How Artificial Intelligence Transformed Black Friday

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Today is Black Friday, the day that follows Thanksgiving day. It is one of the most important occasions for marketing and sales in the entire year.
During this day, all over the world – even if the tradition started in America – shops have exceptional sales. It usually helps to identify how much consumers can spend and which categories and brands they appreciate the most. However, it seems always the same, year after year: the same promotional activities, same offers, very few personalizations.

All this can be changed, and many brands are doing well.
They are trusting Artificial Intelligence to revolutionize their marketing approach.

Are you going to craft any promotion for Black Friday? So, this is a must to read AI-guide to Black Friday promotional Season and how to get more happy customers with your marketing activity.

Why Black Friday is so important for your business

This particular day stays midway through Halloween and Christmas. It is, actually, one of the essential occasions before Christmas shopping. In the collective knowledge, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving dedicated to shopping that brings deals and discount prices.

This shopping tradition is recent because the very first Black Friday took place in 1924, the day after Thanksgiving. More specifically, the mall that started the tradition was Macy’s, which invented the first parade to celebrate the start of Christmas shopping.

At present, Black Friday is a week-long shopping session, between online sales, previews, and in-store discounts, which becomes a tremendous help to maximize the Christmas profit. It is “celebrated” all over the world, but there are some differences from country to country. For example, in the USA, there is still a lot of retail shopping, while in other parts of the world, the day is usually linked to online shopping.

The Christmas period is relatively brief, which means that sellers need to take advantage of every chance to optimize it. It worked because Black Friday has been the busiest shopping day of the entire year in the USA since 2005. You have probably seen hoards of people that flow into stores, trying to buy anything because of the affordable prices.

Someday, all those urgencies for shopping translated from street to screen. However, in the last years, something changed. Thanksgiving became stronger, and Black Friday has seen his sales decreasing a bit, mostly because of the unbearable crowd.

However, it still holds its primacy of the busiest shopping day. It is part of the holiday season – which comprehends November and December – and, even if its power has slightly diminished during the last few years, it is still active and alive. In 2016, 101.7 million people took advantage of Black Friday for shopping.

In 2018, consumers spent $850 billion between November 1st and December 24th. Do not forget that the sales are also before Black Friday – and, to be honest, they are even higher the days before. This happens because competitors prefer to distribute offers all month long, and resolves into an entire month of offers and sales. It is also curious that every kind of shopping has its favorite time of the month. For example, November 22nd is perfect for Christmas decorations. Do you prefer videogames? Your day is Thanksgiving.

Moreover, you better divide the days for online and in-store shopping. Thanksgiving is perfect for buying online, and the week before will be ideal for a walk into your favorite store.

How can AI have a bond with this shopping tradition?
You will be surprised.

bright shopping bags on pastel blue background
Freepik

How AI Changed Black Friday

We have said, a few lines back, that this period is brief, and retailers need to take advantage of it. This is precisely the main reason for implementing Artificial Intelligence in sales strategies.
Thanks to AI, you can optimize channels, better understand customers, predict their action, and, generally speaking, handle an amount of data that would make every human being crazy.

Remember: your secondary aim, after-sales obviously, is maximizing your data collection to outperforming the Christmas period when average prices are up! You will know more about your customers and their needs, and you will tailor your offer to them. More importantly, this process will be completely autonomous, more precise, more comfortable, and faster to accomplish.
Considering this is already a tense moment of the year, it is not bad at all. It can help in many ways, but we decided to focus on three of them.

  • Demand prediction. It all started with sales. Back in time, when Black Friday was born, it only was a way to finish off the stores’ stashes. Of course, retailers had any chance to know how much people liked their product or which particular item would have been out of stock in a few days. Luckily for them, the world changed a lot, and now we can count on Artificial Intelligence to help with predictions.

    Nowadays, almost every part of this process leverages automation, and retailers can collect a vast amount of data about customers and prospects and that they can easily track up and down the products’ demand. Machine learning and neural networks can analyze all those bits of information and create logic patterns from them. This classification can help retailers to understand which categories of goods are going to be successful and which ones are less likely to be appreciated.
  • Personalization. What do you think if we say “Black Friday”? Most likely, you think about Google research, Amazon recommendations, online advertising. It leads to a crucial technique for marketers – personalization. If you know what your customers like, you can personalize the offer and the customer experience. Artificial Intelligence can predict what customers may like, as we said before, and can act by consequence with a particular recommendation system.

    You can send them emails with some shopping ideas based on their searching history, maybe at a special price. According to Salesforce , “35% of online purchases during the festive period were based on retailers’ AI-powered recommendations tools”.
  • Customer service. Before and after a purchase, nice customer service is one of the most important elements to impress customers. What you might discover is that they can do you a great service even before the purchase. What does it mean? Consumers pre-research products before buying them, and you probably already know that. What you may not know is that according to a report from the eCommerce Foundation , 88% of consumers pre-research products online before a purchase.
    Artificial Intelligence can create a smart, 24/7 available, and extremely precise conversational virtual assistant that can serve the customer in every part of its shopping.

Takeaways

  • Black Friday is one of the most important occasions for marketing and sales in the entire year.
  • Implementing AI in your Black Friday offer will make the processes more comfortable and faster and will make you better understand your customers and their needs.

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