Market Track In the News
By: Phil Wahba
Nov.25, 2015 (Fortune) — How are discounts shaping up? For apparel, the deals should be outstanding. Clothing stores have complained about the warm autumn that has prompted shoppers to delay buying cold weather gear. That has led to inventory build-up, which retailers will try to clear this weekend. And big swathes of the country will be warm this weekend, including the Northeast, meaning deals will be plentiful. According to a Jefferies analysis of Black Friday circulars, Kohl’s average discount is up 15%, Macy’s is up by 9.5% and Penney’s is up 19.9%.
Across all shopping categories, the deals are roughly on par with last year. Reuters reported that Penney offered an average 58% off in Black Friday ads this year, slightly less generous than 59% last year, citing Market Track data. Kohl’s is offering 54% off, up from 51%.
By: Kylie Gumpert and Nandita Bose
Nov.24, 2015 (Reuters) —Black Friday shopping will help set the tone for the rest of the holiday season, signaling to retailers whether they need to drop prices or change promotions. While Black Friday is not always a strong forecaster of holiday spending, last year reports of poor Black Friday spending were followed by deeper discounting and a rush of buying in the week before Christmas.
J.C. Penney Co Inc offered an average 58 percent off in Black Friday ads this year, down from 59 percent last year, according to Market Track, which looks at circulars from top retailers. Kohl’s Corp is offering 54 percent off, up from 51 percent in 2014, and discounts from Staples Inc and Office Depot are both a touch less than last year, at 45 percent and 50 percent, respectively.
Appliances, entertainment items, infant products and hardware showed narrowing discounts, Market Track reported, while promotions for apparel, toys and electronics were getting bigger.
By: Suzanne Kapner
Nov.23, 2015 (WSJ) —And price has become a moving target. Amazon changed prices 666 times on 180 popular products sold from Nov. 1 through Nov. 19, according to Market Track, a price-tracking firm. That is a 51% increase in price volatility compared with similar products sold during the same period a year earlier. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s prices changed 631 times and Best Buy Co.’s prices changed 263 times on similar products sold during the same period this year.
Market Track expects fluctuations to speed up through the holidays. “We’re not at the pinnacle of this volatility yet,” said Traci Gregorski, the firm’s vice president of marketing. “It will get even crazier.”
By: Noreen O’Donnell
Nov.19, 2015 (NBCLA) —What was traditionally a single day of shopping already stretches over the weekend and now retailers are trying to extend the extravaganza even further by discounting goods long before the holiday. What that will mean to Black Friday sales is something analysts will be watching for.
“It remains to be seen how significant the event itself is,” said Traci Gregorski, vice president of marketing at the retail research firm Market Track.
By: Ashley Rodriguez
Nov.19, 2015 (Quartz) —Popular items are also more likely to sell out later in the season. More than three-quarters of online spending during the holidays goes to 1% of product SKUs, or stock-keeping units used to identify distinct items, research by Adobe Digital Insights found, based on an analysis of e-commerce data from hundreds of US retailers over the past eight years, including a portion of 2015.
So, if you’re after hot toys, like the Sphero BB8 or Lego Dimensions game, you better buy them quickly.
By: Catey Hill
Nov. 6, 2015 (MarketWatch) —Many retailers are, of course, simply dropping their prices to meet their competitor’s prices. And along the same lines, many of the big-box stores and other large retailers, including Best Buy BBY, +1.57% , Wal-Mart WMT, +0.17% , Target TGT, +0.98% , offer price match guarantees.
But in an attempt to avoid having to constantly discount prices, they’re also employing inventive strategies to render consumers unable to compare prices or to do so only with difficulty. Two of these strategies are exclusive collaborations and bundling products in unique ways, says Traci Gregorski, the vice president, of Marketing for research firm Market Track.
By: Hiroko Tabuchi
Oct. 29, 2015 (New York Times) — Some retailers have started offering holiday discounts weeks before the traditional year-end sales period, and continue to offer deals that are as good, or better, after Black Friday, as they offload inventory. That glut of sales has reduced shoppers’ imperative to hunt down Black Friday deals, experts say.
“Shoppers have been trained to expect special deals on occasions other than just a singular event like Black Friday,” said Traci Gregorski, vice president of marketing at the retail research firm Market Track. “From the shoppers’ perspective, there really isn’t that need, that burning desire, unless they so choose or want to go shopping on Black Friday.”
By: Drew FitzGerald
Oct. 29, 2015 (Wall Street Journal) — To open or not to open, that is the question facing American retailers this Thanksgiving. Some are opting to let workers feast at home for the holiday, while others, hungry for market share, are opening ever earlier.
Outdoor gear retailer Recreational Equipment Inc., known as REI, decided to close its 143 stores on Black Friday, taking the backlash against the day of deep discounts to a new level. Other chains, like GameStop Corp. and Staples Inc., will open later on Friday but plan to remain closed on Thanksgiving.
“The companies that are opting out are getting publicity in different ways,” said Traci Gregorski, vice president of marketing at research firm Market Track LLC. “Most retailers recognize that there is a lot of business to be done on those days. While the sales numbers on Black Friday have gone down, you can’t afford to not be competitive those times.”
By: Sarah Mahoney
Oct. 28, 2015 (MediaPost) — Outdoor retailer REI says it is shuttering the shop this Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, and urging its customers to #OptOutside. It’s even extending the holiday to e-commerce, and says it intends to feature a black takeover screen on its site, encouraging customers to get outdoors with friends and family. Experts say that it’s just the latest example of Americans growing increasingly blasé about retailers’ relentless hype leading up to Thanksgiving weekend.
“Reports of shopper exasperation with retailers interfering with family time on Thanksgiving prompted certain retailers, like The Home Depot, to shut their doors on Thanksgiving in 2014,” says Traci Gregorski, VP-marketing at Market Track, a market intelligence provider. “REI’s brand is likely to gain favorable shopper perception with this move, benefiting them in the long term.”
By: Kevin Downey
Oct. 17, 2015 (Kim Komando) — If you got the feeling that last year’s post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping season was a little crazier than it had been in the recent past, that’s because it was. Shoppers rushed out to stores, and to online retailers, in big numbers.
Brick-and-mortar stores have lots of competition, much of it from online retailers. In fact, 84% of shoppers in a recent Market Track study said they’re going to shop on Amazon this holiday season. Their reason? Low prices are high on their list.
By: Martha C. White
Oct. 9, 2015 (NBC News) — If you’re one of the many Americans who wants to get a jump on this year’s holiday shopping, savings experts have advice about what you should scoop up now and what you should hold off on buying to get the best deals.
Toys are a tricky category. They don’t hit their lowest prices until pretty close to Christmas, but popular or “must-have” playthings can sell out long before then. The lowest average price for toys on Amazon.com last year was Dec. 10, said Traci Gregorski, vice president of marketing at Market Track.
By: James K. Willcox
Oct. 9, 2015 (Consumer Reports) — According to Chicago-based research firm Market Track, 85 percent of all shoppers this year will research prices online and then buy in stores, a marked increase from last year. Electronics will be the most heavily compared products online. But the survey revealed another statistic that might be a bit deflating to brick-and-mortar stores: 84 percent of shoppers plan to shop on Amazon.com, citing low prices as their reason.
Noting that each year the differences between in-store and online prices have narrowed, Market Track also says that retailers are shifting their messaging from one that focuses strictly on price to one that stresses convenience. That means they will be emphasizing services such as order online/pick up in store, faster delivery of online orders, and free shipping on out-of-stock merchandise.
By: Jennifer Walpole
Oct. 4, 2015 (The American Genius) — While many are anticipating sales, and staking their claim on the big bargains on Black Friday;marketing analysts are predicting a different kind of shopping environment: one that’s more social media based.There are finally enough active users on various social media platforms, as well as, the technology to support social media shopping. They feel Pinterest and Instagram will lend shoppers the best experience, as both platforms are more visually focused. This will allow shoppers to create wishlists and directly connect with brands offering their hot-ticket items.
According to Market Track, however, only 9% of US Internet users planned to purchase directly from a social network during this shopping season.
By: Neal Ungerleider
Oct. 1, 2015 (FastCompany) — As the streaming wars heat up, Amazon is playing hardball: Effective October 29, the e-commerce retailer is banning sales of Apple TV and Google Chromecast units,according to Bloomberg. Amazon’s reasoning is that Apple TV and Chromecast are not compatible with its streaming service, Prime Video. Bloomberg reports that third-party sellers have been told they must stop selling both products; new listings are no longer being accepted, and existing stock must be sold before the ban takes effect.
“As the holiday season approaches, there will be more attempts such as this to promote products that are specific to certain retailers,” Traci Gregorski, a retail analyst at Market Track, told Fast Company. “Private label and branded products, especially ones tied to services such as Prime Video, offer differentiation in a crowded and exceptionally competitive marketplace. Driving Prime memberships has been a high priority for Amazon, as seen through their heavy push for memberships during Back-to-School and Prime Day.”
Sep. 28, 2015 (eMarketer) — In the past, social commerce has proved a disappointment to many prognosticators who expected the shopping directly from the likes of Facebook to be a nearly instant success. But analysts are beginning to think its time has come, with social networks and social media users alike a few years older and wiser.
According to Market Track, though, it’s not quite what you’d call the year of social commerce. An August 2015 survey found that just 9% of US internet users planned to purchase directly via a social network during the holiday season.
By: Peter Roesler
Sep. 21, 2015 (Inc.) — One way internet marketing can help increase the effectiveness of TV ad campaigns is by keeping people to stick around during the commercial. Market Track recently released a ‘Media Usage Survey’ which found that more than half of Internet users in the U.S. do not fast-forward through ad breaks, leave the room or switch channels.
These consumers actually watch (or more accurately hear) the commercials because they’re doing things on their internet connected device and don’t want to stop to channel surf. The study found that the majority of TV watchers who are also online happen to be multi-taskers. While watching television, 42 percent reported using a second screen such as a mobile device, compared to 21 percent who said they were not multi-tasking.
By: Mike Troy
Sep. 21, 2015 (Retailing Today) — Pricing is always a consideration for shoppers, but this year transparency will take another leap forward with 85% of all shoppers expected to research prices online and then buy in-store. That figure is up considerably from 54% the prior year, according to Market Track’s survey of 1,000 shoppers. Electronics, small appliances, and toys/games will be the most heavily compared products online. Additionally, the survey revealed that 84% of shoppers plan to shop on Amazon, citing low prices as their reason for doing so. Interestingly, 12% said they plan to shop at online newcomer Jet.com this holiday.
“This holiday shopping season, shoppers will have more options to shop where and how they want than ever before and they won’t be forced to fight the crowds in-store during a single day event to get the best deals,” said Traci Gregorski, VP of marketing at Market Track. “The gap will close on price differences offered online and in-store, and there will be a move toward retailer messaging that emphasizes making things easy for the shopper such as buy online, pick-up in-store, free shipping on out of stock merchandise, and faster delivery for online orders.”
Sep. 21, 2015 (Accessories Magazine) — Every year the holiday shopping season seems to start earlier than the year before. New data from a survey conducted by Market Track, LLC, a provider of advertising, promotional, brand protection and pricing intelligence solutions, reveals that once again shoppers will be getting a head start on their 2015 holiday shopping.
“This holiday shopping season, shoppers will have more options to shop where and how they want than ever before and they won’t be forced to fight the crowds in-store during a single day event to get the best deals,” said Traci Gregorski, vice president of marketing at Market Track. “The gap will close on price differences offered online and in-store, and there will be a move toward retailer messaging that emphasizes making things easy for the shopper such as buy online, pick-up in-store, free shipping on out of stock merchandise, and faster delivery for online orders.”
By: Tonya Garcia
Sep. 18, 2015 (MarketWatch) — A nationwide survey of 1,000 consumers conducted by Market Track, an advertising and branding research company, found that 84% of shoppers plan to purchase items from Amazon, citing low prices. Another 12% said they’d be shopping on nmember-based e-commerce site Jet.com. The survey also found that 83% of consumers plan to have the majority of their holiday shopping done on Cyber Monday or earlier.
Sep. 17, 2015 (eMarketer) — Even today, many consumers watch TV commercials, and some of those commercials drive further action. The main one is more research, according to July 2015 polling.
Market Track found that more than half of US internet users watch commercials on TV, as opposed to fast-forwarding through them, channel-surfing or simply leaving the room when they came on. And when commercials do spur viewers to act, digital research is far and away the most common response. Another 17% research items in-store.
Sep. 15, 2015 (eMarketer) — Perhaps frustratingly for retailers, the top reason, according to Market Track, is that shoppers simply decide they don’t want the item all that much. That’s what 28% of US digital buyers said their primary reason was for not buying something in their cart, followed by 27% who wanted to do more research.
Sep. 11, 2015 (eMarketer) — Parents had their eyes on smartphones, looking for deals during this past back-to-school season, according to August research from Market Track. The firm found 81% of smartphone owners with kids ages 5 to 22 used their device to compare prices in the lead-up to classes.
In addition, more than two-thirds said they looked for coupons or discounts online via mobile.
Sep. 10, 2015 (Retailing Today) — According to a new study from Market Track, Prime Day and the resulting widespread competitive response created a brand new shopping event only two weeks before the peak back-to-school shopping period.
Market Track’s recent Back-to-School Shopper Insight Series survey found that 63% of shoppers make the majority of their back-to-school purchases in August. Thus retailers will need to resolve how to stay competitive online throughout July, while still providing incentive for back-to-school shoppers in early August.
Despite the introduction of Prime Day, retailers like Office Depot, Staples, and Amazon offered their deepest discounts on back-to-school products between Aug. 6-12 this year.
Aug. 24, 2015 (Ad Age) — Over the past year, Ms. Guggemos has worked more closely with the marketing and public relations teams, recapping her most-loved items of the season, to highlight Target’s new products with clever marketing and packaging that speaks to the merchandise’s artisan details. In March, the marketer debuted one of Ms. Guggemos’ favorites — an Embark walking sleeping bag with arm and feet holes — on “The Mindy Project.”
“It’s really about building up that brand equity in their owned brands as much as they’re doing with their partners,” said Traci Gregorski, VP-marketing at research firm Market Track.
Aug. 18, 2015 8:48 PM EDT (The Wall Street Journal) — Retailers’ love affair with print circulars finally may be coming to an end.
Several large retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Kohl’s Corp. and Sears Holdings Corp., significantly scaled back the number of newspaper circulars they distributed this summer, according to the companies and data compiled by research firm Market Track.
Making a break with circulars isn’t without risks for retailers, either. Market Track found that 75% of shoppers use circulars to find deals during the back-to-school shopping period, which occurs over the summer.
“Some retailers appear to have missed an opportunity to communicate their deals during the second biggest selling season of the year,” said Traci Gregorski, Market Track’s vice president of marketing.
Wal-Mart, Kohl’s and Sears each reported sluggish sales for the second quarter. Kohl’s said last week that the back-to-school season was getting off to a later than expected start, in part due to a shift in state tax-free holidays.
Aug. 18, 2015 04:02 PM EDT (Momentology) — Market intelligence firm Market Track said advertisers can build excitement and capture the attention of price-conscious consumers by promoting in-store and online events.
Noting retailers go through the same struggles during back-to-school as they do in the holiday season but to a greater extent because they must create urgency to buy during this two-plus-month shopping event, Market Track notes creating events under the back-to-school umbrella that have start and end dates can help drive consumers to purchase.
Aug. 13, 2015 3:53 PM EDT (AP) — The start of the school year is just around the corner, and you haven’t shopped yet
Don’t fret. To get the best deals, it’s all in the timing.
Need sweater? Wait until later in the fall. Backpacks? Hold off until late September, if you can.
“Arm yourself with information,” said Traci Gregorski, vice president of marketing for research firm Market Track, which tracks promotions at various retailers. “Lots can be found on websites, apps and circulars.”
CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES
Now is a good time to stock up on summer clothing, taking advantage of clearance sales. Gap’s Old Navy, for example, is offering up to 60 percent off on summer tops. Macy’s is highlighting light-weight casual dresses for teens that are $29.99 and under.
But it’s best to wait to buy jeans, boots, sweaters and until well after school starts.
Gregorksi monitored circulars at 13 stores including J.C. Penney, Macy’s, Sears, Target and Wal-Mart the past two years.
“The key takeaway here is that the best chance to get a deal on these fall clothing items is in October,” said Gregorski. “Not only are there more products on promotion, but the deals are as good and often better than the back-to-school months.”
July 21, 2015 (ADWEEK) — Jet.com went live today with plenty of buzz, but its long-term viability is questionable.
The well-funded e-commerce website offers consumers an alternative to Amazon for seemingly all of their online shopping needs. Industry watchers are fascinated with the new player for two chief reasons. First, there’s Jet.com founder Marc Lore, who also launched Quidsi, the parent company of Diapers.com and Soap.com, before selling it for $545 million to Amazon in 2010. The second reason centers on whether or not his business model can survive over the long haul.
“They have certainly invested in marketing themselves—the question will be can they live up to expectations,” said Traci Gregorski, vp of marketing at Market Track. “They have a lot of work to do in order to be considered a threat [to Amazon], and the sustainability of this model will depend on their ability to be agile and adapt to what shoppers want.”
July 16, 2015 (Retail Touch Points) — The marketing mayhem surrounding Prime Day has settled, and now industry players are wondering whether it was a success.
The answer is: It really depends on who you ask.
While Amazon reported that Prime Day broke global sales records and exceeded Black Friday sales, many consumers would respond with an eye roll and snarky comment.
“Since much of the hype was around Black Friday-like deals, shoppers were expecting the same type of items to be featured, and have taken to social media to express disappointment around lack of inventory and selection,” said Traci Gregorski, VP, Marketing at Market Track. “One of the big takeaways for all retailers is that if you build up hype around an event, it’s important to clearly communicate what the sale is and what types of items will be featured. It’s also important to offer compelling items to drive action.”
July 16, 2015 (Chain Store Age) — While the social buzz regarding Amazon’s “Prime Day” on Wednesday, July 15, was not so prime, it appears the event was a big success sales-wise (so good it’s coming back). And industry experts said the event was important in other ways too.
“The event could be considered a success in the respect that it drove competition and online sales across the industry during a period that is not typically high volume,” said Traci Gregorski, VP, marketing, Market Track, a provider of market intelligence solutions. “For Amazon, if they are able to increase Prime memberships that will be the ultimate win, since those shoppers are higher value than non-members.”
July 16, 2015 (USA TODAY) — At the very least, Amazon’s Prime Day sale shows that the retail behemoth can scare its competitors into taking action — even if it wasn’t able to please many of its customers with the deals offered during this made-up sales holiday.
Amazon promised thousands of deals rolled out over the course of the day and night. But many social media users took to Twitter to say they were underwhelmed by Amazon’s hyped-up offers.
However, overall, the sale “was successful in driving competitive response across the e-commerce space,” said Traci Gregorski, vice president of marketing at research firm Market Track. “And based on that response it appears that they have created a new shopping event where one did not exist previously.”
July 15, 2015 (BloombergBusiness) — At the very least, Amazon’s Prime Day sale shows that the retail behemoth can scare its competitors into taking action — even if it wasn’t able to please many of its customers with the deals offered during this made-up sales holiday.
Some shoppers were likely turned off by Amazon featuring items like vitamins and cleaning products rather than top-selling televisions, said Traci Gregorski, vice president of Market Track, which monitors data on advertising, pricing and promotions. The risk is that future promotions may fall flat.
July 15, 2015 (CNN Money) — It’s not living up to the hype.
Unhappy Amazon shoppers vented on Wednesday about its “Prime Day” sales, slamming the online retailer with the hashtags that included: #unhappyPrimeDay, #AmazonFail, #gobacktosleep, and #PrimeDayFail.
Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) had promoted the 24-hour sale event as having “more deals than Black Friday” and teased major savings on electronics, home appliances and baby products.
An executive with the Market Track firm told CNNMoney that while “Prime Day” had comparable deals to Black Friday, Amazon hadn’t included some of its best-selling items in the sale.
“Although the best Prime Day deals rivaled the best Black Friday deals, Amazon has not included their most in-demand products in their Prime Day event,” Vice President of Marketing Traci Gregorski said. “Just under 10% of their best-sellers in high-demand categories like tablets, televisions, toys & games, video games, laptops, digital cameras, and movies/tv shows were included in the event.”
By Jennifer Acevedo
June 29, 2015 (Retail Leader) — With the media landscape more fragmented than ever, grocery retailers struggle with what media outlets work best for their brand. A recent webinar hosted by Chicago-based MarketTrack offered insights into how the most successful retailers use promotions to drive growth from a recent study.
The study, “Winning Strategies in Grocery,” also examines how digital advertising platforms have evolved the art of promotion; which categories drive store traffic the most when promoted; and how retailers can vary pricing by region to better compete in local markets.
See: The Price is Right
May 29, 2015 (FOXBusiness) — According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon has initiated talks with manufacturers such as TreeHouse Foods (THS), which supplies retailers with their own line of food products.
The e-commerce giant also filed for trademark protection for over two dozen categories under the Elements brand. In a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Amazon listed water, coffee, cereals, snacks and vitamins, as well as pet food, razors and cleaning products.
“This is something that will most certainly shake up the industry, as Amazon has historically shown that they are willing to take risks in order to dominate the market,” Traci Gregorski, vice president of marketing at industry researcher Market Track, said in an email.
See Report: Amazon to Launch House Brand for Food
March 18, 2015 (Candy Industry) — Whatever happened to brand loyalty? Well, it’s still there, but will most likely disappear in the face of a well-timed promotion that provides consumers with a bargain.
What’s disconcerting for some candy and snack manufacturers, and perhaps opportunistic for others, is the percentage of consumers willing to do so.
According to Chicago-based Market Track’s 2015 Shopper Insight Survey, which focused on buying behaviors and trip drivers between shopper demographics from two panels of 500 individuals primarily responsible for purchasing groceries for their households, nearly 80 percent of shoppers will switch where they shop if prices are lower elsewhere. Moreover, three-quarters will forego the brand they buy if a different brand is on sale.
Although there seems to be a bit more brand loyalty amongst candy and snack purchasers, the overwhelming majority will still be swayed by promotions and sales.
By Andria Cheng
Feb 23, 2015 4:26 p.m. ET NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Target didn’t even introduce a sitewide free-shipping offer till last summer, but it’s already cutting in half — to $25 from $50 — the purchase threshold. That move undercuts rivals including Amazon.com Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
A National Retail Federation survey found that lower prices and free shipping are online customers’ two top considerations. Target has said more than half of its online shoppers opted not to complete purchases because of shipping costs.
On the pricing front, Target also has narrowed its gap against Amazon and Wal-Mart this year, a Market Track study compiled for MarketWatch showed.
January 30, 2015 (Marketing Daily) — No company has more invested in the Super Bowl than PepsiCo, and that’s reflected in planning that begins years in advance, and marketing programs that begin six or more months prior to any given year’s big game.
Data supplied to Marketing Daily by advertising tracking firm Market Track about “bundle” ads provides some sense of just how important and far-ranging cross-brand marketing around the Super Bowl has become to PepsiCo.
The research firm defines a bundle print ad as one that promotes two or more products from different but typically complementary categories, like soda and chips.
Looking primarily at print ads run to date during January, versus the same pre-game period in January 2014, Market Track found that PepsiCo’s “bundle” ads have jumped by 202% this year.
Further, fully 75% of soda/chips bundle ads run this month featured Pepsico brands, including Pepsi and Frito-Lay brands, compared with 53% of bundle ads seen in the same period last year. (Coca-Cola’s bundle ads are also up — by 128% versus last year’s January period — although Dr Pepper’s are down 52%, reports Market Track.)
By James K. Willcox
January 16, 2015 05:05 PM (Consumer Reports) — If you’re not heading to Glendale, Arizona, to catch Super Bowl XLIX between the Patriots and the Seahawks in person, then the next best way to watch the big game is on a big-screen TV. And now’s a good time to buy, because prices are falling.
Based on info from research firm Market Track, we expect to see the price of many of the sets in our top-10 list drop an average of about 20 percent before the Super Bowl. Be sure to ask about a 30-day price-match guarantee—prices will continue to fall next month when retailers start clearing out inventories of leftover 2014 sets in earnest.
But which TV to choose? That’s easy—just pick one from this list. True, none is a budget pick, but all are guaranteed to deliver top-notch picture quality for sports as well as for your favorite TV show or a blockbuster action flick.
Here are our top picks for a Super Bowl TV. For an even wider assortment of sets, check our Ratings of more than 200 TVs.
See Report: How to shop for and install a TV on game day
By Shelly Banjo
Dec. 28, 2014 8:04 p.m. ET (The Wall Street Journal) — There’s a growing gap in retailing between those who get discounts and those who don’t. Call it the discount divide.
After years of sending out email blasts offering all shoppers steep discounts, retailers such as Stage Stores Inc., which runs 880 department stores, including the Bealls and Goody’s chains, are starting to pare back the promotions by showing them only to customers who respond to price reductions.
At the other end of the spectrum, Stage Stores has shoppers who are more interested in nabbing the newest styles in shoes and handbags than in sniffing out bargains. Stage Stores rarely advertises clearance sales to them.
“Discounting is here to stay; you just have to be smart about it if you still want to make money,” said Steven Lawrence, the company’s chief merchandising officer and a former merchandising executive at J.C. Penney Co.
See Report: Retailers Save Discounts for Bargain Hunters
By ANDRIA CHENG, Retail Reporter
— NEW YORK (MarketWatch) —Marque Edwards is the kind of shopper that retailers hope will make their holiday season.
The 47-year-old electrician from New York just began his Christmas shopping on Monday and said price isn’t his top priority. “I pretty much always shop at the last minute because I have to work all the time,” he said, carrying bags from Toys “R” Us and American Girl stores.
While he noted retailers tend to put more things on sale at the last minute, he said his purchases are “more about what I need.”
Procrastinators like Edwards are always important to retailers, and particularly so after the disappointing start to this holiday season. Plenty of last-minute shoppers of all ages were outside the Toys “R” Us flagship store at Times Square on Monday, rushing to make their last-minute purchases. While these buyers say discounts are nice to have, they differ from targeted deal seekers that mark a typical Black Friday shopper.
And that creates some opportunity for retailers, especially for those that still have coveted products in stock. According to consultancy Market Track, just over one in five of about 1,500 key toys and electronics that were in stock on Black Friday were out of stock as of Sunday, and the products that remained in stock were on average 7.2% more expensive.
By ANDRIA CHENG, Retail Reporter
— NEW YORK (MarketWatch) —Skipping the madhouse of Black Friday shopping and holding out until the final days before Christmas to buy electronics gadgets is a financial gift to yourself.
Chains such as Best Buy Co. BBY, -0.13% Target Corp. TGT, +0.68% Wal-Mart and GameStop Corp. GME, +2.49% increased the “complexity of offers” in the form of layered discounts or gift card with purchases on Black Friday, for example, so it has become harder to identity which retailer truly has the best deals, according to Market Track, which also helps retailers track and devise a pricing strategy.
See Report: Why you are right to shop at the last minute
By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO, AP Retail Writer
– NEW YORK (AP) — Online shopping has become as volatile as stock market trading. Wild, minute-by-minute price swings on everything from clothes to TVs have made it difficult for holiday shoppers to “buy low.”
A growing number of retailers are using software that changes online prices based on demand, competition, inventory and other factors. The main goal is to undercut rivals when necessary, and raise prices when demand is high and there’s no competitive pressure.
Abt, a consumer electronics retailer in Chicago, started using online pricing software from a company called Market Track that tracks all of its products. It said over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend it changed prices on several hundred items each day. “This is the most efficient tool we have to gauge competition and adjust pricing,” said Jon Abt, the retailer’s president.
By Jilian Mincer and Nandita Bose
(Reuters) — Amarilis Sinchi visited Macy’s at a New Jersey mall on Black Friday, but she waited until this week to purchase the red fleece pajamas she had her eye on.
The 21-year-old student ended up paying $13 at the department store, down from $30 on Friday, which has traditionally been the best day for deals during the U.S. holiday season. “The prices keep getting better,” she said, planning a return to another store – Kohl’s – which had dropped the price on LEGO toys.
Retailers started discounting early this holiday season, but that hasn’t stopped them from stepping up the offers now, particularly on apparel. The increasingly fierce struggle for consumer dollars online is adding to pressure for lower prices at stores, where mobile device-toting customers compare prices as they shop.
Companies that track discounts can discern a significant change. Last year, online prices from traditional retailers were lowest on Black Friday for a variety of products in many categories, according to Market Track. But this year, for instance, it found prices of kitchenware fell in the days after Black Friday, by 13 percent at Sears and 47 percent at Macy’s.
By Phil Wahba
Nov. 25, 2014 6:00 AM EST– (Fortune) Market Track compiled data for Fortune that shows just how intense discounts at 8 major retailers have been so far.
It’s not your imagination. Holiday shopping deals have come faster and more furiously so far this holiday season compared to last year, particularly in the days before the Black Friday frenzy.
By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO
Nov. 25, 2014 6:00 AM EST– NEW YORK (AP) —Thanksgiving could be the best day to shop all year.
An analysis of sales data and store circulars by two research firms contradicts conventional wisdom that Black Friday is when shoppers can get the most and biggest sales of the year.
Turns out, shoppers will find more discounted items in stores that are open on Thanksgiving. For example, there are a total of 86 laptops and tablets deeply discounted as door buster deals at Best Buy, Wal-Mart and others on the holiday compared with just nine on Black Friday, according to an analysis of promotions for The Associated Press by researcher Market Track.
See Report:Thanksgiving trumps Black Friday for deals
By James K. Willcox
October 29, 2014 8:30 AM EDT (Consumer Reports) – 1. It will be a great time to get a 60-inch—or even larger—TV. Last year, Vizio blew the doors off the competition with a 60-inch 1080p LCD TV priced at $688. We expect to see even better deals on sets this size, and maybe even larger. We also expect a few major brands to offer derivative models (special Black Friday-only sets) that will be available only during the holidays. Some secondary brands will probably offer new low prices for Ultra HD sets. According to the Chicago-based research firm Market Track, if history is any indicator, prices on promoted items will continue to rise this Black Friday, but that’s because retailers will be offering steeper breaks on higher-priced televisions—either larger-sized sets, or models with more features. More promotions will highlight the best values instead of the lowest price.
See Report: 5 Predictions for Black Friday 2014
By Spencer Soper
October 28, 2014 5:30 AM EDT (Bloomberg) – Toys are also an important e-commerce category. Amazon increased its inventory to 1,000 toys and games this year, up from several hundred last year, said Eva Lorenz, Amazon’s toys and games category leader. Online sales of toys and hobby supplies in the U.S. will hit $12.1 billion this year, up 15 percent from 2013, according to EMarketer.
Toys, along with video games and books, are also among the few products that holiday shoppers prefer to purchase online as opposed to brick-and-mortar stores, according to a survey of 1,000 people conducted by research firm Market Track in Chicago.
“Parents buying toys are trying to do it on the sly,” said Traci Gregorski, vice president of marketing at Market Track. “They don’t have to touch and feel the product and they want to get it to the house without the kids knowing.”
By Beth Pinsker
NEW YORK Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:00am EST
Jan 17 (Reuters) – According to Market Track data for 2013, the week
encompassing Black Friday was when most popular toys hit their
low price for the holiday season. There were also several price
lows in the weeks prior to Thanksgiving as retailers offered
sales well ahead of the holidays.
As for the price trajectory of the Furby Boom, it hit its
low price over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend at Walmart
and Toys R Us stores. The price ballooned to $40 on
Amazon.com, and has since gone into hockey-stick mode.
Market Track also determined that the prices of the majority
of hot toy items increased after January 1, 2014. See: For hot toys, sale-watching is like playing stock market
By Phil Wahba
NEW YORK Thu Jan 9, 2014 6:37pm EST
(Reuters) – Between November 3 and January 4, eight retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Target Corp and Macy’s Inc, increased the number of circulars
published by 6 percent and sent 57 percent more promotional e-mails, according to data prepared for Reuters by Market Track. See Discounts slam U.S. retailers’ holiday season profits
By Phil Wahba, Dhanya Skariachan and Lisa Baertlein
NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:31am EST
(Reuters) – Competing for shoppers led major retailers to significantly ramp up the frequency of their promotions in the first part of December, according to data prepared for Reuters by Market Track, a firm that provides market research for top retailers and manufacturers.
A group of eight major retail chains, including J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N), Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) and Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N), increased the number of circulars they published between December 3 and December 18 nearly 16 percent over the comparable period a year earlier.
Those retailers, which also include Sears (SHLD.O) and Kmart, Macy’s Inc (M.N), Kohl’s Corp (KSS.N) and Target Corp (TGT.N), ramped up the online deals even more, increasing the number of promotional emails by 54.5 percent, according to the Market Track data. See: Pressure builds as retailers near the holiday finish line
By Paul Ziobro and
Updated Nov. 29, 2013 11:30 p.m. ET
Wall Street Journal — Flagging bargains too early risks having competitors match or beat prices. Market Track LLC, which tracks pricing on the Web, said Best Buy had advertised a Samsung gas range for $699 in its Black Friday flier. On Wednesday, Sears dropped its price for the oven to $599. By Thursday, Best Buy and hhgregg Inc. had matched the lower price. See: On Black Friday, the real fight was online
By ELIZABETH A. HARRIS
Published: November 28, 2013
(The New York Times) — According to the retail federation, 53.8 percent of shoppers surveyed during the first week of November said they had already started their holiday shopping.
“The early push is definitely noteworthy,” said Traci Gregorski, a vice president for marketing at Market Track, a retail promotion and pricing analysis firm. “There has been a lot of messaging around ‘Don’t wait until Black Friday.’ ” See: Shop First, and Eat Later
By Suzanne Kapner
Updated Nov. 25, 2013 7:19 p.m. ET
(The Wall Street Journal) — Another tactic involves raising selling prices ahead of the holidays before the discounts kick in. In an analysis for The Wall Street Journal, price-tracking firm Market Track LLC looked at the online price fluctuations of 1,743 products in November 2012. Prices climbed an average of 8% in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving for 366, or about a fifth, of the products; the items were then discounted on Black Friday. Toys and tools had the biggest pre-Black Friday price increases—about 23%. See: The Dirty Secret of Black Friday ‘Discounts’
By TOM GARA
Aug 20, 2013
(The Wall Street Journal) — Market Track, a retail pricing intelligence firm, keeps tabs on
pricing across the industry, and its data suggests that Amazon is still
broadly cheaper than its competitors. A couple of examples the company
dug up for us today: Over the last 30 days, in a sample of the
top-selling items in Amazon’s Bakeware / Cookware section, the site was
beaten on price on only 9% of the items.
Put another way, 91% of the time you wouldn’t find it cheaper
anywhere else. In the treadmills and elliptical trainers section of the
site, its top sellers were beaten on price 11% of the time. See: Live from the front lines of the Amazon price war
May 17th, 2013
(eMarketer) — eMarketer reports that retailers are quickly taking to dynamic
pricing practices, using competitive intelligence to change pricing
based on market conditions and consumer behavior. The study indicates
that only 34% of responding retailers admitted to having no plans of
adopting pricing intelligence, which includes services like Dynamite
Data, into their company practices. Dynamite Data’s study of 2012
Holiday pricing is featured in the report and the company’s chief
architect, Kristopher Kubicki, advises that retailers must to have full
knowledge of their product assortment in order to offer competitive
pricing. See: “Dynamic Pricing Helps Keep Pace with Savvy Consumers”.
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May 8th, 2013
By: Matthew Chapman
(Marketing Magazine) — An article in Marketing Magazine discusses the possibilities
for real-time data in future pricing practices. Dynamite Data shares
that its clients already push pricing limits by using the company’s
on-demand data to regularly refresh Electronic Shelf Labels. According
to the article, innovations in mobile technology might soon allow phones
to update ELS for individual consumers based on their buying habits.
While some analysts deem these practices a potentially chaotic, Dynamite
Data confirms the possibility of this future trend. For more
information see: “Real-Time pricing: coming to a store near you“.
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May 6th, 2013
(The Wall Street Journal) — The Wall Street Journal announced that executive, Terry Jones, has
joined the Dynamite Data team as Board Advisor. Jones brings his
experience as founder and CEO of Travelocity.com, Chairman of Kayak.inc,
and CIO of Sabre.inc. to the industry leading Big Data provider. Diana
Schulz, CEO of Dynamite Data, says that “adding Terry to our collective
intelligence is a pinnacle moment for us as a company.” Read more at: “Leading Online Technology Innovator Terry Jones, Joins Dynamite Data as Board Advisor.”
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April 19, 2013
(Extreme Tech) — Two years after Dynamite Data’s Chief Architect, Kristopher Kubicki,
analyzed Thailand’s post-flood effects on SSD storage, Extreme Tech
asked him to revisit the topic. Dynamite Data’s two year historical
prices confirm that while the capacity of SSD’s have increased, the
price per GB has dropped to pre-flood prices. What’s the moral of the
story? Now is the best time for consumers to stock up. Read more: “Storage Pricewatch: HDDs back to pre-flood prices, SSDs grow as $/GB holds steady”.
The New York Times, the pricing firm Dynamite Data tracked prices at
three major online retailers — Walmart.com, Amazon.com and Target.com — starting the week before Thanksgiving and going through Tuesday, after most heavy promotions ended.
April 18, 2013
Chief Architect at Dynamite Data, Kristopher Kubicki, discusses how
today’s online retailers are shaping future pricing trends not just by
marketing to national audiences, but by perfecting the skill of
tailoring specific products to individual buying habits. Kubicki notes:
“Processing a customer’s entire purchase history just to recommend a
single, custom-tailored promotion seemed far-fetched even just a few
years ago. But now, big data-enabled personalized promotional offers are
To read more about this trend, see: “Personalized
Commerce: Coming to an Internet Near You; Retailer Strategies Using
Data Can Have A Personal Effect On Buying Habits.”
March 21st, 2013
According to Internet data expert Kristopher Kubicki, major U.S.
grocers are finally following the lead of their European counterparts by
moving to digital coupons. As more grocers embrace the digital age,
their need for real-time online data from companies like Dynamite Data
has become an imperative. Read Kubicki’s article: “For Grocers, After Years of Shunning Internet, Digital Starts to Click.”
February 21, 2013
On February 21, 2013, “Data Informed” featured the benefits of
Dynamite Data’s real-time pricing information. The article focuses on
Dynamite’s ability to extract and analyze 100 terabytes of data each
day, providing retailers with the pricing and inventory statuses they
need to combat competitor’s moves both online and on showroom floors.
For the full article, see: “‘Real-Time’ Pricing Service Designed to Arm Retailers in ‘Showrooming’ Battles with Online Merchants”.
February 13, 2013
“Marketing Week’s” February Data Strategy report features
interviews with Dynamite Data’s CEO, Diana Schulz, and a company client
at Crucial.com that highlight retailers’ newest focus on real-time
eCommerce Data. The article names Dynamite as a leader in instant and
accurate online product, pricing, and promotion information. For more,
see: “Up-to-the Minute Benefits.“
February 5th, 2013
CNBC reported in its February 5th edition of “Sports Business” that
prices on HDTVs had plummeted more than twice as much in the week
leading up to this year’s Super Bowl as in 2012. The article is based
off data and analysis from Dynamite Data. For more information, see: “The Super Bowl and TV Prices.”