Heavy Investments in the Online Experience has Pier 1 Prepared for the Holiday Blitz

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Heavy Investments in the Online Experience has Pier 1 Prepared for the Holiday Blitz

By Weronika Raczek - 10/04/2016
Pier 1 is investing heavily in the online consumer experience as the store is preparing for the holiday blitz. Pier 1 is upping their e-commerce and marketing strategies to make sure the upcoming season is filled with success.
“We directed greater resources to direct mail in the second half with planned circulation up sequentially from the first half,” said said Alexander Smith, president and CEO, Pier 1. “Our digital strategy will support and build on our new creative campaign which reenergizes our very successful ‘Find What Speaks To You’ tagline.”

In addition to its dedication to the in-store experience, Pier 1 is driving sales through ongoing enhancements to pier1.com, increasing its online-only SKU’s and added new categories as well as new features to the website.

“We have our new gift registry, which has met with a terrific response," said Smith. "This is something our customers have been requesting for some time now and we're pleased to be able to leverage our omnichannel model further to further engage them and enhance the shopping experience.”

The new Pier 1 website went live on August 3rd and saw a good level of sign-ups and sales flowing from the registry — 65% of the customers signing up are new to the their database. In the following month they included a registry in their digital marketing and from January onward, it will be called out in their retail mailers.

Along with online sales, Pier 1 has the Pier 1 Rewards Credit Card, which is a key aspect of the company's go-forward strategy. The retailer made improvements to the application process and has launched a new option, deferred interest. The credit card has also been relaunched and is redesigned with plastic and collateral.

 “Our new floor sets reflect a greater emphasis on item and category statements rather than vignettes and themes,” said Smith on a recent earning call with analysts.  “When you visit our stores this fall and holiday, you'll see an area dedicated to art glass, another dedicated to wreaths; another is all about our wonderful critters, and so forth.”
In retail, marketing has an effect of where retailers get their customers as well as how they sell their product. Pier 1 has several areas of focus when it comes to marketing: digital and print initiatives, television, and customer loyalty. From a high-level perspective, their messaging is on brand and its media strategies will continue to drive strong customer retention results as well as help attract more casual shoppers into the Pier 1 brand.

One of the most used forms of marketing is television commercials. Television can help bring new customers to the brand and reengage those who haven't shopped it in a while, especially during fall and holiday.

The brand's latest ad campaign is focused on the uniqueness of Pier 1 Imports products in a light hearted and engaging way. The retailer is seeing this fall what it saw this spring, significant growth in the direct-to-site traffic when it airs its ads. In fact, traffic spikes precisely when the spots show.

“As we look at the remainder of the year, we're encouraged by our current sales and merchandise margin trends and believe we have strong initiatives to support our business,” said Smith.