Retailers turn to data analytics to cash in on Black Friday

shutterstock_240084139Research shows that nearly one in four (24%) UK retailers are not using data effectively enough to optimise sales for what is expected to be the most important day in the shopping calendar. Last year, shoppers spent £810m during Black Friday and this year is set to be even bigger, with spending in the UK forecast to top £1 billion in one day for the first time ever.

A survey conducted by Tableau, a global leader in rapid-fire, easy-to-use business analytics software, polled 200 senior retail decision makers about the role of data analytics in the retail industry ahead of Black Friday. The findings show that retailers using data analytics to drive business decisions were in fact three times more optimistic about a successful Black Friday in 2015 than those with little to no use of data analytics.

Tableau’s vice president for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, James Eiloart said: “The impact of Black Friday for both consumers and retailers cannot be underestimated. But it is such a small window it’s critical to make accurate, quick decisions. The research revealed one clear insight: retailers that do not harness data are missing a real opportunity to optimise profits from Black Friday.”

Results also revealed a level of complacency among smaller retailers of 100 employees or fewer. Only a third (33%) of this group expect to increase their spending on analytics, yet half (49%) currently do not analyse their data. This is a missed opportunity, and one that is compounded by the fact two thirds of small retailers (67%) think they have the right skills to take advantage of data effectively.

“Big data presents a fantastic opportunity for retailers to engage customers with relevant content. That said, not all data is born equal. The risk is that retailers invest in data too big to take a meaningful action. With events like Black Friday you cannot afford to do that,” explained Kieran Healey-Ryder, head of customer relationship marketing at Wiggle, and Tableau customer.

“Data visualisation is essential to quickly learn from disparate data without substantial tech resource and investment. It is the only efficient way to understand what data gives best value.”

Mike Dennis, managing director, consumer research at Cantor Fitzgerald added: “There is a big difference between gathering data and using it effectively. To do this, retailers must apply the power of analytics to the relevant business departments, such as marketing or the supply chain. Even the smallest business can derive valuable insight by, for example, looking at trends in social media or by analysing their stock figures to see what improvements can be made.”

More than 5,000 companies and organisations in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region use Tableau for fast, visual analytics. Retail customers range from startups and growing businesses to multinationals, including Tesco, Asda, Ebay, Wiggle and Cheapflights.com.

To view survey results please visit http://tabsoft.co/BlackFriday

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