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Love it or hate it, there’s no denying the unstoppable force of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is one of the most important retail and spending events in the United States. Though the week of deals just wrapped up, there are already some key lessons emerging.

Lesson 1: Strong sales during this period can affect Retailer stocks. On Thanksgiving, online shoppers encountered an out-of-stock message on product pages 3.3% of the time, while on Black Friday the figure was 2.8%. On Cyber Monday, 2.4% of product pages exhibited an out-of-stock message. In order to prevent out-of-stock, product master data consistency, real-time stock tracking, search engines supporting semantic content search, information systems based on consistency in demand forecasting and solutions are more critical issues to be focused on. The most critical solution requirement is the collaboration of a data-driven retailer and supplier. Check out our Replenishment solution to prevent out-of-stocks with prescriptive analytics technology.

Lesson 2: Black Friday has an impact on digital infrastructure. The surge online has often caused more traffic than websites can handle, causing small retailers to crash. This problem has often fallen on the high street retailers that have struggled to transition online, with firms such as Debenhams and GAME seeing their websites suffer a complete shutdown in 2017. The same is true in the US, with companies like Macy’s seeing their website speed slowdown significantly under the burden of demand last year. With small technology investment retailers can make it better.

Lesson 3: According to the National Retail Federation, 54% of shoppers prefer multichannel shopping – i.e., see at store buy online- during Black Friday. It is not a surprise that Black Friday is now considered as a digital event. Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have already struggled to keep in the black as they lose business to online and face higher costs to maintain their expensive network of stores. They should more focus on improving the omnichannel shopping experience.

Lesson 4: Mobile will be the most important platform to focus on as more shoppers are shunning laptops and PCs in favour of smartphones and tablets. Last year, the US, Canada, UK and other countries across Europe holding Black Friday sales saw more online shopping shift away from PCs and toward mobile – Germany became the first country to see mobile shopping breach the 50% threshold last year. It’s important for retailers to make it an uncomplicated experience.

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