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Five things we have learned from talking to more than 1 billion people
The holiday shopping season starts earlier each year, so we got a jumpstart on how consumers planned to shop this upcoming Black Friday weekend. We turned to our market intelligence tool BrandGeek®—the fastest, most accurate source of behavioral data linked to customer feedback in real time—and uncovered these key findings:
Ads + special promotions matter, but so does a positive experience
Retailers are rolling out their biggest and best bargains to lure in deal-seeking customers. Black Friday advertisements are full of doorbusters and early bird discounts—and they work. The top 3 reasons customers plan to shop stores this Black Friday are due to what they see in online ads, newspaper ads, and TV ads—with electronics + clothing topping their wishlist.
But we also found 42% of customers are motivated to spend Black Friday shopping stores where they had a previous positive experience. This means even though consumers are drawn to a great deal, their brand loyalty also carries a lot of weight. This is why it’s vital for brands to prioritize the customer experience all year long, not just during the busy holiday season.
Brands should expect less in-store traffic, but higher customer spend
Much like what we found in our post-Black Friday analysis last year, fewer consumers are planning to shop this year—but 30% of those who do plan to spend more than they did last year. In addition, 47% plan to spend more than $250.
For brands to capitalize on this intent to spend more, they must provide a seamless shopping experience. While this can be a huge challenge on the high-traffic days of Black Friday weekend, it can be a big payoff if your customers can find exactly what they’re looking for. Make sure you’re providing enough in-store support with a well-trained, knowledgeable staff and that all stores are marked with clear and consistent signage so customers can easily navigate your aisles.
Integrating a seamless digital + in-store experience is key to driving cross-channel conversion
Though 31% of customers say they plan to do more Black Friday shopping online, only 3% say they exclusively shop online. The majority will spend an equal amount shopping in-store and online.
It’s more crucial than ever to make sure your cross-channel strategy is air-tight—because when customers experience disjointed channels, they see a disconnected brand.
With the customer journey including multiple touchpoints, providing a consistent experience is even more challenging. In addition to making sure your digital channels are facilitating customer needs, assume those customers are also browsing your stores—and want a consistent brand experience.
The bottom lineWhile it’s important to prepare for a busy holiday shopping season and amp up efforts to accommodate higher traffic, it’s just as essential to make the customer experience a priority all year long. Providing a positive experience every time for every customer—whether it’s online or in-store—helps build loyalty and has an impact on how that customer chooses to shop Black Friday weekend.
For more on how to optimize the shopping experience in-store and online, download our report: 3 things every retailer needs to know about cross-channel shoppers.
Derrick Cline | Consumer Insights Manager