365 Days of Target’s Homepage Promotions

Need to know which homepage promotions your competitors are running today? Or better yet, which promotions they’ve been running recently compared to last year? Manual homepage monitoring is notoriously difficult. Images, text, and even layouts change frequently. And if the site has rotating images, it takes even more time.

Homepages reveal a lot about a retailer’s competitive strategy and understanding of their customer audience. What belongs on the homepage is a combination of retail brand imagery and promotional content that hits the customer conversion sweet spot. Promotions are tools to convert shoppers into buyers. Additionally, promotions help move inventory and create competitive event seasonality. Promotional length, frequency, and volume are all factors in convincing buyers, combatting ad blindness, and positioning appropriately in the overall competitive market.

So how do you present promotions in a way that speaks to a merchant’s customer audience? Using our data, we looked into all of Target’s homepage promotions for the year of 2015 to find insights into their promotional strategy last year.

The chart below shows all of Target’s homepage promotions for each day of 2015 by type and volume.

One insight gleaned: Promotional frequency is very stable, with eight homepage promotions on average. Additionally, seasonal promotional spikes indicate that in times of greater market pressure, a combination of both percentage discounts and dollar discounts make Target competitive.

Continuing with Target as a case study in retailer homepage strategy, consider promotional trends in terms of their type and duration. The chart below shows the percentage of promotions by type for 2015 along with the average run length (in days) by promotion type.

The insight—percentage discount promotions made up 43.7 percent of Target’s homepage promotions in 2015. Clearly, Target thinks that percent-off promotions are the most effective type for turning shoppers into buyers. Comparatively, free shipping promotions are now expected by customers, and the average promotional run length of 45 days supports that shoppers are more blind to shipping promotions. Meanwhile, percent discount promotions change much more frequently and at greater volume.

Additionally, return incentives, which includes “save 5% + free shipping with REDCard” for Target’s credit/debit card program, is the only promotion which appears continuously for the whole year. If we exclude that one, return incentives drop to 7.3 percent of promotions, with an average run length of five days.

Our clean promotional text easily allows and you to identify and search for keywords and trends by viewing promotions by discount. Below are the five most common text promotions (excluding REDCard) ranked by volume.

Top Five Target Homepage Promotions in 2015

  1. Up to 20% off (percentage discount promotion)
  2. BOGO 50% off (buy X, get Y)
  3. 15% off (percentage discount promotion)
  4. 20% off (percentage discount promotion)
  5. Extra 10% off (percentage discount promotion)

The most common promotion (excluding REDCard) is “up to 20% off,” which indicates this is Target’s threshold to convert shoppers into buyers without cutting too much into profit margins. In fact, all top five promotions are variations of Target’s 20 percent off discount. (“buy one, get one 50 percent off” is equivalent to buying two items both at 25 percent off. Additionally, 15 percent off is just under 20 percent, which may still be enough for Target’s higher-priced products. And using the 10 percent off as an extra discount most likely moves smaller discounts into the conversion range of 20 percent off.

Tracking competitor promotions by type, frequency, and volume combined with our database of screenshots allows you to gain unprecedented insight into your competitor’s marketing strategy. Competing for shopper traffic share using just customer analytics and manually checking competitor’s promotions is time-consuming and limited. The ability to analyze competitor promotional data is now essential, since online shopping is now paramount to company growth and earnings.

We extract homepage images and promotional text for thousands of merchants daily, allowing you to access both historical images and text going back up to three years for select merchants. Access rich promotional insights to increase your strategic awareness and anticipate your competitors’ promotional moves. Through our platform, augment consumer analytics with competitive intelligence to win customer loyalty and market share year round.

Contributing Writer: Sierra Sterler

Min-Jee Hwang

Min-Jee is the former Director of Marketing at Wiser. She has extensive experience working with SaaS companies and holds a BA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from NYU Stern.

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