Over the past three weeks our email intelligence tracking the most accurate proxy of consumer activity has identified brands that are showing strong growth in email order confirmations, welcome emails or other similar.
Within our universe of nearly 300 names, our email intelligence identified several brands relying on record setting promotions and discount to drive traffic both online and in stores. Compared with prior years, total promotional volume, total steep discounts, total significant discounts were all at least 100-200% higher than year ago levels.
Our systems alert investors to these situations which have often signaled dramatically reduced guidance.
Random Walk Email Intelligence has never identified more unusual promotional activity than over the past 30 days. In June alone our systems have captured nearly 100 never seen before campaigns as consumer preferences shift.
HOME FURNISHING PROMOTIONS ACCELERATE TO NEW HIGHS
BIG, LOVE, W, WSM
In home furnishings our data indicates COVID pulled forward, not just several quarters but year’s worth of demand. Now, with the backyard, garage space and wallets maxed out, consumers are shifting away from creating the perfect Instagram worthy at-home backyard oasis.
Random Walk Email Intelligence indicates record growth the discount campaigns in Q2 from Pottery Barn.
DEMAND FOR CASUAL ‘AT HOME’ FOOTWEAR FADING?
CROX, FL, SCVL
During COVID, Americans gobbled up footwear for the outdoors or comfort around the house casual footwear retailers benefitted and throttled back promotions. However, this summer with consumers more spartan due to gas prices and $20 hamburgers they don’t appear to need so many sandals.
Crocs and Crocs retailers such as Foot Locker and Shoe Carnival have been blasting an all-time high volume of Croc’s specific discounts.
GET OUTDOORS ON THE ROAD MEETS $6 GAS
CWH, WGO, YETI
Without COVID checks, a free pass from work, and with $6 gas it appears road trip RV, van and mega SUV trips could be stalling. Our email intelligence has tracked growth in promotional volumes for outdoor camping accessory related businesses such as Camping World, Winnebago, and Yeti.
Into summer camping season Camping World has blasted out an all-time high volume of significant and steep discounts.
Our data visualizations allow quick identification of outliers within a specific sector. Find out which brands are losing organic demand and responding with increased “push” discounting campaigns to their leads
> Email Intelligence successfully detected the collapse of one of the biggest FOMO driven manias in US history: “crypto trading”.
> Random Walk ensemble alerted investor partners to sharp deceleration in orders, new account “welcome” confirmations, as well as a higher deletion rate for new product offerings.
> Wall Street bankers and analysts, motivated to sell the management “narrative”, extrapolate unsustainable growth rates into the future, but RW data can help uncover inflections
In 2020 and into 2021 our data indicated strong, but likely transient growth in new “Welcome to Coinbase” email confirmations. This unsustainable growth was driven by a ‘Black Swan’ mosaic of factors: bored locked down Americans, unprecedented Uncle Sam stimulus checks, and social media FOMO pictures of teens in pajamas getting rich trading Crypto Kitties.
After lockdowns and free money ended in late 2021 our ensemble uncovered slowing in new customer confirmation emails, and we added COIN to our slowing list.
‘GENIUS’ SUPER BOWL QR AD GENERATES CLICKS NOT CUSTOMERS
Above: Super Bowl Ad fails to generate customers, but drove worthless clicks due to its nebulous nature
Several additional data driven trends revealed themselves earlier this year. The inability for a $14 million Super Bowl ad to attract new customers was apparent as our data detected no spike in new accounts. While the media focused on worthless “clicks” our data showed a lack of actual new customers. Management hubris led to equivocating marketing a crypto-trading platform with proven consumers products such as alcohol/beer, quick service restaurants, auto, apparel etc.
In March, our email intelligence indicated very high delete rates for new products marketed with email promotions such as Coinbase One, and Coinbase NFTs. With gas at $6 a gallon and $25 hamburgers and rising rates, consumers had lost interest, as they prioritized getting to work and feeding their families over possessing digital unicorn.
BITCOIN SPIKES, TRADING VOLUMES DON’T
The lack of interest in trading “cryptos” despite a spike in bitcoin after Putin invaded Ukraine showed in our data and confirmed the slowing trend.
AS BROADER EQUITY MARKETS CORRECT, CUSTOMER GROWTH ENDS
Once the high growth equity tech bubble began to collapse and consumers saw their 529 plans, 401ks, and brokerage accounts decline, they quickly shifted their preferences away from crypto trading.
Our promotional email ensemble helped investors better understand and quantify the magnitude of changes in the intensity and aggressiveness that apparel brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), American Eagle (AE) and Guess (GES) are sending. As weather has warmed, our promotional ensemble reveals robust demand growth as consumers previously stuck at home load up on “going out” summer apparel.
Our promotional ensemble quantifies the changes such as key declines in the volume of email campaigns, the distribution discounts offered.
Successfully channelling rebounding demand for swimwear, AEO’s Aerie has further throttled back its promotions.
Our tracking on an sector basis reveals AEO has become one of the least aggressive promotors compared with its peers compared with just a year ago.
For Guess, our email intelligence allows investors to quantify the exact campaign frequency and intensity. As can be seen below, Guess is pushing out significant promotions and discount coupons much less frequently than a year ago as organic demand has rebounded.
Our email intelligence uncovered a subtle, but critical change in the email sending patterns of EBAY.
During COVID as demand had risen to unprecedented levels, EBAY throttled back the frequency and intensity of their email campaigns and discounting. However, this March our proprietary systems detected a reversal, with EBAY ramping up a specific type of email campaign containing discounting language unseen before. As management began to see COVID demand wane, they began using steeper promotional language in specific product categories. We identified this and warned our clients. In ETSY our tracking of order confirmation volumes showed a significant sequential slowdown in April.
Our ensemble has detected incredible, all-time high demand for car rentals(CAR) this spring as locked up Americans return to travel. This has resulted in less time and interest than a year ago for stocking up the home on small electronics(BBY), home décor (BBBY, ETSY), at home fitness (NLS).