It is that time of the year when consumers go crazy with the “Buy Now!” buttons and retailers see unprecedented levels of orders and demand. This year is turning out to be no different, as online sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday broke all previous retail records in the US.
According to Adobe Digital Insights, online sales on Black Friday 2016 equated to a whopping $3.34 billion, which is a 21.6% year-over-year growth. Also, mobile sales crossed the $1 billion mark for the first time ever. On the other hand, the National Retail Federation reported that the number of in-store shoppers decreased by 3.7% when compared with last year’s figure.
During the long weekend, shoppers reportedly spent $289 on an average, a decline from $299 last year. Although more people shopped this year, the average consumer spend fell because retailers ended up catering mostly to bargain-seeking consumers.
As for Cyber Monday, Adobe revealed that net online sales for the day accounted for $3.39 billion, trumping Black Friday sales yet again. Mobile orders totaled $1.19 billion. This means that Cyber Monday 2016 is now the biggest online sales day in history.
The aforementioned figures suggest that online sales will continue being the primary driver of the retail industry. Retailers that are purely brick-and-mortar will need to adopt a solid omnichannel marketing approach in order to hold their own in the competitive market. The most important, albeit obvious, takeaway is that the fate of a retailer will depend primarily on the whims of the average customer. Period.
All business strategies aside, a consumer will ultimately choose the retailer that offers the best deal for a product. Although competitive pricing is among the most compelling factors affecting buying decisions, ‘deal’ here refers to the overall shopping experience and not just the price of the product. Therefore, it is important to understand and track the sentiment, motivation, behavior, and preferences of customers. And this is precisely where advanced retail analytics solutions and visualization tools truly shine.
These solutions and tools help retailers in obtaining a 360-degree customer view, creating effective planogramming strategies, and improving marketing campaigns. For example, the interactive data visualization here shows:
- the total and average customer spend during the holiday season in the US (November to December)
- comparison between the average online order values for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
- overall online spend during Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US (2011-2015)
Retailers can generate actionable insights for the future by using algorithms and techniques around operation research and simulation aside from forecasting and optimization. Embedding analytics capabilities into an enterprise’s decision-making process helps create the Digital Decision Engine, which enables business managers to drive data-driven decisions consistently. The enterprise is thus technologically equipped to drive sustainable impact and continual business growth.
Check out the article – Retail Analytics Will Propel Your Sales Revenue This Holiday Season – to learn more about how retailers can benefit from advanced analytics and visualization tools.