Black Friday and Cyber Week Remains a Major Push, While Personalization Helps Profitability

Coveo, a Quebec-based SaaS search engine powered by artificial intelligence, has released its third annual holiday report titled “Black Friday to Cyber Week Evolution: What Are the Winning Strategies, Now?”  

Looking at how major strategies retailers are maximizing profits during the major spending season, the company’s survey was conducted by RSR Research to survey U.S.-based retail respondents for 92 retailers, with the majority of retailers making $250 million in revenue. 

Fifty-eight percent of retailers are focusing on Black Friday and Cyber Monday/Cyber Week to drive revenues in the fourth quarter, which can increase revenue when done correctly. Notably, SMB owners have been relying on holiday sales to make annual revenue goals. The report authors note that top retailers are no longer viewing the time period to solely drive shopper foot traffic but to also create buzz around their brands and maximize the event’s experience for consumers. 

Coveo’s research has found that top retailer performers are slightly shifting their focus to other strategic marketing opportunities to help generate revenue and profitability.

For top retailers, the creation of relevant and personalized offers is helping increase the average transaction value. Ninety percent of retailers polled believe that personalization will be a transformative force to end annual special holiday sales within the next three years.  

“It’s clear from our research that industry-wide events are here for the foreseeable future — but no longer as mass marketing, ‘one-size-fits-all’ events,” said Brian Kilcourse, managing partner at RSR Research. “Gone are the days when you get people in the door with a sale on one item. It’s now all about personalized offers and deals. The research highlighted that overperforming retailers are aware of this strategy and using it to their benefit.” 

Other focus areas for retailers include strategically timing their inventory sell-through and making effective technology decisions. When discussing goals for holiday promotions, 60 percent of high-performing retailers reported an increase in average transaction value at the top of their list. 

Seventy percent of retailers polled have said they will spend less on mass market promotions over the next two years but will expect to achieve even greater sales with the usage of personalized offers. 

A report by WWD earlier this year found that customers desire hyper-personalized offers curated specially for them when shopping. 

High-performing retailers emphasize that having easy returns, price and product availability and social proof badges are especially crucial during the holiday sales season. More than 41 percent of top-performance retailers said they expect sales to be online during the upcoming Black Friday. 

More than 50 percent of retailers have reported the implementation of generative artificial intelligence at their contact centers. Anticipating increased call center volumes this holiday season, more than half of retailers have introduced automated capabilities.  

“Retailers poised for the most success this holiday season understand that Black Friday is not just about capitalizing on buzz — it’s about deliberate, hyper-personalized, and focused strategies that reach and entice each shopper wherever they are on their journey,” said Lisa Grayston, general manager of commerce at Coveo. “Experimentation is also key as generative artificial intelligence has been gaining ground — and may become the next big pillar of relevance and conversational search in commerce as we look to the future of shopping.” 

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