For the first time, US holiday retail sales are projected to top the $1 trillion mark. According to eMarketer, 2018 brick-and-mortar sales are set to jump 4.4% to $878.38 billion, representing 87.7% of total holiday sales. E-commerce sales will increase 16.6% to $123.73 billion (12.3% of holiday sales), with mobile commerce accounting for almost half of this. Mobile commerce is expected to jump 32.6%, representing 44% of all holiday ecommerce spending and 5.4% of total holiday sales.
Holiday shipping wars and promotions are ramping up as retailers search for successful ways to compete with juggernauts such as Amazon and Walmart on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. More and more retailers are amping up their analytics initiatives to procure a bigger piece of the seasonal pie. Innovative brands are leveraging the data they already have such as customer feedback, personal information, product searches, and purchase history with insights gleaned from social media, digital devices, voice, and IoT sensors to (1) craft better marketing campaigns, (2) analyze and improve online shopping cart experiences, (3) create more convenience, (4) hone seasonal hiring and more, including:
- (5) Perfecting personalization: Data mining for insights to know who customers are, what they like, what they want, when they want it, and what they might like to be offered in real time and in the future is no longer a nice-to-have. According to Accenture’s 2018 Personalization Pulse Check of 8000 global consumers, 91% say they are more likely to shop with a brand that recognizes, remembers, and provides them with relevant offers and recommendations.
In a 2017 State of Personalization Report, 44% of consumers say they are likely become repeat buyers if a shopping experience is personalized, and 39% say they will also tell friends and family about the brand. In addition, 49% have purchased a product they didn’t initially intend to buy after receiving a personalized recommendation, and 40% have purchased something more expensive.
- (6) Improving in-store experiences: Brands are putting top-selling items out front, fixing what frustrates in-store customers, and with IoT and proximity data, creating innovative shopping experiences that guide deal-seekers to what they want and send in-store discount alerts for items shoppers have been looking at online, for example.
Forty-one percent (41%) of consumers say they now expect employees in a physical store to know what they have purchased from the same brand online. Yet only 19% say they have ever experienced this. In fact, only 17% of consumers think that retailers are currently personalizing in-store experiences, according to the State of Personalization Report.
- (7) Analyzing inventory: Products flying off the shelves is every retailer’s dream. Having to tell customers those products are not available or out of stock until after the holidays is every retailer’s nightmare. Real-time data from suppliers, smart shelves in stores, inventory by store or region, shipping trucks, and more keep retailers and customers in the know on product availability—a win-win that keeps holiday shoppers’ spirits merry and bright.
- (8) Building new business models: Adapting business models to address the growing sharing, subscription, on-demand, and services economies could add $2.95 trillion in value for both the industry and consumers, according to Accenture. Imagine how Rent the Runway does during the holiday party season. Using data to know what consumers want or need, to make recommendations to them based on their personal preferences, or to send them more of a certain item when they’re running low is driving the future of retail. Watch the video below:
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result. Retailers leveraging analytics certainly hold a competitive advantage during this most wonderful time of the year.
Want to learn more about how data and analytics is transforming the customer experience and accelerating growth and new business model creation? Get MicroStrategy’s 18-page Q&A featuring insights and advice from analyst, Global 2000 adviser, and Disrupting Digital Business author Ray Wang. Download The Role of Data in Digital Transformation today. To benchmark your organization against others around the world when it comes to analytics use and maturity, download the 2018 Global State of Enterprise Analytics Report.