3 ways to measure your success on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Total spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year exceeded $2 billion each – it’s a potential goldmine for online businesses. But with so many sales analytics available, what can companies do to measure success? 

How can businesses measure their success over the holiday season and get the most out of their data to make analytics-supported decisions? The data is there. But in many cases, stores are still trying to figure that out.

Businesses have a pool of data available at their disposal, but knowing what actions to take to make sense of that data isn’t an absolute.

This data sits in the cloud services that are becoming omnipresent in the business world – such as Google Analytics, Shopify, MailChimp and HubSpot – many of which are crucial to the holiday season rush.

>See also: Top tips for avoiding infrastructure problems for Black Friday

Stores need to track engagement levels, sales and overall campaign success. Which products did the best in which region? What campaigns were most effective and with who? Or what marketing initiatives led to the most sales?

Here are three things online businesses can do to effectively measure their performance on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

1. Identify top landing pages by website traffic and top products

When shopping online, often times the first thing a potential customer sees on your website is a landing page. But how do they get there?

An interesting finding shows that only 2% of Black Friday purchases in 2014 can be attributed directly to social. Therefore, it’s imperative to analyse the data to see if there is a connection between a landing page and an email marketing campaign or social campaign, and then which customers ultimately made purchases.

Visualising this data in a heat map allows you to uncover relationships between variables including website traffic, demographic, price and product.

2. Visualise store sales geographically

Viewing e-commerce sales performance by sales region is a simple yet effective way to better understand the market you are reaching.

Last year, New York ranked number one for overall spending on Black Friday with an average purchase price of $121.91, followed by Washington D.C. and Atlanta.

Track your successes geographically and add filters for specific products or compare across departments to get a more granular view of what’s catching on and where.

By visualising this data, you can better target an audience that is most likely to drive up revenue.

3. Combine sales numbers with email marketing data

Email marketing has a significant impact on Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases, both in-store and online.

In 2014, retailers sent an average of 5.3 emails per customer for Black Friday promotional deals, with an average open rate of 12.9% and click through rate of 2.4%.

These results explain why many companies conduct email promotions around Black Friday. When taking this approach, you can combine your MailChimp, or other email service, data with Shopify data.

This allows you to identify the top campaigns, by seeing which ones are successful in terms of driving visits to your site or prompting them to make a purchase or two (or three or four).

In a short period of time, you can find out how you get email lists, whether via social networks or fashion editorials, and then see how that has impacted revenue.

From there, you can determine the best plan of action for campaigns moving forward and in preparation for when Black Friday and Cyber Monday roll around again.

>See also: 5 ways online retailers can win at customer experience on Black Friday

Business employees have more access to data than ever before. But not everyone has the mind of a data analyst who instantly knows what data to crunch and how to get the answers they need.

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday may pose the biggest challenges for mining through sales data for the year, employees have the tools at their disposal to generate visualisations needed to make accurate and fast decisions.

These example charts mentioned above give teams a quick and effective view of their businesses’ success over the holiday season so they can determine what needs to be done to up their chances of striking the goldmine.


Sourced from Ed Miller, CEO of DataHero

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...