Does Big Data Sound the Death Knell for Black Friday?
Everyone knows that customer intelligence is the most effective weapon in the battle for winning and keeping business. Big data offers the widest opportunity for gathering this intelligence. Retailers are blasting their resources into new ways of shopper marketing that has made it more accurately targeted and far more effective. Return on this investment has shot up.
Holiday Shopping Trends
This week in the US, as usual, Black Friday follows hard on the heels of Thursday’s Thanksgiving celebration. Traditionally, this is the first Christmas shopping day, with sales and offers galore. Stores open in the early hours and shoppers camp out all night to be among the first through the doors to grab the best possible deals.
Last year looked to be a watershed in breaking this tradition with many Black Friday sale offers available online days before, and some retail stores actually opening their doors before midnight on Thanksgiving Day. Some discounts were only offered on smart phone apps.
You only have to look online for Black Friday deals to see that the trend continues this year, with Amazon offering them for a week from November 19th, while some stores announced heavy discounts to begin weeks ahead. These strategies are a response to what has been learnt from big data about what potential customers really want.
Making the Most of Big Data
Collecting the big data is not the whole story. It has to be analysed and, where appropriate, linked to the data already held about individual customers and products. This in turn could have been collected from different retail channels: in store, online or via mobile phone transactions. Maintaining quality throughout is vital. Using reliable merge purge software and other data quality solutions will free up the time of IT personnel and data experts in-house to analyse and put an accurate focus on what the merged data really means to the business.