50 years ago, a unique, real-time personalised customer experience was the norm. You loyally entered your local store, were served by a brand who knew your preferences, offered help, and could reserve, deliver or sell goods in a way that suited you. Today, consumer expectations haven’t changed, but their purchasing channels have.
Real-time personalisation goes further than the personalised email marketing you often find from brands online. It means being able to serve relevant, compelling information during a live interaction with a consumer that is only milliseconds long. Real-time personalisation has the power to encourage consumers to complete the purchasing process and develops a loyalty that pays dividends long term.
For a few years now Europe has adopted the Black Friday shopping tradition, with many retailers launching massive sales on what is now the official start to Christmas shopping across the world.
Given the chaos in the shops experienced on Black Friday in 2014, it’ll come as no surprise that many European shoppers chose to do their buying from the comfort of their armchair. What’s more surprising is they increasingly chose to do it via their phone rather than larger devices.
Crunching the numbers across RichRelevance’s global network of retailers, we saw virtually double the number of purchases online over the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend in 2015, compared to 2014. View all our facts and figures for this holiday weekend in this infographic.
Black Friday still proved the most popular day of the weekend with four times as many sales on Black Friday compared to Cyber Monday. Across Europe, the peak shopping hour proved to be 10-11am on Black Friday, with €300 million in sales taken during these 60 minutes on the RichRelevance platform.
In stark contrast to 2014 when the majority of research was done on a desktop, 2015 saw nearly half of all research done via mobile and tablet devices. And out of the two it was the smaller device, which saw the most research compared to its larger tablet cousin.
While the majority of purchases were made via desktops, again it was the phone rather than the tablet, which generated the most sales volume. In fact sales volume on tablets halved year on year. Similar insights were highlighted by IBM in ‘Black Friday goes mobile,’ a recent article in Marketing Week.
The jump in popularity of online research and purchases caught some retailers off guard as they struggled to cope with the volume of traffic and transactions made online this year. However, those retailers who go their online offers (and infrastructure) right this year were the big winners. For example Curry’s PC World recorded 5 online orders per second, up 56% on last year and John Lewis recorded its biggest ever single day’s trade which they noted was mainly driven by johnlewis.com*.
A key challenge for retailers with such high demand online is the cost of fulfilment, and potential volume of returns. At least some retailers have learnt the lessons of 2014 when problems arose with missed deliveries due to inability to cope with demand. This year, couriers have been much more organised, working closely with retailers on the volume they are able to take, for example limiting the number of ‘next day delivery’ capacity to avoid disappointing consumers**.
Reviewing EMEA’s results for this Black Friday suggest it is a tradition that is here to stay and one that is certainly tipped to replace the previous Boxing Day sales of old. After the chaos of 2014, retailers this year coped with the increased demand admirably. The clear winner is the consumer who benefits from great deals on Christmas purchases wherever and whenever they choose to shop.
Affordable U.K. retailer Primark opened a new 77,000-square-foot department store last week in Boston, introducing the U.S. to its extremely low-cost apparel, accessories and home goods for the first time.
The Milkman 2.0: A New Model for Groceries as a Service
By Alex Ciorapciu, Solutions Engineer, RichRelevance
Transformation is everywhere we look in ecommerce. While some verticals adapt readily to transformation (like books, electronics and fashion), others resist or struggle with change. One vertical that struggles is online grocery. Online grocers blame difficult delivery, low margins, and lack of adaptation from customers for slow growth.
TTS Group has teamed up with RichRelevance to make online shopping easier and quicker for parents and teachers stocking up on school supplies. The latter’s Recommend technology is being used to tailor shopping journeys using real-time consumer behaviour. We have seen huge success since partnering with RichRelevance. In the first month of implementation, we saw a significant increase in sales on products that were personally recommended to our customers, says Jon Vasey, head of e-commerce at TTS Group. Children grow up quickly and the products that our customers purchase may change significantly from month to month. Using RichRelevance’s Recommend solution, we can target product recommendations for different age groups that match our customers™ immediate needs.