What experts are saying leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday a shopping event that has seen retailers in the UK offer discounts to consumers for almost a decade. Already popular in the states, retailers and brands can use the event that lures the interest of shoppers to their advantage. Below what experts from Mediaocean, Bazaarvoice and Confluent are saying in the lead up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Like other recent events such as Amazon Prime Day and Singles Day, this year’s Black Friday offers brands the perfect opportunity to entice new and existing customers. But they can’t just rely on good discounts and deals. To cut through the festive noise, brands need to personalise and empathise with what consumers are going through, using cross-channel marketing to reach them in the most effective way. One way of achieving this is by using AI systems to automate the personalisation of marketing outreach based on product inventory, pricing, and other dynamic factors. By using actionable media intelligence, brands and advertisers can gain visibility of the wider landscape, using it to shape an approach that will maximise sales. And after gaining these all-important insights, brands can evaluate the findings and use this data for the upcoming Christmas rush.

Aaron Goldman, CMO, Mediaocean

Black Friday has become the biggest shopping event of the year. However, this year it’s likely to be a lot more subdued, coming as it does amidst a cost-of-living crisis. Given this, enticing customers with discounts won’t be enough, and brands must also look to connect and build trust with their customers to drive sales and longer-term authentic relationships beyond the holiday period.

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday will always attract one-off, impulsive purchases, brands need to focus on creating authentic relationships that centre around building real connection, considering key elements that shoppers care about, such as convenience, emotion, community, and loyalty. The key to this is to carefully consider what will be most convenient, appealing, and user-friendly for consumers, especially at a time when they need to carefully pinch pennies and are having to make deliberate decisions about where and how to spend their money.

Ed Hill, SVP EMEA at Bazaarvoice

For years now, retailers have witnessed the Golden Quarter, the biggest quarter for brands when it comes to sales due to peak sales days and Christmas shopping, expanding as consumers start their shopping earlier. Particularly this year, people are even more conscious of spending due to inflation and political uncertainties. This makes it critical for every online retail organisation to address the returns problem – and fast, especially if they are predicting lower sales during their biggest quarter.

This will ensure they can prevent damaging financial losses as returns now feature in most retailers’ annual reports as a key audit statistic, with retailers making provisions for returns in their financial statements. And this is on top of returns raising the cost of fulfilment and logistics across the supply chain, as well as the issue of trying to source critical data across many different platforms.

Resolving the returns challenge will require a fresh way of thinking about connecting data sources across the business to ensure money and resources aren’t being wasted elsewhere. This is why a growing number of retailers are taking advantage of data in motion platforms, understanding that they need to be a critical component of their technology stack.

Richard Cudd, Senior Director, Customer Success Engineering at Confluent
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