WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT...
So you’ve decided to take part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, but you know that this means the pressure is on for you to deliver…
After all, research shows that last year over half of all those who participated in sales days experienced issues with availability of items (28%), long delivery times (16%), or technical hitches in general (10%).
Participating in Black Friday certainly isn’t a breeze, nor does it equate to automatic success, but being prepared makes the difference.
This blog will explore the ways in which you can ensure your success this Black Friday and Cyber Monday through using analytics to streamline your processes, boost sales and help you to make more savvy decisions.
1. Personalise email promotions to increase open rates
It’s easy to put together a one-size fits all email campaign, shut your eyes and blindly press send in the hopes that someone will open your email and buy into your amazing offer.
The issue is, like with many things in life, being a jack of all trades and the master of none is never rewarding. Instead of taking a shotgun approach and hoping to hit the target, it’s far more profitable to focus.
Ensuring that your promotional emails are targeted to the individual customers’ wants and needs is a quintessential step in getting your prospects attention…
And no, this isn’t just about including “Hi [First name]” at the beginning of the email – this is about getting into the mind of each individual customer and delivering what they want, when they want it.
Analytics gathers complex customer data based on their online activity and buying habits. It tracks information like their previous purchase history, the products that they’ve recently viewed online, and the items they’ve abandoned in their trolley; and uses this data to predict what products they’ll be most interested in.
Understanding this will enable you to create a customised and compelling offer that inspires your prospect to take rather than simply ending up in their junk mail.
2. Predict what's hot and what's not
Black Friday promises an influx of website traffic and purchases, but how do you make sure your stock is optimised to give you maximum returns?
Understanding what’s trending is undoubtedly a major key to success, and analytics can help you to match your supply with demand and tailor your inventory to ensure you’re stocked up on the items that will drive the most sales.
For instance… it allows you to observe the often overlooked trends that might influence what your customers want. You can drill down to understand how factors like the weather, holidays and local events might impact your customer’s buying decisions.
As well as being able to see the products that get your customers most excited, analytics can also give insight into the products that people… well… aren’t as crazy about.
This provides the unique opportunity for you to not only create a buzz around your business through discounts on your bestsellers, but it also gives you the chance to shift the inventory that you may have been struggling to get rid of for some time.
3. Get real-time view of stock levels
Picture this: a customer shops on your website, filling their basket up with an abundance of goodies…
They check out, pay for their order and receive their confirmation order via email…
The only thing is, you don’t actually have their purchased items in stock.
[cue dramatic music]
What do you do?
Do you break it to the customer that their beloved purchase is no longer available and promptly send them a refund?
Or do you bear the burden of extra costs to your pocket and attempt to get your hands on the items so that you can fulfil the order? … All whilst knowing in the back of your mind that the customer may no longer want their purchase by the time it finally arrives.
None of these two scenarios are ideal. They break trust between your brand and the customer and generally cause unnecessary headache.
Analytics solves this issue by providing you with real-time visibility of your stock levels in the form of visualisations that allow you to understand your data in an intuitive way.
From online purchases to in-store returns – it brings sales activity across your business into one place so that everything is accounted for, meaning that you always know what’s going on.
This allows you to collaborate your business, avoid out of stock disasters and always ensure that you deliver when you say you’ll deliver.
4. Ensure your markdowns are data-driven
Let’s face it, Black Friday is all about discounts.
Customers anticipate finally being able to snag that item they’ve had their eye on for the last six months at a basement bargain price.
This can easily lead to you feeling pressured into to discounting your products at rock-bottom prices just to keep up with the hype.
But there’s another way to rival your competitors whilst getting the most out of Black Friday other than simply dropping your prices at random.
Instead, you can intelligently price your products to ensure that you’re making the best decision for your business.
Through analytics, you can unlock your data to discover the variations in customer preferences down to the store-level and adjust markdown accordingly to protect your profitability.
This way, you’ll have confidence in knowing that Black Friday is working for you as a business and not just the other way round.
5. Optimise your supply chain
Black Friday will certainly promise to be a strain on your supply chain if you’re not prepared.
And don’t believe the myth that struggling the keep your head above water to fulfil orders on time is just part and parcel of a surge in sales.
There’s a better way of working.
Analytics empowers businesses to see the road ahead instead of constantly looking through the rear mirror. Through embracing technologies like predictive analytics and utilising capabilities like scenario planning, you can convert your fragmented historical data into useful insights that allow you to anticipate how Black Friday will impact your business.
It helps you to identify gaps in your supply chain so you can fix issues before they become a problem so that you can make sure you’re ready to handle whatever Black Friday throws at you.
This Black Friday, we're excited to announce discounts across our analytics solutions!
To discover more about how analytics can help you prepare for this Black Friday, contact us.
Oletta Stewart is a Content Writer for MHR Analytics.
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