Data Activation: The Secret To A Successful Black Friday

Thekla von Plate,
Content Marketing Manager @Mapp

Do you have everything set up for the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping week? Despite the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 looks set to be a big year for end-of-year shopping. With shopper confidence at a new peak after the challenges brought by the pandemic, there is a fresh vibe in the air.  

Black Friday As Opportunity 

The European eCommerce revenue across Europe jumped up 30% to a record $465bn in 2021, a number that is projected to reach almost $570bn by 2025. As companies shift more and more towards digital, eCommerce brands improve their customer experience and shopper preferences continue to develop. Companies are learning fast how to utilize cost-effective digital features and online channels for customized shopping experiences. Like every year, retailers will be wondering if they are doing enough to activate consumers for Black Friday and the Golden Quarter. Often, the answer will lie in their level of customer understanding. The ability to tailor offers and to cater to their own customer’s needs and expectations often tips the scale.

Valuing Customer Expectations

The great majority of customers are more demanding than they have ever been before. Their Black Friday customer experience with a retailer will be absolutely critical.

As Black Friday 2021 shoppers set out to hunt for the best deals, they are closely looking at purchase and delivery options. Consumers nowadays expect to get their purchases shipped free-of-charge. They have also gotten used to full transparency around installment payments, delivery times, “buy now, pay later” offers, and comfortable exchange options. Customers want to be proactively updated on delivery deadlines and order status.

Data Activation for the Win on Black Friday

Data and insights are not a cure for everything, but they do help develop a far more profitable and personalized retail experience. The main differentiator is how the data is being activated. Deploying data to its best effect is not an easy task, but here is a summary of our key learnings:

1) A look at Black Friday 2020

It is essential that retailers look at their analytics from last year. Which specific measures, channels, customer interactions, and sales channels were particularly successful in the Black Friday campaigns? It is extremely beneficial to know the peak hours in your online shop and which offers were particularly popular. What were the trends, which items were the top sellers and for which customer segment? Are there any lessons that can be drawn from last year? How do weekdays differ in purchasing power? What went particularly well, what could have gone better?

2) Establish real omnichannel personalization

Earlier this year, Mapp commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a study that was a real eye-opener. It found that for exceptional customer journeys and customer experiences, it is essential to leverage a strong first-party dataset to ensure that companies have a holistic view of their consumers. Companies that have implemented AI features or machine learning tools report an improved ability to update their strategy, have a greater understanding of customer intent, and overall benefit from better customer insights. 54% state the lack of customer knowledge is currently their biggest challenge. Surprisingly, a whole 53% are unable to reliably identify their website visitors. What does this teach us? Using the right technology tools for insight-driven marketing offers great potential for a successful Black Friday.

Studies show that targeted and personalized content significantly increases revenue and the likelihood to convert. Let’s look at one example: receiving a push notification while standing near a brand’s brick-and-mortar shop is guaranteed to be more effective than receiving a push notification without any context. The same applies to personalized offers. If the past purchase history is taken into account, you gain the opportunity for real personalization. Consumers interact with countless touchpoints. Use this knowledge as an opportunity to activate marketing campaigns across all channels. 

3) Define KPIs, set priorities

Every part of your Black Friday campaign should be measurable. If you keep your KPIs visible to everyone on your team, there will be daily opportunities for campaign and budget optimization. Keep a close eye on your repurchase rate – the economical equivalent to return rate – by calculating the value of the second order in proportion to the first order. Are your customers increasing in value for your company from order to order? Is their engagement increasing or decreasing? Are you able to identify a customer segment that is highly profitable? How much revenue is coming in and from which sources? How does the revenue hold up in relation to your marketing spending? You may also be able to segment and exclude all customers with a shipping return history from all future marketing activities.

Once you have a better understanding of your consumers, your retail brand can push forward into Black Friday with a greater level of confidence. You will be ready to quickly react to trends and be able to build a long-term, sustainable insight-led brand strategy. 

If you’d like to find out more about insight-led Black Friday or Cyber Monday campaigns, get in touch!









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