There are a lot of popular film franchises out there, but none that have been able to create an unofficial holiday that’s been as popular and enduring as Star Wars Day.
The holiday, celebrated every May 4th — thanks to a pun replacing the iconic Star Wars catchphrase “May the force be with you” with “May the fourth be with you” — was created organically by fans and spread quickly online and through the media.
The first major organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, Canada in 2011, and the holiday has become extremely popular in the years since. Sports teams have celebrated the day with special Star Wars themed uniforms and major brands run special ad campaigns on social media to capitalize on Star Wars fandom.
As the leader in global ecommerce acceleration, we’re constantly analyzing trends in online commerce to help brands understand how various events impact consumer behavior. So, with Star Wars day around the corner, we wanted to discover:
To find out the answers to these questions, our data science team examined several search terms and categories associated with Star Wars and analyzed market demand on Amazon over the past few years.
We started by examining demand on Amazon for a variety of Star Wars related items and terms for each week of 2021. Here’s what we found:
The Star Wars franchise clearly gets a boost on Amazon during the week of Star Wars Day, rising to 10% above the average week throughout the year. It’s not an insignificant bump, but it’s clear that May 4th isn’t enough to bring the weekly demand up to the levels of the year’s other high water marks: The tail end of the Mandalorian Season 2 at the beginning of the year, and the holiday shopping season and premiere of the Book of Boba Fett in December.
But, since we’re examining demand on Amazon, we thought examining Star Wars merchandise would be particularly insightful.
Star Wars Day clearly drives demand for merchandise, but once again, to levels behind the holidays and the excitement that comes with new entries in the franchise.
Star Wars is responsible for some of the most iconic characters of all time, so we next wanted to dig even deeper into the data to see which ones generated the most demand, when they’re the most popular, and which ones got the biggest bumps on Star Wars Day.
Let’s start by examining which characters experienced the most demand during all of 2021. Here are some of the top performing terms from our analysis:
Here is where we see the impact of Disney Plus’s smash hit show, The Mandalorian. Baby Yoda was far and away the most popular term, drawing a stunning 243% more demand than the Mandalorian himself.
In third place was the original Yoda, although it’s quite possible that some of those searches were for little baby Grogu as well.
In fourth place was Boba Fett, who not only appeared in the second season of the Mandalorian, but had his own show launched on Disney Plus in December of 2021.
Darth Vader is the first original trilogy character to appear on this list, rounding out the top five.
From there, Kylo Ren and Darth Maul were the most popular characters from the sequel and prequel trilogies, showing the allure of a good villain.
But at the end of the day, it’s Baby Yoda’s world and we’re just living in it.
While there’s no doubting the power of Baby Yoda and the Mandalorian, we wanted to see which characters got the biggest bump from Star Wars Day. To do that, we took daily demand for each character on the week of May 4th and compared it to their average day for the entire year.
It’s no real surprise that the Bad Batch, a scrappy band of Clone Troopers topped this list, as their brand new animated TV series launched on Star Wars Day.
Cuddly favorites Ewoks got the second largest weekly lift, while even Baby Yoda, who is popular year round, got enough of a boost to capture the number three spot on the list.
Star Wars Day clearly has a significant impact on demand for Star Wars characters, as almost every single one in our analysis received at least some sort of increase in demand. Only Boba Fett, who saw the bulk of his 2021 demand come at the end of the year during the launch of the Book of Boba Fett TV series, failed to receive any kind of boost in demand on Star Wars Day 2021.
Now that we’ve seen which characters benefited the most from Star Wars Day, let’s close out by examining demand for different groups of major characters to see when demand is highest for them.
2021 started off with sky high demand for Baby Yoda and the Mandalorian, which had just aired its season 2 finale in mid-December 2020. Demand for Luke Skywalker was also up big after the character’s surprise appearance in that finale.
Demand for the Bad Batch surged from basically nothing during the week of Star Wars Day when their new show premiered, then hit a high point midway through the first season.
Boba Fett saw demand surge toward the end of the year with the launch of his show, which premiered on Dec 29th.
Ewoks are a good example of a character who relied much more heavily on Star Wars Day, as the characters weren’t featured in any new properties last year and saw their big boosts come on Star Wars Day and the holiday shopping season.
When we look at the change in monthly demand since 2019, we can see the tremendous impact that the launch of a new movie or TV series has on demand for specific Star Wars characters.
December 2019 brought a surge in demand for Baby Yoda as the character was introduced to the world for the first time. Kylo Ren also received a big boost that month with the release of Rise of Skywalker.
December 2021, however, failed to drive nearly as much demand as the previous two years, suggesting that the Book of Boba Fett, while enough to drive a sizable increase for its title character, wasn’t quite the monumental hit of The Mandalorian or the release of a mainline series movie.
One character who had an interesting surge in demand was for Cara Dune, another character from the Mandalorian.
Demand shot up by over 500% in the weeks following the announcement that Gina Carano, the actress who portrayed the character, was being fired from the show after a series of controversial tweets.
The surge in demand was clearly short lived, however, and has remained at basically zero for the majority of the rest of the year.
Finally, let’s take a look at how Star Wars Day impacts sales for the franchise’s merchandise.
Star Wars Legos were clearly the toy of choice when it came time to celebrate May 4th. Demand surged by 80% on the week of April 18th, and stayed around that high through the week of Star Wars Day.
The holiday is so big for Star Wars Legos that it was well above even the holiday shopping season.
Lego Star Wars, which is a popular video game series, didn’t receive nearly as significant an increase as the physical toys it’s based on.
The Millennium Falcon, the most iconic ship in the series, received the next largest bump in demand during the holiday with an 8% increase, a clear boost for that time of year, but one that lagged well behind the holiday shopping season.
Light sabers, another extremely popular piece of Star Wars merchandise, did see demand rise week over week on May 4th, but that holiday is absolutely dwarfed by the demand surge during Halloween and Christmas.
Our analysis shows that Star Wars Day is far more than just a silly pun or a made up fan holiday. It’s a day that drives real demand for one of the biggest intellectual properties in the world. Star Wars Day is so big, in fact, that it competes with major events like Christmas, Halloween, and even the release of actual Star Wars movies.
Understanding the factors that influence consumer behavior can help brands better understand how to forecast demand for their products on online marketplaces, and even inform product design and marketing strategy.
To stay up to date on consumer behavior and ecommerce news, info, and trend analyses, be sure to subscribe to Pattern Insights on the right.
And, if you’d like to learn more about how you can best leverage our data to help your brand win online, holiday or not, schedule a demo today. May the 4th be with you!
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Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.
If you’re interested in expanding your brand internationally, you’re probably familiar with Tmall. Tmall is Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) largest marketplace, and indisputably the biggest ecommerce powerhouse in the world. It represents a huge opportunity for many brands, but entering the space is also a big challenge to take on.
At Pattern, we recommend brands looking to enter international markets should first focus on dialing in their domestic presence. Once you’re satisfied that your brand is well-represented and optimized locally, you’re ready to think about tackling new regions, like APAC, and launching on marketplaces like Tmall. Our top advice for entering Tmall is to understand and strategize around its three most important metrics: service, delivery, and content.
Service, delivery, and content ratings are the three elements that make up Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) score. Each component is scored on a scale of 1-5 that is displayed publicly on your brand’s Tmall flagship store page. This is meant to help consumers decide whether or not to purchase your products.
DSR scores are important because they’re highly influential in driving conversions—customers see DSRs as a way to quickly understand if a brand is trustworthy and worth buying from. They also matter quite a bit to Tmall itself—they monitor these scores and will take action to close flagship stores with low scores.
Let’s go over each element of the DSR score and some steps you’ll need to take to achieve high ratings.
Service is a huge ecommerce component in APAC marketplaces. In most other regions, product listings are static, and consumers use content and reviews to make a decision about what to purchase. On Tmall, consumers want to interact with your brand and test its validity before buying—each transaction takes at least one human interaction to convert.
So, to get a great service rating, you’ll need to have a large, established customer service team dedicated to Tmall sales that can offer real, human touchpoints and very fast response times. To get an idea of the speed your agents should be capable of producing, in our Tmall benchmarking exercise, 92.5% of brands’ customer service agents replied to queries via live chat within 30 seconds, 5% replied within one minute and the remaining 2.5% of brands took longer than a minute. So, look for a Trade Partner (TP) that has enough resources to compete with those numbers, support your sales, and maintain a good DSR score.
Another thing you’ll really want to focus on is a high-quality delivery experience for consumers. As in other regions around the world, Tmall consumers have high expectations for their delivery experience. In our Chinese consumer polling report that targeted consumers buying from Tmall Global, we found that 6% expected same-day delivery, 15% expected next-day delivery, and 46% expected 2-5 day delivery.They want to receive their products fast and they want the products to be undamaged and pristine upon arrival.
So, to achieve a high score for your delivery capabilities, we highly recommend partnering with a TP or ecommerce accelerator like Pattern (which serves as a TP) who has the ability to facilitate your distribution. Make sure your TP has the right infrastructure in place to support high-quality logistics experiences for all of your consumers—they should have an established, well-oiled delivery process in place and the capability to fluidly add you to their current fulfillment system.
As in every digital marketplace, content is a huge component of the decision-making process for consumers on Tmall—they can’t touch your product with their hands or see it in person before buying, so it’s important they’re empowered to make a good decision on whether or not to purchase based on the videos, images, and copy.
The goal is to make all of the content and relevant information on your flagship site easily-accessible—consumers should be able to visit your page and make a decision about whether or not to buy without navigating to a new site/page and taking their conversions with them. Images with text and extensive product details are a great way to do this, as well as making sure your service team can speak to all aspects of your product with any consumers (via text or chat).
As the world’s foremost brand partner for ecommerce acceleration, Pattern truly understands the significance of international expansion. With regional offices around the world, Pattern knows how to successfully launch and grow brands on Tmall and other marketplaces, with the data, insights, and marketplace intelligence to build the metrics that matter.
It’s important to have a fantastic brand presence, a knowledgeable guide, and a clear go-forward strategy for your best chance at success. With our in-country resources, expert teams, and extensive experience in growing brands around the globe, Pattern can help you get there.
Set up a call to get your international expansion strategy in motion.