How to Develop a Holiday Discount Strategy with Moss Bros Group


Bryony Tagg

August 17, 2020 | 4 min read

Last Updated: Sep 16, 2020

Retailers are facing a big challenge. In the past, shoppers were climbing over each other in-store to grab the latest bargain. Now, now Black Friday has moved predominantly online, brands need a fresh marketing spin, and flashy discounts just aren't cutting it anymore. To be a competitive retailer, you need a holiday discount strategy that resonated with today's consumers. 

Today's consumers are taking back control. They've done their research beforehand. They're read reviews, checked the quality of products, and compared prices across sites. Consumers no longer buy a product at their favorite tried-and-true retailer. They're willing to kick brand loyalty to the curb and instead buy from whoever is selling an item at the cheapest price.

Not only that, but today's consumers also want to buy from brands with values that match their own. Sustainability is a big thing now. The quality, sourcing, and environmental impacts of products is being thrust into the spotlight.

That’s why suddenly, the holiday discount strategy plans brands have used for years are no longer relevant. Today's businesses need to create promotion plans that resonate with today's consumers and win over their business. But with more competition than ever before, that's easier said than done. 

To help you prepare a holiday discount strategy that resonates with your customers, here's a look at how Moss Bros Group, the UKs number 1 men's suit shop, created a Black Friday discount promotion that drove sales: 

Here’s what Moss Bros did.

  1. Daily Deals in the lead-up to Black Friday. These were advertised as ‘Better than Black Friday’; deals that were not going to be beaten on Black Friday. In other words, actively telling customers to shop early across all channels. It allowed the Moss Bros team to be selective on the products they wanted to discount at a heavier rate and allowed their customers to beat holiday traffic and secure the item colors and styles they wanted, while still getting a deal.


    One of Moss Bros' (Better Than) Black Friday Daily Deals—25% off partywear

  2. Extended Returns. No one wants to buy an item early just to realize it doesn't fit the gift's recipient come the holidays. By expanding your return window, you can give your consumers the confidence and peace of mind to shop early, knowing that they can return items after the holidays.
  3. Klarna. Adopting payment plan service Klarna, helped the Moss Bros team drive pre-payday sales and gave their customers the flexibility to pay on a schedule that works best for them. They saw orders paying by Klarna increase by 85% in the two weeks leading up to Black Friday.
  4. Blanket Discounting. For Black Friday, Moss Bros Group decided to use a blanket discounting strategy. This allowed their customers to get great deals on whatever products they wanted, suits, pants, shirts—you name it. This was a competitive offer that helped drive holiday sales for the menswear retailer.

Moss Bros' 2019 Black Friday deal—20% off sitewide

Using Contentsquare to get key metrics alerts on Black Friday

To help the Moss Bros Group team oversee their Black Friday website performance, they partnered with Contentsquare to set up automated alerts should any metrics fall below their performance benchmarks. This gave the team peace of mind knowing if any on-page elements broke on "game day," they'd be able to quickly find and fix any issues. These alerts related to top-line key metrics like conversion, traffic, bounce rate, page load times, and activity rates.

These alerts were particularly helpful for Bryony Tagg, Moss Bros' Ecommerce Trading Manager. Bryony's role makes her responsible for the strategy & implementation of all on-site campaigns, personalization, A/B testing, email marketing, and promotional trade planning for all global Moss sites, so it was critical she had access to real-time metrics and site performance on Black Friday.

“These help me know first thing exactly what I should be concentrating on for the day ahead," said Bryony. "Did anything fall through the floor, and likewise did anything perform far better than expected, and how can we repeat that formula if so? What promo was running, can we extend? Was it timing-related / stock related / price related etc.?”

She also set up a Contentsquare dashboard to track performance:

Prior to Black Friday, Bryony set up a dashboard with the key metrics she wanted to review across the holiday shopping period. This dashboard had a more detailed view of key pages she could monitor, as well as insights into how key audiences were interacting with their site and ultimately converting.

One particular area of interest for Bryony and her team was how new vs. returning customers were interacting with the Moss Bros site. Given that Black Friday is a big time for recruiting new customers, Bryony wanted to gain insight into their user behavior and try to improve repeat purchase & CLV.

Top four takeaways on holiday discount strategies for brands:

While Bryony and the Moss Bros team saw success with their 2019 Black Friday holiday discount strategy, each brand is different. You need to listen to your customers and choose a holiday discount strategy that meets (or exceeds) their needs.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when developing your own holiday discount strategy: 

  1. Answer these questions with your team: 
    - Should we offer a discount? 
    - What discount(s) should we offer?
    - How long should we discount for?
    - What are the risks if we don’t?
    - Will discounting pollute our brand perception?
  2. Keep your holiday discount strategy simple
    Your discounts don't have to be incredibly complex. Keep them simple and focus on communicating them to your customers.  
  3. Keep messaging on-brand
    Flashy graphics and images can be fun and eye-catching, but make sure your messaging and imagery is still genuine to your brand. You want to remind loyal customers you're the brand they know and love, while still attracting new visitors.   
  4. Be prepared to react daily
    Even when the holidays are here, the work isn't over. Make sure your company has the right tools in place to help you make changes on the fly to ensure your customers are getting the best digital experience on your site. You don't want a broken checkout button to cost you thousands in missed revenue! 

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