Our client, Daniel Footwear, is an independent retailer with over 20 stores in the UK, plus an award winning eCommerce store. Daniel Footwear boast an extensive range of high quality designer shoes, bags and accessories at competitive prices. Along with designer labels such as DKNY, Ash, UGG, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Westwood, Daniel Footwear also showcase their own unique Daniel brand.
We had a chat with Mark Buxton, Head of eCommerce at Daniel Footwear, to get his take on what could be the most significant Black Friday and Q4 in history.
Here’s what he had to say...
Hi Mark, thanks for taking the time to chat with us especially in the run up to Black Friday!
How are you feeling about Q4 this year?
Well, we can confidently say we are expecting healthy growth this quarter - but a lot will depend on what restrictions remain in place to try and help combat COVID-19. That being said, we saw incredible growth online during the first lockdown, so we made sure ahead of time that we would be prepared for any eventuality.
It’s definitely been a turbulent year, but we’ve been delighted to watch our clients pivot their strategies and grow amidst all the uncertainty. How are you preparing for Black Friday, have you had to change your plans?
This year we have increased our stock levels on key brands, as well as having our best quality ever own Daniel label range - which has already had a fantastic start to the new season, with huge growth on full price trade.
Amazing news! Have you had to scale up your warehousing this year with the spike in eCommerce?
Well, last year we outsourced our warehousing which really helped us scale up and deal with the incredible demand we saw during peak seas. We also did this during the March - June lockdown which supported the increase in demand seen then. Outsourcing warehousing for peak season this year will really help us scale in accordance with the growth we predict to see.
Have you changed your marketing message throughout 2020? Have you changed it for peak season?
Yes, we’ve changed it a touch to ensure that what we’re communicating to our customers is more relevant and empathetic, but we’ve not gone too heavily away from the norm.
Additionally, we’ve invested in our own slipper range as well as backing UGG with further stock, while reducing our occasion range when restrictions were in place. With being back into national lockdown now, we feel like this was the right decision.
Have you added any additional features to the site to help with onsite UX for Peak Season?
We recently launched the new Klarna One page checkout, which we think will benefit us massively in peak. We are also continuing to work closely with the CRO team at Visualsoft to improve our conversion rate as much as possible.
Have you continued to invest in your marketing throughout Q4 - if so, why?
Yes! We’ve increased our marketing budget. Over the last 12 months, we have grabbed a much bigger piece of the pie, and we’re expecting healthy growth again this quarter.
Incredible. What do you think is the most important piece of advice you could give to other retailers for Q4 this year?
Focus on growing both sales and margin - plus, back your own label if you have it! The eCommerce/ retail split has accelerated these past 6 months and there’s a great opportunity to acquire and nurture new customers.
What are your predictions for footfall this year, should stores remain open?
We expect footfall to be 20-30% down at least, depending on what tier your stores are in with the recently introduced localised measures this could be worse. Thankfully, eCommerce is helping to close in on the shortfall.
Looking to the future, do you have any big plans for 2021?
We plan to back our own label even further, we also hope to launch our first app to help create super customers and reward our most loyal customers. So, watch this space!
A huge thank you to Mark, Head of eCommerce at Daniel Footwear for taking the time out of his busy day (during peak season no less!) to chat with us on all things COVID, Q4 and beyond. You can find out more about Daniel Footwear at www.danielfootwear.com.
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