Cyber Monday promotions for digitally native vertical brands remain high. 84.6% of DNVBs in the 2022 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 offered some kind of holiday deal, according to Digital Commerce 360 research. Last year, 81.3% of Top 1000 DNVBs offered a sale on Cyber Monday.
DNVBs still aren’t quite as sale-happy as general retailers on Cyber Monday, as 89.0% of retailers in Digital Commerce 360’s panel of 100 major retailers selling into North America offer Cyber Monday sales.
But, DNVBs offering Cyber Monday promotions are still up significantly from 2020, when 71.4% of Top 1000 DNVBs offered Cyber Monday sales.
Historically, digital natives have touted products as year-round deals because they claim to cut out the middleman between brand and consumer. However, as retailers age and growth slows, many merchants often turn to discounting to attract new customers and continue growing sales. Adding promotions can also boost legitimacy, according to Joseph Cohen, CEO of mobile site builder Univer.se.
“If the established incumbents in your industry are offering discounts, a way to ensure consumers perceive you as a true peer to those businesses is to pattern match them by having a bold and strong internet presence, a true custom domain, and the capability to offer seasonal discounts,” he said.
During the period starting with Thanksgiving and ending with Cyber Monday, ecommerce sites powered by Univer.se increased promotions by 125% compared to the previous week, Cohen said.
While more DNVBs than ever offered discounts this Cyber Monday, the discounts themselves continued to be lower compared with more general online retailers. Of the 54 DNVBs touting a percentage-based discount on their homepages, the median largest-listed discount was just 40% compared to a median of 50% that retailers in the broader panel offered.
DNVBs waited until after Thanksgiving to offer promotions
DNVBs also waited longer to start their sales. Just 10.3% offered a pre-Black Friday promotion when Digital Commerce 360 editors checked on Nov. 10. Meanwhile, 24.0% of the Digital Commerce 360 panel offered early Black Friday sales.
Some digital natives did pull back from holiday sales this year. Hims & Hers (No. 310 in the Top 1000) offered 30% off self-care gift sets last year, but the retailer didn’t mention the holidays on Cyber Monday on its site this year. Instead, it opted for an email campaign for a similar discount with code 30HOLIDAY, making reference to the season there.
The Menlo House, owned by Five Four Group (No. 434), marketed Black Friday deals of up to 80% off on Cyber Monday last year. This year, though, there was no holiday offering. Menlo House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Glossier Inc. (No. 570) wasn’t explicit about its holiday sale. While its deals were ending on Cyber Monday, it did not use any holiday or gifting language or imagery. The only mention of the holidays was a popup some of our researchers saw, offering “A holiday gift, Made just for you.” The popup prompted shoppers to sign up for email promotions in exchange for a discount. Glossier is in both the DNVB list and the Digital Commerce 360 panel.
Rothy’s (No. 253) held a “Black Friday” sale that extended through Cyber Monday, but it didn’t do much to promote it on the homepage besides a banner at the very top. The “archive event” is the last chance to get certain discontinued styles before stock runs out. The retailer doesn’t advertise a clear end date. Other than the small banner, holidays are not mentioned on the homepage.
The only other retailer to eschew the holiday spirit was Brentwood Home (No. 448), which offered 10% off but had no tie to gift giving. Other mattress brands like Helix Sleep (No. 227) and Casper Sleep Inc. (No. 181) touted deals for Cyber Monday.
DNVBs offered more than just percentage-off items. Thursday Boot Co. (No. 918), which didn’t offer a sale last year, offered a free gift with purchase, as did Brilliant Earth (No. 221), e.l.f. Cosmetics Inc. (No. 990) and Boll & Branch (No. 374). Helix Sleep paired a dollar-based discount with two free pillows, the latter of which is a common promotion on the site.
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