Hint: Start tracking your payments data
Black Friday weekend, hailing from the US and now extending through Cyber Monday, has taken bargain-hunting Brits by storm.
UK consumers now flood to stores across the country and log online at the crack of dawn in hopes of getting their hands on a pair of discounted headphones — or perhaps that special coat they’ve had their eye on all year. And while we await the figures showing exactly how much savvy spenders spent, it’s predicted to be in excess of £7 billion.
However, while merchants are saying goodbye to what has become one of the busiest shopping weekends for another year, now is the time to be looking ahead to 2020 Black Friday planning. While this notable time of year allows merchants to offer some great deals to their customers, it can also serve as a real opportunity to strengthen customer relationships and improve loyalty.
The key is data and analytics. By harnessing the power of actionable insights gained from payments data, merchants can learn from their customers’ activity to offer them tailored deals, while also looking at how they are performing against their peers.
Far too few merchants consider reporting and analytics when choosing a payments provider. According to our recent research with RFi, only 17% of merchants believe this is important. But to truly maximise on the opportunities Black Friday weekend and other prime retail seasons present, merchants must begin looking seriously at the wealth of data available from customer payments.
Seeking out a payments partner that can analyse the data and provide powerful insights and recommendations can truly impact businesses and help them to maximise key dates in the retail calendar. Our Merchant Portal has been doing exactly this for merchants across the country, enabling them to make strategic decisions when it comes to offering customers the right deal at the right time. Giving customers this kind of tailored service means that, when it comes to Black Friday, they’re going beyond “the deal” and proving why customers should come back to them time and time again.
Our Merchant Portal uses the card payment data from our merchants to get a snapshot of the kinds of transactions taking place in their stores or online channels. We then pair this with anonymous analytical data provided by our partner, Mastercard(R), to compare how the business is performing against its rivals on a specific day. The data might show that competitors outperformed the merchant’s business on Small Business Saturday. That would mean the merchant could consider offering even better deals on this day next year. The data might also show a sales slump between the hours of 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. Knowing this, the merchant could consider running a campaign during that time to get more customers in the door.
By having these actionable insights on hand, merchants can create deals and campaigns at the times their customers want them, positioning themselves competitively against rivals. Of course, these insights can, and should, be applied to businesses throughout the year, but they are never more important than on flagship retail dates.
So start planning now for next year’s Black Friday weekend and invest in a reporting and analytics tool that will provide the insights you need to make smarter business decisions to capitalise on busy retail seasons.