Does Data Hold the Key to Black Friday Success?

Posted 12/01/2017 by James Ash

If you're the type of person who can blaze through crowds without blinking, and loves the rush of snagging a great deal, no matter the hassle, more power to you. However, for most of us, the prospect of facing hordes of people and the possibility of being trampled by public stampede, just to get a deal on a new Apple Watch, is far from appealing.

Yet last week's Black Friday and Cyber Monday, both of which are synonymous with perceived savings, remained popular. The last two years may well have been watershed moments for retailers. According to Adobe Digital Insights, online shoppers spent $6.59 billion this year, or 16.5 percent more than in 2016 on Cyber Monday.

In 2015, some 103 million Americans shopped online over the Black Friday weekend, slightly more than the 102 million who went out to stores, according to the National Retail Federation. And then last year, for the first time since records began in 2005, mobile and tablet purchases actually outstripped traditional online desktop purchases – highlighting the incontrovertible truth that not only digital, but more important, mobile is the key to businesses success today.

It is no coincidence that the online noise surrounding Black Friday has increased significantly since 2010. It's largely a result of changing consumer behaviour and habits accelerated by the proliferation of mobile/connected devices, high quality 3/4G networks and more populous and reliable WiFi networks.

Interesting as this may be to the statisticians out there, what does this all really mean?

I think that there are three key takeaways that all businesses need to be aware from this past Black Friday and beyond. First, your customer is now a digital customer. Marketing success today comes from focusing on your customers as individuals rather than simply data points. But in order to do this, data-driven marketing must be at the core of a customer experience and engagement strategy.

Second, in a digital marketplace made up of increasingly digital savvy customers, you have to stand apart from the competition rather than simply shouting the loudest. The only way to do this is to be more relevant, personal and timely in communications than your competitors. This, in turn, can only be achieved by the smarter, more intelligent use of the disparate data sets now available.

Finally, the key to unlocking Black Friday - and at a macro level, the wider digital economy - is the smarter use of data. This is one of the cornerstones that Commvault was founded on and a core value that continues to inform every innovation we make as a company today.

By enabling organizations to store, access, manage and use all of the data that they have available to them creates more informed business decisions and allows organizations to engage and communicate more effectively with digitally literate customer.

When the dust has settled, I’ll wager that the biggest winners from the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales will not be those brands that merely sold the most, but rather those brands that have used all of the data available to them to engage with their customers the most effectively, sell more intelligently.

And crucially, foster that brand loyalty every CMO is looking to encourage.

Learn more about how Commvault's data management solutions can help your organization get the most out of its data.