Many Retailers have their sights set on omni-channel selling strategies: how to attract consumers, improve sales and deliver a memorable experience that makes customers recurring fans of the brand. These issues take on special relevance at a crucial time of year when fashion faces its particular sprint.
At this pre-Christmas time, the industry faces two intense months which concentrate over 40% of the sector’s global turnover and during which the digital channel, following an upward trend, is estimated to account for more than 50% of sales at the end of the year. Consumer spending forecasts have been stagnant for a couple of years now, but on the contrary, the supply available to them is increasing and diversifying. How to become the ‘top choice’ of potential customers, how to compete with other offers that the consumer is committed with and how to take advantage of key moments, become three essential challenges for Retailers.
At the gates of Black Friday, which marks the beginning of the Christmas consumption fever, it is worth reflecting on these great challenges. And this reflection becomes more than necessary based on the binomial data versus results. In this sense, one of the increasingly priority aspects is investment in digitisation tools and skills in order to improve processes. Big data together with Analytics are two of the essential fundamentals to know the objectives, identify consumer preferences and adapt to their demand.
In the search for winning strategies, we should focus on an analytical approach that adjusts forecasts according to the sales data analysis for each season and standardises product development processes. Particularly at this time of year, digital solutions are particularly interesting in logistics processes and in sell-in and sell-out periods. The Retail back-office is one of the hot spots for planning successful strategies for the final end of year sprint. Data intelligence applied to the management calendar of these processes can achieve a considerable improvement in times, optimising the processes in terms of volumes, investment and demand. Technology can therefore be of great help when it comes to taking advantage of the great discounts of the year.
Here are the ‘fantastic four’ that can help you plan Black Friday correctly:
- Turning the threat of discount into an opportunity – in recent years we have witnessed an increasingly frequent phenomenon in Retail: the so-called price war that materialises in almost continuous discounts and promotions; a phenomenon that casts a shadow of threat on the margin and profits of Retailers. Although turning the threat into an opportunity may seem like a difficult challenge, the idea is to promote a proactive strategy to replace the reactions that usually govern promotions. This materialises in incorporating different strategies on pricing and different product categories, always based on the previous analysis of historical data of companies and the year’s collection campaign, looking for cross-selling and up-selling.
- Cultivating the ‘decision tree’ by analysing and planning ahead – Black Friday is already a reality within the Retail calendar, in fact, every year we see an extension of this consumption phenomenon, which instead of a single day, extends to days and weeks. This is precisely the reason why it is very positive to incorporate a ‘Decision Tree’ at the beginning of each year and collection: this method will help us to decide beforehand what and how we will do it in our Retail calendar according to each moment. To do this, forecasting technologies such as Analyticalways ROIvolution will be our great allies and will allow us to play with pre-season, in season and special discount times, promoting proactivity and the most successful strategy for sales.
- Be consistent with your pricing across all channels – customers are king. The issue of price consistency in all channels can be a complex one and apparently Retailers diversify their strategies, giving more aggressive discounts in one single channel. Promotions that are only valid online can cause a ‘rebound’ effect on customers, since nowadays their field of vision and comparison is very broad, and they can feel swindled. Consumers do not distinguish between channels since for them, they are all part of an Omni-channel strategy, which is shy we must try to unify promotions in the online and off-line channels consistently.
- Giving prominence to overstock products – in relation to the aforementioned point, one way to strategically create promotions and discounts is to play with overstock products and play with markdown. Planning with technology and good analysis of sales and stock are again two great levers to implement winning tactics. It is a matter of finding the perfect level between discounts and increased sales, a balance where again technology wins over intuition, and allows for a better price adjustment; selling products that have not surpassed an acceptable sell through during a campaign, in an ideal scenario being of 70%.
In short, planning, proactivity and data analysis with specialised technology for Retail are our great allies when it comes to implementing promotions and discounts. This year, Black Friday promises to break all records and we are still in time to come up with the winning strategy that will allow us to increase sales and turnover and become an essential part of the ‘Black Friday’ roadmap in our customers minds.
Do you want to know more about how to manage your Black Friday?