Are you ready for the weirdest Black Friday ever? Because this holiday season will be unlike any other.
According to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast, holiday spending this year could top $1.15 trillion!
With the bulk of that money expected to flow through online sales, this Q4 is expected to be the most lucrative yet for ecommerce businesses.
While all of that is amazing news, it’s also daunting.
There’s a lot of money to be made, and that means that there’s a lot of money to miss out on. A Harvard Study estimated that bad data costs U.S. businesses $3 trillion annually. And that’s on a normal year.
This year, everything is in flux; Amazon’s Prime Day is now expected to kick off the holiday spending spree… in October.
Additionally, almost every major retail chain has changed up their strategies: from offering curbside pickup to not opening on Thanksgiving day, they’re shaking up their playbooks, which means that everyone else has to adapt too.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, a lot of companies held back their ad spend earlier in the year, but now they are expected to dump their excess funds into their holiday campaigns.
So, the question becomes: “how can data help you navigate all of the madness?”.
One of the most important pieces of your Black Friday strategy is pricing. You have to find the sweet spot of pricing low enough to acquire customers, while not giving away the farm.
Many companies are willing to take a loss up front in order to gain customers in the hopes that they gain loyal, repeat customers. But how do you know if your customers are coming back? And how soon are they coming back?
Praxis had one client who decided to offer a free shipping discount on their products in order to attract customers, believing that they could make up the costs on subsequent sales. They saw a flood of new customers come in, but found that their margins started to go down, so they came to Praxis in order to get a better idea of what was happening.
Praxis helped them discover that the new clients that they brought in with the free shipping discount were not loyal to them at all. They simply came in for the discounted goods and then never returned, leaving the client with the shipping bill and an overall loss.
After discovering this issue, they updated their targeting and offerings in order to focus more on their core customer base that was coming back and repurchasing from them.
If you’re making decisions off incomplete or inaccurate data, you may be acquiring customers that actually lose you money in the long run. This is especially important during the holiday season, when almost everything will be discounted.
You need to make sure that your pricing strategy works to attract your best customers, rather than just discount customers.
Another metric that everyone should monitor is their inventory levels. During this season, inventory is extremely vital to monitor in real-time (or as close as you can get it).
In addition to monitoring how your levels are, data can help you create bundles, packages, and cross-sale opportunities.
Praxis had a client that discovered that clients who purchased a mug in their first order had a much higher repurchase rate than those who did not. Because of this, they created bundles that included mugs and updated their upsell sequences to push customers to add a mug to their orders.
By increasing the sales of their mugs, they also boosted the overall LTV of their clients, AOV, and their retention rates.
More than anything else, you need to be testing out your messaging. You need to know what images, text, and CTAs your customers respond to.
This process of constant iteration can be difficult to keep track of. Attempting to aggregate data on multiple ad variations across multiple platforms is enough to drive any marketer nuts.
In addition to being tedious, running that analysis is time consuming. You need to be able to make on-the-fly adjustments and tweaks in order to maximize your returns.
Praxis had a client that ran most of their business on Instagram. They came to Praxis wanting to know what posts and ads of theirs had the best engagements over time. They had a catalog of several different meta-attributes for everything that they did: colors used, indoor vs outdoor shots, and even what type of captions they used (humorous, serious, etc.).
Praxis built them a dashboard based off that information that told them what parameters they should use across the entire year. For example, during Halloween, they were able to see that using outdoor shots with purple and green got the highest engagements and click-through-rates.
During the holiday season, it’s more important than ever to know what your customers engage with, and what they want to see from you. Praxis can help you see real-time data on your most successful ads and posts, allowing you to pivot and adjust rapidly to your market.
What you need from your data
You need to be able to make adjustments on the fly, and you need fast insights.
Spreadsheets of historical data won’t cut it. You need to know what’s happening with your business now.
Major retailers like Walmart and Target have said that they will be making real-time adjustments to their strategies based on their data. While you may not need to go to that extreme, the faster you can make adjustments to your strategy, the better you can capitalize on this massive opportunity.
It doesn’t help to have data if the data you have is wrong.
While it’s awesome to have rapid insights, those insights don’t mean anything if they’re not accurate.
Data without insights is a race car without fuel. You need to be able to take action from your data.
Data is now the most valuable resource on the planet, but data does not have intrinsic value. The value of data lies in its ability to help you take action.
Similar to speed, you don’t have the time or bandwidth to log into every system and create a pivot table comparing data. You need insights fast, and you need them at your fingertips.
In summary, data is the key to a successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Data can take your business from merely surviving to thriving, and can give you the competitive edge that you need in order to rapidly scale your business.
Praxis has recently released a new Accelerated Insight Dashboard that delivers fast, accurate, insights into your business. This dashboard was specifically designed to help ecommerce businesses have an explosive Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so don’t miss out on what may be your ticket to your best Black Friday ever.