Black Friday and the Holiday Season: How to Deal with Changing Customer Shopping Behavior

The National Retail Federation forecasts that sales will be up 4.1 percent(i) in the 2018 holiday shopping season, but an increasing number of stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day 2018(ii). How does this make sense?

Black FridayThe reality is that customers shopping behavior has changed and retailers are adopting. While Black Friday is still the busiest shopping day for stores kicking off the holiday season, the number of people visiting stores is declining.

It doesn’t mean that people will buy less. They just shop differently. Online, mobile, or via apps–or any combination of these. Spending time with family and friends is becoming more important than shopping in store.

For retailers, like any other product-selling business, it’s becoming more crucial than ever to:

  • Reach their buyers via targeted online and social media campaigns
  • Provide relevant and trusted product content across their sales channels

To compete in the Black Friday deal jungle, the customer experience must be seamless, personalized, emotionally engaging, and hyper-consistent across all channels.

A recent report from Aberdeen says that master data management (MDM) and master data-fueled business applications (e.g. Product Information Management or PIM) can help companies reach their goal of delivering seamless customer experiences.

Furthermore, Aberdeen indicates that survey respondents using MDM to manage their product data achieve greater annual performance growth, decrease costs, and drive revenue growth. Plus, a single view of content helps them establish operational efficiencies.

As opposed to non-users, companies using MDM see results, such as:

  • 76 percent greater annual revenue growth
  • 5x decreased annual services costs
  • 3x greater annual profit margin per customer

Here are three key takeaways from the Aberdeen report that’ll help your business deal with changing customer expectations and deliver consistent omnichannel experiences all year-round–not only during Black Friday and the holiday season.

1.Build a trusted master data-fueled view of product information

Build a trusted master data-fueled view of product information throughout your business. This will allow you to achieve significant performance gains, including growing brand awareness, reducing shopping cart abandonment rates, increasing customer spend, and decreasing costs.

2.Content is key

Content is key for companies to deliver engaging omnichannel customer experiences. Without providing rich, up-to-date, relevant product information to B2B customers or end-consumers, companies can’t truly personalize customer interactions. However, managing the growing complexity of product data stored across various disparate systems—such as ERP, digital asset management, and e-commerce—is no easy feat. Research shows that firms using MDM are far more likely to alleviate their challenges in using product information to do their job.

3.Use the right tools

To unleash the greatest performance results, business users (e.g., supply chain managers, marketers, and commerce employees) need the right applications to collect and use the right data that MDM will integrate across the business. As you keep an eye on building a single view of your multidomain data, also ensure that your employees are empowered with the right tools to create, collaborate on, and manage this data.

To learn more, download the report from Aberdeen.


(i)  Amadeo, Kimberly. (2018, October 29). What is Black Friday? Sales and Trends: How Much Do Americans Spend on Black Friday?

(ii) Dengler, Phil. (2018, November 6). Stores Closed On Thanksgiving Day 2018