‘Tis The Season Of Data: Black Friday Is Here

Author: Tamara Olori
Posting date: 11/28/2019 9:29 AM
It’s that time of year again. Decorations are going up, the temperature is dropping daily, and the year’s biggest shopping weekend is upon us. 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have started stateside, but they’re now a global phenomenon. This year, in the UK alone, shoppers are expended to spend £8.57 billion over the four-day weekend. But, for retailers, this mega-event means more than a cash injection. In the world of Data, insights gained from shopping and spending habits during this period can dictate their product and pricing strategies for the next twelve months. 

So what is it, exactly, that we can stand to learn from the Black Friday weekend?

THE GHOST OF BLACK FRIDAY PAST


There are a few interesting takeaways from 2018’s Black Friday weekend that will likely impact what we see this year. 

Firstly, and perhaps unsurprisingly given that it’s a few years since the event has become omnipresent, spending only increased about half as much as initially predicted. There are a number of reasons for this, but cynicism plays a central role. More and more, consumers are viewing Black Friday deals with an element of suspicion and questioning whether the discounts are as good as they’re promoted to be. This, combined with other major annual retail events, such as Amazon’s Prime Day, means that this weekend no longer has the clout it once did. 

However, 2018 also saw marketers doing more to stand out against the competition. Many businesses have moved away from traditional in-your-face sales messaging and some are even limiting their Black Friday deals to subscribers and members. By taking this approach, their sales stand out from the mass market and can help maintain a level of exclusivity that could be jeopardised by excessive discounts. In addition to branding, marketers making the most of retargeting saw an even greater uplift in sale. Particularly when it came to the use of apps, those in the UK using retargeting saw a 50% larger revenue uplift than those who didn’t. 

So, having reviewed last year’s Data; what should businesses be doing this year in order to stand out?

GETTING BLACK FRIDAY-READY WITH DATA


Businesses preparing for Black Friday need to take into account a number of considerations involving both Marketing and Pricing. For the latter, Data and Predictive Analytics play a huge role in determining what items should go on sale, and what their price should be. 

Far from just being based on gut instinct or word-of-mouth, algorithms derived from Advanced Analytics inform Machine Learning models that determine what should be on sale, and for how much. These take into account not only how many of each discounted product need to be sold to produce the right ROI, but also what prices and sales should be for the rest of the year in order to make the sale financially viable. 

In terms of Marketing, Deep Learning techniques can be used to accurately predict Customer Behaviour and purchases. These predictions can then reveal which customers are likely to spend the most over the weekend, and which are likely to make minimal purchases. Marketers can then, in the lead up to Black Friday, target relevant messaging to each audience whether it be “get all you Christmas shopping in our sale” or “treat yourself to a one-off item”.

By carefully analysing the Data they have available and reviewing the successes and failures of their Black Friday events, businesses can generate greater customer loyalty and improve their sales year-round.

If you’re looking to build out your Marketing Analytics team or take the next step in your career, we can help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

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