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Brands of Summer: Up, Down & Everywhere

Posted on 8.18.2016

How do retail brands make smart merchandising, promotional and staffing decisions? They look to data, of course, and Return Path has loads of it with a new report revealing key trends in consumer purchasing behavior this summer across several brands.

The trends from the report are made possible by Return Path’s Consumer Insight business, which analyzes purchase data from more than 1 million opted-in consumers’ email receipts, representing purchases from more than 500 companies spanning dozens of industries. Here are some quick insights from the report:

++ Spending trends up for leisure travel brands. Year-over-year purchase numbers remain strong for leisure brands Sandals Resorts and Carnival Cruise Line. In fact, the report shows a 45 percent increase in same-cohort total spend for Carnival.

++ Consumers may lack the commitment to put cash behind their fitness goals. Beachbody, a brand best known for its popular P90X fitness series, saw a 25 percent year-over-year increase in the number of buyers from 2014 to 2015. However, during the same time period, average monthly spend declined by 14 percent. This may signal a large number of consumers cashing in on free trials, but dropping the program once payment is required.

++ The shift to subscription-based music streaming accelerates. Despite fierce competition in the streaming music industry, category leader Spotify continues to grow. The report shows upward trends in both buyer count and monthly spend that bode well for the brand’s rumored IPO.

“This report is an excellent example of the powerful insights business professionals can get using our anonymized, item-level data. And it’s just the tip of the iceberg,” said Eric Weinberg, Return Path’s Executive Vice President of Field Operations. “By providing this rich, highly detailed information on consumer buying habits, Return Path can help analysts, market researchers, and retailers understand their audience, recognize market trends, and make more confident business decisions.”

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