Retailers aren't making good use of data to drive Black Friday sales

According to a new piece of research, UK retailers aren't making the most of the big data when it comes to Black Friday.

The survey, which was conducted by Tableau, questioned 200 senior retail decision-makers, and found that one in four UK retailers weren't using their data effectively enough in order to drive and optimise sales.

In other words, a good number may be missing out on a large potential chunk of money – this year's Black Friday is expected to see shoppers spend over £1 billion (they forked out £810 million last year, so that's up a quarter on 2014).

The research also found that smaller retailers (those with a hundred staff members or less) were more complacent in terms of data analytics, with a third saying they did not expect to increase their spending on analytics.

And half of them – 49 per cent – don't currently analyse their data to try and improve their business and sales.

James Eiloart, Tableau’s Vice President for EMEA, commented: “The impact of Black Friday for both consumers and retailers cannot be underestimated. But it is such a small window it’s critical to make accurate, quick decisions. The research revealed one clear insight: retailers that do not harness data are missing a real opportunity to optimise profits from Black Friday.”

Mike Dennis, Managing Director, Consumer Research at Cantor Fitzgerald, further chipped in: “There is a big difference between gathering data and using it effectively. To do this, retailers must apply the power of analytics to the relevant business departments, such as marketing or the supply chain. Even the smallest business can derive valuable insight by, for example, looking at trends in social media or by analysing their stock figures to see what improvements can be made.”