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The AI Approach To Understand And Plan Black Friday Sales

by Maarten de Boo, Chief Revenue Officer on Nov 28

Worldwide trends for Black Friday

Our American team is preparing for thanksgiving and like many US businesses, will be closed for the next couple of days. After Thanksgiving, the buying craze will start. Shopping streets will see black of all the people doing their Christmas shopping, hence the name Black Friday. This special day has been popular for decades, but in recent years in-store sales and foot traffic have started to decline. Reasons could be the shift to online shopping (Cyber Monday), and competition from “new” events, like Singles Day, that’s inspired by the Chinese.


In Europe most people do not celebrate Thanksgiving, but Black Friday has been gaining a lot of popularity over the last couple of years. We see a similar pattern for European sales, which will grow to the same heights as in the USA, before it will start to decline. If we look at the other side of the globe, things are different again. Black Friday isn’t as vastly adopted in Australia as for example West-Europe and the US, but Boxing Day is of much more significance.


What is the impact for you?

Generic trends are fun to contemplate, but do a poor job in explaining the business impact for you at a local level. To give you an example, let’s look at restaurants. We see foot traffic in stores declining and offline sales volumes slowing down, but how about the restaurants? Our data shows that some of the restaurant business is flourishing during Black Friday, while others can even expect less sales than other Fridays It’s safe to say that one trend for one business, won’t mean that your business will follow the same trend. As Thanksgiving typically involves sharing a wholesome dinner with friends and family, you might think that small snacks will top the sales charts whereas bigger meals are easily skipped over, but it’s a tricky guessing game. You can even take it thus far, that differences between your stores or restaurants could be significant. It’s safe to say that there’s no way to simply assume that Black Friday will guarantee you a certain sales increase.  



So how can you be prepared for Black Friday?

Black Friday illustrates again that a one size fits all methodology will not work on an individual level. We work every day very hard to make sure your business is getting a personal treatment, and with that we do not mean on a company level, but on a store level or even on a demand driver per store level. 


Our automated, but individual approach ensures major, upcoming events, such as Black Friday, can be predicted accurately by creating a model per store and per demand driver, instead. This local focus will enable you to accurately predict demand all year round for each and one of your stores or restaurants.


But for now the planning is done and it is time to focus on the important things in life. I wish you a great holiday season and enjoy your time off with family and friends.