Many myths surround the origins of “Black Friday” most especially, the crash of the US gold market in 1869 but the most commonly told tale is the shopping mania that takes place after the Thanksgiving holiday in America.
What is Black Friday?
In the 1950s, people began calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving to give themselves a four-day weekend. Since stores were open, those who took the day off got a head start on their holiday shopping. Rather than trying to determine who was legitimately sick, businesses considered the day as another paid holiday.
Police coined the phrase “Black Friday” to describe the mayhem surrounding the congestion of pedestrian and vehicle traffic in shopping areas which sometimes resulted in violence.
USA retailers tried to give the origins story a positive spin by promoting it as a day of family fun and shopping, and created the back story of Black Friday as a time when businesses would move from being in the red (in debt) to being in the black (being profitable).
What does Black Friday mean for South African CMO’s and business leaders?
Although Black Friday isn’t a public holiday in South Africa, it has morphed into one of the biggest shopping days for customers as it also signals the beginning of the Christmas shopping period.
According to Nielsen research, Black Friday in South Africa in 2018, was responsible for around R1.36 billion in extra sales in November 2018 – just in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector and businesses that failed to participate lost out on a revenue producing opportunity.
What can your business do to take advantage of Black Friday?
Customers prepare their finances in advance for the Black Friday sale and it is your duty to prepare your brand to be an exciting customer experience.
At Canal Walk Shopping Centre in Century City, Cape town, in 2017, additional private security officials were deployed after shoppers forced their way into a Game store, damaging the store’s entrance and security monitors.
No doubt, the black Friday rush and panicked customer excitement, can be a source of concern. However, it is important for businesses to prepare for these situations and to ensure that the customer experience in their store is a pleasant one. Aspects such as better crowd control, having stock and hiring extra staff can make the influx of Black Friday customers a more pleasant experience for both your business and your customers. Also ensure you prepare your Customer Care Centre is properly equipped for after sales service.
How Data Analytics can help your business optimise revenue generation on Black Friday
Data Analytics helps your business understand customer buying behaviour through customer analytics data. Your business should be able to analyse shopping habits and buyer preferences thereby optimising your revenue.
Data Analytics is also critically important for the Omni Channel initiative as it deals with every aspect of the customer experience. Developing an omni channel experience is essential to a positive customer experience on Black Friday, Christmas and other big shopping days, as it includes understanding the customer, properly interacting with them, predicting their purchasing behaviours, and formulating and monitoring delivery of their product or service or their support requirements after their purchase has been finalised.
Effective use of Data Analytics allows your business an advantage when pricing products. By monitoring relevant search words your business can forecast trends before they happen. You can therefore, prepare new products and can anticipate an effective dynamic pricing strategy to prepare for shopping periods such as Black Friday and Christmas.
Data Analytics is also revolutionising contact centres for both agents and customers by generating a constant feedback loop that will drive performance upwards.
Your business possesses unrealised opportunity, due to the diversity of the systems, within organisations and the variety of data sources, such as, data from social media sites and shopping purchasing information. Knowing these factors can help your business tailor make your messaging and sales to create personalised marketing and sales content for your customer.
If you can unify the data in your business and apply analytics to it, you will have a definite advantage in terms of pricing, messaging, and campaigns for Black Friday and other holiday periods.
Is your business using customer analytics data to effectively improve the customer experience?
Want to find out how?
Agilus Solutions provides a FREE one hour Data Analytics Awareness Session for businesses leaders.
To book a FREE session for your business, simply click the following link.