Because Black Friday was a week later than previous years, consumers relying on Black Friday deals had to be more patient for their Holiday purchases. Consumer expectations were high, and their patience was running low. There were a lot of consumers to please!
Although consumers love the deep discounts that Black Friday has to offer, the actual shopping moment is in fact quite annoying. Among other things, there are big crowds of people, parking nightmares, limited inventory problems, long line-ups at the cash, the list goes on! In fact, a study found that 86% of consumers rank their unpleasant holiday shopping experience at the same level as “having a root canal”.
This is also true for online: desired products can quickly go out of stock, retailers’ websites crashe during key shopping moments and various shipping as well as returning issues are very common. There is no doubt that these frustrations are a pain for consumers and are further amplified with one week less in this year’s holiday shopping season.
In today’s digital age, consumers are more and more vocal about these frustrations and they do not hesitate to voice their negative experiences on various social media platforms. On key shopping days such as Black Friday weekend, consumers are even more present online and call out retailers whenever they are experiencing shopping difficulties.
Acknowledging this consumer state of mind, we built a solution to make the shopping experience easier for consumers, by tuning into the signals that they were sending us in real time! We used multiple sources of listening tools to identify what consumers were doing and saying as they shopped. Consumers send signals to the market in multiple ways, we simply listened!
Then we became the brand that solved consumer’s pain points by providing a better shopping experience during this hectic sales moment. A little like Santa’s helpers for consumers.
We were opportunistic in two big ways:
We found the consumer love. Consumers tell us what the hottest products are through their search and navigation habits. Using real-time search queries from Google and our own website search bar, we identified the most sought out products…in other words we identified consumer demand through real-time analytics. We coupled this knowledge with an inventory API to ensure we had the products in-stock. Finally, we shifted media focus to these hot products through the ads we pushed to market. This entire process took less than 2 hours!
We also found the consumer hate, we tuned into the pain points that consumers were voicing through social platforms. When consumers had a poor experience with our competitors, such as out-of-stock products, website crashes or check out problems, we provided them with an opportunistic solution to fix their dissatisfaction.