December 10th, 2015

Black Friday: How Retailers Stayed on Top

Well if you don’t know… now you do. The news is out! How retailers fared during Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year most likely depends on how well they have mastered their multi-channel strategies. Brick-and-mortar stores alone saw a significant decrease in sales in excess of $1 billion. However, online sales for Black Friday were up 21.5 percent over last year. Mobile accounted for 57.2 percent of all online traffic and drove 36.2 percent of online sales, according to IBM Watson Trend.

This increase goes to show that the investments many retailers have made in their multi-channel experience is essential to keeping up with the growing expectations of consumers while increasing profits. It has allowed those retailers to not only compete on price, but more importantly, convenience and experience. It lets consumers shop when, how, and where they want.

While the talk about mobile, omni-channel, ecommerce, apps and email marketing get most of the credit for this year’s retailers’ successes… as it should, we can’t forget about the data. Behind the scenes advanced analytics, predictive analytics and data mining are the engine driving the machine.

“What most people don’t see is what goes into the back-end of the email offer in their inbox, the coupon they receive when walking into a store or the way in which a store is stocked, staffed and merchandised. Customers now expect retailers to understand them, their lifestyle and buying preferences while providing them with the right product, at the right price, anytime, anywhere” states Thiag Loganathan, DMI’s President of Big Data Insights.

The most successful retailers recognize this and have already begun to find ways to collect, manage and analyze their data with the purpose of gaining actionable insights that can be used to personalize marketing, recommend next best products, analyze in-store traffic patterns, and optimize product assortment and merchandising all while eliminating inefficiencies in distribution, supply chains and operations both in-store and online. “What data can do is take the unknown from a retail path to purchase and beyond and create a highly relevant experience for a customer.”

This time of year, it would be a big mistake for retailers to miss out on any opportunity to boost sales. Delivering the right product at the right place and at the right time is the name of the game. And it seems that many retailers may be in crisis. But it’s a crisis that can fuel transformational change. Retailers who know their customers, leverage data and insights to improve the customer experience, and focus on digital transformation have the opportunity to thrive.

For more insights on how to leverage mobile and data in retail, head over to our white paper section and download a complimentary copy of one of the papers in our recent Mobility in Retail and A Practical Guide to Big Data Analytics white paper series.

Tags: big data ecommerce omni-channel retail

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