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Half of small UK retailers ignore valuable data ahead of £1bn Black Friday

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The big day falls on Friday 27 November 2015 and it’s set to be the most lucrative British Black Friday to date, with sales to rise from £810m in 2014 to smash the £1bn milestone this year.

With just one month to go, digital agency Salmon has already called upon businesses to embrace the shopping trend and prepare for higher levels of web traffic as consumers turn to the web to grab their goods.

“Black Friday’s surge in sales in November 2014 threw traditional British pre-Christmas shopping habits into disarray. Shoppers, lured to online retailers with significantly discounted flash promotions, spent an estimated £810m online in a single day, almost 50 per cent more than industry experts had predicted,” said Salmon CTO Glen Burson.

“We predict that in 2015 the frenzy of Black Friday, heightened by national press coverage, will lead to the first £1bn online shopping day in the UK.”

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New research from Tableau found that 33 per cent of small retailers expect to increase the amount spent on analytics, though 49 per cent don’t analyse data at all. Seemingly, there’s a disconnect as 67 per cent believe they possess the skills to capitalise on data accordingly.

Elsewhere, 24 per cent of overall UK retailers aren’t using data effectively to optimise sales opportunities. However, the software firm discovered that senior decision makers who use data analytics are three times more optimistic about a successful Black Friday than those who don’t study the information in front of them.

“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,” said Tableau’s VP for EMEA, James Eiloart.

“The research revealed one clear insight: retailers that do not harness data are missing a real opportunity to optimise profits from Black Friday.”

Tableau has a variety of clients that range from startups to large firms, including Asda, eBay, Cheapflights.com and Tesco. Indeed, Tesco was a key figure in the Black Friday sales mayhem last year and will have harnessed data to make the most of the spending spree – which is known to cause brawls.

Ahead of last year’s Black Friday, Rob Hattrell, general merchandise director at Tesco, said: “Black Friday now marks the real start of Christmas shopping and Tesco is recognising this with its Black Friday sale in-store and online.

“Tesco is giving customers its biggest ever Black Friday event, offering discounts of up to 70 per cent and anticipating that the event will surpass Boxing Day sales for the first time ever.”

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