Watching Black Friday unfold is always interesting, but this year has been like viewing a fierce football game on Thanksgiving Day. Black Friday deals kicked-off earlier than ever this year. Retailers are slashing prices by the minute, pushing their competitors on the defensive as they hurry to react. Everyone seems to have a play up their sleeve.
Meanwhile, some retailers have gone into overtime – choosing to trickle out sales and keep shoppers waiting with bated breath for their Black Friday 2019 ad to drop, which seems to take forever.
Black Friday hasn’t just evolved – it’s a whole different ballgame.
Whereas in the past companies took longer to curate their sales, prepare catalogs, and launch their best deals in one festive flourish, now things are changing moment to moment.
It begs the question, is it better to be ahead of the game or equipped to react? Really, it’s both.
Winning on Black Friday – It’s All About Agility
When it comes to Agility, we believe it hinges on your ability to centralize and manage your data and content with a product information management (PIM) platform. For the winter holiday retail season, in particular, we suggest focusing on three key areas to gain a competitive edge:
- Pricing: Make smart, fast adjustments to your sales
- Consistency: Give shoppers a seamless experience across channels
- Social Content: Capitalize on the boon of mobile shopping and social influence
A good example of how these three factors work together on Black Friday actually happened to me this week. A brand I follow on social media released a few early Black Friday deals, and I saw a piece of sporting equipment I liked. I searched online and found the product with a reduced price and 200+ good reviews – sold! Yet when I clicked on the listing, it took me to a page with a higher price and not a single review. Strange. I tried again and got the same result, so I didn’t make the purchase. That’s a Black Friday fail, for both the retailer and the consumer.
Pricing & Consistency
Shoppers want to see consistent pricing and product details whether they are looking on a search engine, your website, Facebook/Instagram, a marketplace, etc. If they don’t see consistent pricing, they become irritated and lose trust, likely abandoning the purchase or moving on to a competitor. Shoppers also struggle at times to match up the product they see in a Black Friday advertisement to the product they see online or in-store.
The ability to optimize price positioning and offer a frictionless, seamless shopping experience is key. A PIM platform with pricing management and configuration capabilities can help businesses:
- Optimize price positioning for a competitive edge,
- Deliver accurate and consistent information across channels,
- Offer configurable pricing/options to meet customer demand,
- Ensure speed in pushing updates quickly to internal users and external customers,
- And, view and manage relationships between attributes, pricing, locations, and customers to make better business decisions.
Social Media & Mobility
On Black Friday, consumers are also watching social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for posts from their family, friends, influencers, and even brands. Social selling is extremely effective, but to convert browsers to buyers, your product information needs to be accurate, intriguing, and readily-accessible.
Consumers are also shopping in the moment using their mobile phones. In fact, last year made history with over $2 billion in sales stemming from smartphones on Black Friday!
To be social- and mobile-ready, your product information must answer customers’ questions instantly, and provide emotionally compelling content in the right context. Social media moves fast, so you must be able to quickly respond. PIM helps you eliminate time-consuming processes that slow down product and promotion updates, helping your team keep a quick pace.
Other PIM tools like automated business rules engines, digital asset management, validation workflows, export profiles, etc. can help retailers pick exactly the content, data, and assets they want to push to a specific channel to successfully sell their products during Black Friday and year-round.
PIM also helps retailers power experiences like clickable catalogs, wayfinding, and augmented reality to try products in a virtual/mobile setting.
PIM for Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
In addition to the impact around pricing and seamless experiences across mobile, e-commerce, social media and more, PIM helps retailers and brands drive efficient and effective processes throughout PLM to ensure their product content is ready for product launches and major shopping holidays.
To learn more about PIM for PLM, click here to download the EnterWorks PLM Guide.