Thought Leadership

Big Deals and Big Data – Black Friday

Black Friday – a day of big deals, big shopping and big lines. For retailers it also means a big opportunity to tap into their Big Data.

We wonder which retailers have done their homework? Which are truly prepared to get the maximum out of Black Friday? Running up to Black Friday, which retailers have collected the billions of valuable data points about consumers and actually have the technology to take advantage of that Big Data. Within the data lies information on how consumers like to shop, the deals they are most interested in, how far they will venture from home to get a “great” deal and what deals they are bragging about to friends via social mediums like Facebook and Twitter. Retailers that effectively organize and analyze this data are sitting on a goldmine of information which will help them gain a leg up on the competition.

So why have most retailers (even the most successful ones like Amazon) still not effectively made use of the customer data they have access to? In a day in age where the personal touch is what creates customer loyalty and drives sales – ineffective, less than informed personalization tactics just don’t work anymore. Consumers want the mom and pop store mentality from their favorite large online retailer or department store.  They want retailers to understand their style, taste and purchase behaviors – to make highly relevant suggestions and offers.  However, in order to do that, they have to find a way to more effectively uncover data that empowers them to act in real-time.  Sifting through Excel spreadsheets and making educated guesses on what customers want is antiquated and inefficient. They need a more effective software interface that does all of the work for them.

Big Data doesn’t make assumptions, it helps retailers understand a customer and cater deals, coupons and the shopping experience on a 1to1 basis. According McKinsey Research , a retailer using Big Data to the full potential could increase its operating margin by more than 60 percent. Right now, most retailers are missing the opportunity to capture their customers when they are in the purchase mindset.

Imagine a world when you are perusing the stores at your local mall. Let’s say you check in at the local mall via Facebook. Within a matter of minutes, you get an email for a 30 percent coupon for purchases at Nordstrom. Why does this happen? Based on the mountains of data they have on you, Nordstrom understands that you frequently shop at its store and often make shoe purchases when you come in. They also know (because you checked in on Facebook) that you are in the mall. They want to reach you in a way that is more personalized than shooting you a blanket promotional email. No more fumbling for coupons or missing out on savings. Nordstrom just found a highly effective way to drive you into their store. You are happy, they are happy and most likely you will purchase, and return based on the overall experience.

Whether Black Friday or any day of the week, retailers that maximize the data they collect will be able to increase customer loyalty, drive new sales and create more personal relationships with customers. I wonder which retailers are in the Big Data power seat this Black Friday?