Havas Media Group, told Digiday. “Increasingly, the sharing of data is on the table as a discussion point on how each side can get value out of the relationship.”

Data is the key that CPG companies need to expertly target their consumers and secure repeat purchases. The easier that brick-and-mortar grocery stores make it for consumers to get the goods they want time and time again, the likelier customers are to choose them over online giants. 

Will data save the day? Only time will tell.

[Digiday]

3. What Comes After CBD?

It’s no secret that it’s been quite the year for the THC-free cannabis extract, with everything from lotions to gummies to pet-friendly varietals on the market.

But according to CB Insights, a new wellness craze is coming to town. Adaptogens and nootropics are ingredients found already in products that plenty of people use daily for relaxation and improved cognitive function; Nootropics improve focus and productivity (like caffeine) while adaptogens promote calm and stress management (like herbal teas and nicotine). 

So why are these properties now being harnessed and marketed more directly in the wellness industry? There are a few reasons: Western cultures at large are looking towards Ayurvedic and other Eastern medicines for pain and illness treatment or overall wellness routines, and many adaptogens and nootropics are being branded and packaged for easy supplement use (like Kin Euphorics beverages).

CBD isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but expect it to be joined by other wellness options in more and more products.

[CB Insights]

4. Contact Me

Hip eyeglass retailer Warby Parker has entered a new eyesight industry: Contacts.

The popular frame maker announced their new line of daily contacts, called Scout. A year’s supply costs a competitive $440, and CEO Neil Blumenthal promises a seamless, ideal ordering process for contact wearers. 

Warby Parker is no stranger to a successful direct-to-consumer model with their try-on glasses program that ships five frames to consumers so they can find their ideal pair in the comfort of their home. Now, the eyewear retailer is jumping into the subscription waters, hoping to lure in repeat customers instead of selling eyeglasses at much more sporadic, spread-out intervals.

Can Warby Parker make contact lenses as cool as they made eyeglasses? That will remain to be seen, but if anyone can do it, it’s probably them.

[Bloomberg Businessweek]

5. Wine Online

Kroger grocery stores has expanded its online alcohol program, which now includes increasingly personalized features like the ability for customers to build their own selection of wines to be delivered. The service has also expanded to nineteen states, covering about 58 million homes.

Kroger is certainly not the only brick-and-mortar grocery retailer to feel pressure from online giants like Amazon, and alcohol delivery options is a major way it can set itself apart.

“We are continuously broadening how customers can engage with us no matter what their needs are, and expanding into wine was the natural evolution of bringing our in-store experience online,” a Kroger spokesperson told Modern Retail. “We’re working to actively expand our footprint as quickly as possible in the coming year.”

Grocery retailers will likely continue to find avenues that keep customers returning to them over megaretailers, and so far, alcohol delivery is working. Cheers to that.

[Modern Retail]