Black Friday and Cyber Monday are becoming hugely popular in the UK and as retailers of all types increase discounting it is becoming one of the most competitive periods of the year for retailers.

We conducted a study that revealed this year;s Black Friday promotions were less successful than in 2015, registering 91% more sales transactions than an average day in 2016, against 96% registered in 2015, whereas Cyber Monday registered double transactions in both years.

Interestingly, when looking at how individual sectors performed during Black Friday year on year, businesses such as travel (up 105%), sports (9%) and hobbies and interests (10%) registered a significant sales boost, whilst others such as home & garden (-27%), fashion (-14%) and technology and computing (-13%) had a smaller sales boost when compared with the Black Friday 2015.

This data clearly reveals a challenge for marketers: despite growth, their mission for the years to come is to make sure that their products continue to stand out from the myriad of other retailers offering discounts around this festive period.

Web page views or time-on-site are often used by marketers as measurement tools for engagement. However, they aren’t the most effective way to do so. For example, visitors could be looking at many pages but unable find the product they are after, or spending more time because they are confused by the returns policy or payment methods.

Data-driven marketing requires a specific mindset, but most importantly the access and use of tools that can turn data into information that can be quickly and easily interpreted so businesses and marketers can act on it.

Here are some tips on how you can use data to capitalise on the sales opportunities generated by occasions such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Valentine’s Day:

· Get a customised data dashboard; this will make your analysis quicker and easier
· Check your revenue as tracked in Google Analytics 100% accurate, so you can base conclusions off trusted data
· Make sure you get email alerts with any significant changes so you can immediately jump on an opportunity
· Track how competitor websites are performing, so you can see what is working for them
· Google analytics can be quite daunting - make sure you get interpretation of the reports you are looking at

Behavioural data is one of the most valuable assets marketers can use to inform their strategy. Nevertheless, the challenge for many remains how to make the most of all the data they have access to, without spending hours looking at charts and graphics that don’t lead them to a solution.


By Edward Upton, founder of Littledata

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