COVID-19 has changed how we do most things, including holiday shopping. Levi Strauss & Co. teams around the world have had to be creative and flexible this year, simultaneously adjusting to local health and safety mandates as well as changing consumer shopping habits to make sure that our fans could get the perfect denim gift to their friends and family (or themselves).
From China to the U.S., here are a few examples of what the teams have been doing for the 2020 holiday shopping season.
Singles Day is the biggest shopping day in mainland China, and this year was no exception. Knowing that many retailers were offering competitive discounts, our team in China got innovative. First, they partnered with Tmall to leverage big data to optimize our media investment and make sure that we were reaching our key consumer targets through integrated brand and performance media. They also created more interactive content to engage with Gen Z consumers through livestreaming.
Then, they got smarter on our promotional strategies. Leveraging an approach our European teams used successfully for a number of sales events earlier this year, the team used an artificial intelligence-driven model to determine pricing and promotion on half of our items available on Tmall. Using big data and AI in this way helped guide our pricing decisions as well as operationalized dynamic scenario planning so that the team could pivot quickly.
China wasn’t the only country that celebrated Singles Day this year. Over in Canada, the local teams kicked off their holiday promotions season with an online-only Singles Day event. They then launched their Indigo Friday promotion a week earlier than usual and extended Cyber Monday into Cyber Tuesday.
The store teams did have to navigate mandated occupancy limits — fortunately, ship from store had launched in Canada in October, just in time for the holiday season, which they used to help get consumers their purchases. They’ve also adjusted their service best practices, prioritizing speed and making sure to ask consumers the right questions to get them in and out of stores faster and safely.
Despite strict occupancy limits due to COVID-19, the teams in Western Canada are now gearing up for Boxing Day, the biggest sale event for retail in Canada.
India has been under lockdown for most of 2020, and the closed stores and social distancing guidelines have pushed consumers and retailers alike online for their shopping. That’s why this year four key ecommerce players — Myntra, FlipKart, Reliance and Amazon — created Big Fashion Days ahead of Diwali so that shoppers could update their festive season wardrobe for their at-home celebrations. We joined them, running Levi’s® promotional campaigns to drive traffic to levi.in.
In the U.S.
Holiday shopping started earlier than ever this year in the U.S., with Amazon’s Prime Day in October serving as the unofficial kick off to the season. Another major change was that we closed our stores on Thanksgiving as a small gesture of thanks to our frontline teams, though consumers were still able to shop on our new NextGen levi.com and dockers.com websites.
To deliver a seamless shopping experience for our consumers, the teams leveraged technologies rolled out earlier in the year like buy online, pick up in store, appointment scheduling, curbside pick-up, line queuing and ship from store. They also increased mobile POS in stores to help move the line and manage occupancy limits, and encouraged consumers to use contactless payments like ApplePay and Google Pay while using e-receipts when possible. In the coming months, we will introduce touchless returns to further ease the return process. And to make sure that our fans had the best experience possible, the team extended the holiday customer service hours by an additional two hours per day from November 8 to December 8.
Congratulations to all the teams that supported all this work, and a special thank you to all our frontline store teams.