5 Ways to Use Analytics on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The biggest shopping days of the year are almost here: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With their arrival comes a ton of opportunity for businesses – but with great opportunity, comes great risk. On the most popular business days of 2015, there may be a chance something goes wrong at the worst possible time.
So, how can you use analytics to help you survive both Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Read below for a few quick tips.
1. Be prepared with customized landing pages
No one likes to be enticed by a great deal in an email or a paid search ad, only to click through to the website to find that the offer that drew them there is nowhere in sight. If you waited a bit too long on this one and you're using a tag management system, there's still hope; you can quickly add some logic to show the right messaging on the landing page based on the campaign code from the referring URL.
2. Monitor key metrics for critical breakdowns
In the course of normal analysis, no one metric tells a good story. However, during a big event, you can whittle down the list of key metrics that you need to monitor for simple performance analysis, ensuring that everything is working as expected. Just ask yourself one question: Would a big change in this metric tell me something is wrong? Obvious things that would spring to mind are your most critical KPIs such as orders, revenue, and conversion rate, so you'll want to make sure to watch those throughout both days. 
Additional metrics that you'll want to consider monitoring would give you hints to issues with site functionality, like funnel abandonment rates that might indicate an issue with one of the steps in your purchase flow, or on-site search terms returning no results that might indicate a problem with your search appliance.
3. Listen to your customers through Voice of Customer and social media feedback
When users can't get what they need, they often turn to any available channel to voice their complaints. Voice of Customer tools like OpinionLab capture comments from real customers that can help you to target issues before they become real problems. Monitoring social media for brand mentions is a no-brainer on a day like Black Friday or Cyber Monday; someone should be checking in on all major social media channels throughout the day. 
4. Use session replay to find common causes of struggle and course correct
If you're not already using a session replay tool, now would be a good time to start. On business-critical days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, customer service representatives can use a tool like Tealeaf to investigate user issues when someone is unable to make a purchase. Similarly, you can add alerts to particular events, allowing you to see when certain issues occur on the site that would indicate a problem and investigate immediately. 
5. Plan ahead and target customers on the verge of abandonment
For many businesses, it makes more sense to offer a discount to a user abandoning the shopping cart than to lose that revenue entirely. In these instances, you can use customized rules in your tag management system to target customers with carts above a certain value, prompting them with a discount code or other offer if they abandon the purchase funnel. Similarly, if you've collected information about a person in any visit and persisted an identifier in your data layer, you can retarget to those visitors even after they've left the site.
There you have it: five ways to take advantage of the biggest shopping days of the year. For more information or for additional tips, feel free to contact us at info@stratigent.com
By Erin Cropper
About the Author:

Erin Cropper is the Director of Client Services at Stratigent.

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