Jingle, jingle, jingle! There is so much to love about this time of year, especially as the sound of ringing cash registers heralds the start of the holiday shopping season. For the shopper, the saver and the seller, late November through December is a mad rush, made all the more thrilling by flash sales, inventive Black Friday promotions, and limited product availability.
For many retailers, this upcoming five week stretch is the biggest of the year, which means it has a major impact on their overall sales and profitability. The challenge is staying one step ahead of customer’s needs and competitor’s ever-evolving campaigns, each and every year. Here are three ways that market research can help retailers gain a (turkey) leg up in the fight for shopping supremacy on Black Friday and beyond.
- Unleash Discounts at the Right Time: Black Friday is still expected to be the biggest shopping day this year, but retailers should be keeping their eyes on both Thanksgiving and Mobile Eve, the days before Christmas when last minute shoppers are searching for in-stock deals to scoop up and wrap. Major retailers are also starting to find that shoppers are ready to spend earlier and earlier, so don’t be surprised when emails advertising deep discounts are going out while the turkey is still defrosting. Market research conducted from the previous season can help you to determine the best time to inspire your customers with gift ideas.
- Tailor In-Store, Online or Mobile Deals: Retailers with brick-and-mortar locations in addition to ecommerce and mobile sites know that each channel brings in a very specific customer with different needs and preferences. Reaching your best customers effectively means understanding who they are and how they shop. Timely market data can help you tailor your advertising and promotions to maximize holiday spend by targeting the right customer through the right channel.
- Optimize Inventory: There is nothing sadder than a customer with cash in hand walking out the door, and everyone loses out: the retailer, the sales associate and the customer. Getting caught off guard with slow moving inventory can spell disaster during the holiday countdown, so understanding popular sizes, patterns and colors is critical. Data from past purchases can illuminate the trends that your buyers need to know to move inventory and delight customers with exactly what they’re looking for.
Unlike casual price checking you can do on year-round offers, Thanksgiving and Black Friday only comes around once per year, so you’ve already lost out if your competitor is making sales while you’re serving dessert. Up-to-date market research can help you understand and harness rising Black Friday trends and ring in the new year with a banner holiday season.