Let's simplify the analysis. Look at paid shipping orders in 2013, and 2014, in total.
- 2013 = -9.3%.
- 2014 = -10.9%.
Now, let's compare the results to orders via free shipping.
Again, let's simplify by looking at the totals for 2013, and 2014.
- 2013 = +14.8%.
- 2014 = -6.8%.
Tell me what you observe?
The reason the business was flat in 2013 was because free shipping propped up the customer file.
In other words, from a global standpoint, free shipping performance masked the problems with new items, causing Hippoman's Big And Tall to perceive that business wasn't all that bad.
However, when free shipping was comp'd against 2013 results, the glow from free shipping disappeared, leaving the gaping void caused by new item productivity to magnify.
Does this make sense to you?
Do you think this dynamic might be happening at your business?
Do you now understand why I continually harp on new item productivity? The vast majority of my project work in 2013-2014 demonstrated a merchandising challenge, usually a new item challenge, that was masked by increased discounts/promotions.
Rarely do I find unfettered incompetence in channel management or website optimization or omnichannel strategy.
I almost always find merchandising challenges.
At Hippoman's Big And Tall, we've identified a merchandising problem ... a big merchandising problem.