- Retailers start planning months in advance for Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year.
- Modern AI platforms have transformed the traditional manual comp shopping process, enabling real-time adjustments to competitor strategies and changing consumer habits.
- These AI merchandising platforms offer simplified market analysis, strategic assortment & price planning, and insights into effective visual merchandising.
- Using the AI-driven platform, PUMA UK achieved its most successful Black Friday in 2022, with a 15%-20% revenue increase.
- Embracing AI-driven merchandising platforms is crucial for retailers to thrive in the dynamic landscape of Black Friday and beyond.
Introduction: Preparing for Black Friday
What comes to mind when you hear “Black Friday?” For consumers, this phrase typically signals that it’s time to start holiday shopping. Consumers get excited about all the discounts and promotions their favorite stores offer, while consumers and retailers alike think about this as the busiest shopping day of the year.
As retailers, however, you know that Black Friday is more than just one day, week, or even month. Planning for Black Friday starts months ahead of time, and promotions are communicated to customers weeks in advance. In an era where consumers' shopping habits are constantly changing, you must adapt and embrace innovative solutions to stay competitive. One such solution is an AI-driven merchandising experience platform, which empowers you to prepare for Black Friday efficiently and effectively.
The Need for AI-Driven Comp Shopping
Black Friday has become the most significant day in retail globally. Retailers face intense competition, leaving no room for indecisiveness. Quick decision-making is critical for success. Rather than adhering to a rigid strategy for Black Friday, you must prepare to pivot based on real-time data from consumer feedback and competitive offerings. To access these insights and effectively prepare for Black Friday, you must have an updated comp shopping (short for competitive shopping) process to analyze your competitors’ strategies and promotions.
Traditionally, this process has been done manually, requiring extensive resources and time. However, the game has changed with the advent of AI-driven merchandising experience platforms to conduct comp shopping. These platforms provide the flexibility needed to see competitor pricing, promotions, and product placement and adjust based on real-time and historical data. This adaptability can be the key to success on Black Friday, helping you stay ahead of the competition and appeal to your customers.
Making Data-Informed Decisions To Win Black Friday
AI-driven comp shopping platforms can help you make more data-informed decisions across your business. How?
- Simplified market analysis: Analyzing the market is time-consuming and tedious, particularly during Black Friday preparations. Factors like recessions, changes in the cost of living, and evolving shopping habits make it increasingly challenging to predict consumer behavior. AI-driven platforms can process vast amounts of data to provide timely market insights, enabling you to make informed decisions more quickly.
- Strategic assortment and price planning: Retailers like you can leverage AI-driven merchandising experience platforms to excel in assortment planning and pricing for Black Friday. You can see the distribution of price across categories, products, and competitors on key Black Friday trends and align your pricing accordingly. Moreover, these platforms provide a valuable retrospective view, allowing you to review past Black Friday pricing and assortment strategies to pinpoint successes and areas for improvement.
- Effective visual merchandising: With AI-driven platforms, you gain access to ample competitive information, such as email communications, category landing pages, current and historical promotions, and more from thousands of retailers. Heatmap analysis can reveal when competitors started discussing topics like Black Friday, allowing you to identify optimal times to launch your own promotions. By clicking into specific time periods, you can examine the exact emails and website content competitors historically pushed out, guiding you on what and when to promote through visual merchandising.
How PUMA Excelled on Black Friday
PUMA’s UK team leveraged EDITED’s AI-driven merchandising experience platform to plan, adjust, and execute during Black Friday in 2022.
PUMA faced time constraints in building, analyzing, taking action, and reviewing data during the critical trading period of Black Friday. The team needed to identify profitable products and customers and determine steps to maximize traffic opportunities for increased profitability. Moreover, they needed to understand competitors' strategies and actions during Black Friday, including insights from previous years.
"...[With EDITED] we built a promotional dashboard to keep track of our Black Friday promotions on a category conversion level. We had the insights of what our competitors were doing that day, but we also had insights into how we were performing versus our own plan. And, throughout Black Friday, we made two to three significant changes to the products we were pushing on the homepage and the products we were pushing on email. And we did have our most successful Black Friday ever."Colette Hilton, Head of Retail and Ecom for UK&I at PUMA Group
EDITED supported PUMA UK in having its most successful Black Friday ever in 2022, driving a revenue uplift of 15%-20%. By harnessing EDITED’s market insights to strategically plan, followed by fast and precise profit-centric trading decisions, PUMA could effectively adjust its strategy and stay competitive.
In the ever-evolving world of retail, Black Friday continues to be a crucial moment for businesses. To prepare effectively and stand out from the crowd, retailers must harness the power of AI-driven merchandising experience platforms. These platforms simplify comp shopping, provide valuable market insights, enhance visual merchandising strategies, and promote agility in decision-making. By embracing these tools, retailers can not only survive, but thrive during Black Friday and beyond in an increasingly dynamic retail landscape.
Request a demo here to see how EDITED can help your business make this Black Friday the most successful one yet.