I remember my first Black Friday. I’m relatively similar to an oompa loompa in size so it can be quite overwhelming. Safe to say, the sales and the shops are far from the wonderland that Willy Wonka created.
Indeed, it sounds exciting – a bonkers whirl of electronics, clothes and toys all in the affordable price bracket. But, as with all things that are wonderfully insane, it has deeper and darker undertones. This one being the sinister fact that companies are under-utilising their data.
Less wonderland and more apocalyptic really, Black Friday is aptly named as black is the colour of people’s souls as they barge through other hypnotised sales zombies.
Retailers must be sat in their high, corporate towers chuckling away at the chaos they have created for their own profits. But, sat in higher, more intimidating towers are data analysts and scientists, shaking their heads in despair at the lack of effective data usage to optimise sales. In fact, according to Tableau, twenty- four per cent of UK retailers are not using data effectively enough to optimise sales for Black Friday.
Delving deeper into the numbers reveals that retailers using data analytics to make the most out of Black Friday are three times more optimistic about a successful day, hence all the extra effort because they know the true value it holds.
So why do different retailers’ feelings towards data sit at opposite ends of the spectrum?
It may not just be opinion being thrown into the mix. Budget, technique and even just knowledge about the power of data are all ingredients in the cake called ‘the reason why companies don’t harness the opportunities data brings’.
The Vice President of Tableau wasn’t wrong when he said that “the impact of Black Friday for both consumers and retailers cannot be underestimated.” Yes, Black Friday is a terribly small window where snappy yet accurate decisions must be made but we are in a digital age where the speed of technology calls for quick decisions which will become increasingly common.
Tableau also found that in companies with less than 100 employees, only a third expect to increase their spending on analytics. That’s not the shocking bit, but just let it sink in. So some want to increase their analytical spending BUT half of them currently do not analyse their data. No analysis. None. Whatsoever. HOWEVER, two thirds of them think they have the right skills to take advantage of data effectively.
Now I don’t know about you but my heart is bleeding for the loss of opportunity, the under-utilisation of top skills right under their noses! Analysing the data you have can tell you what products are most popular at that time of year and who buys them, allowing you to tailor your marketing campaigns accordingly. It means you can ensure you have enough stock and if you have valid data, your delivery will be on time and arrive at the correct address. Retailers who optimise and campaigns across all devices will see a boom in eCommerce activity but to get these ad campaigns right, you need to know your customers, their behaviour and the timings of their behaviour. When you understand this, you can absolutely nail Black Friday.