What's Up with Black Friday and Big Data | TechWell

What's Up with Black Friday and Big Data

As a veteran of several Black Friday forays into the abyss (Black Friday veterans know what I'm talking about), I had to wonder what role big data plays in this annual ritual. How do Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl’s, and many other stores know what triggers me to go out at 3 a.m. looking for big deals. In a few years we may even be talking about Black Thursday since many stores like Kmart and Wal-Mart are moving sales to Thanksgiving Day.

I soon found out that big data is playing a big role in Black Friday and, now, Thanksgiving sales. An article on qz.com points out how smaller retailers, not just the big-box retailers, can benefit from big data sales numbers.

The author points out that many companies are using SiSense to analyze the data around both Black Friday and Cyber Monday to target what shoppers want and what they will buy. Another article looks at big data, Black Friday, and how consumers want to be approached and coaxed into stores.

Digging deeper, I found that although this may smack of big brother watching us, it is what we are asking for. On CMSWire, the authors look at this phenomenon, created surveys, and found that consumers want this type of special treatment. A report by McKinsey and Company proves that companies are taking notice of big data and how it drives the shopping experience.

The report looks at five digital trends: big data and advanced analytics, digital engagement of customers, digital engagement of employees and external partners, automation, and digital innovation. There are also graphs that show how much the trend of “digital engagement of consumers” is growing.

Obviously companies are moving in this direction. As we as a society become more digitally connected, it only makes sense that companies devise strategies to feed on that.

How do you feel about this? Do you want this form of digital engagement by companies with which you do business?

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