During the holiday retail season, advertisers underestimate the demand they’re going to see and run out of budget leading into the Black Friday to Cyber Monday period. Or they will push their efforts only towards that tentpole window and then leave them with a limited budget left to reach people throughout the rest of the season.
If you are going into the holiday retail season without a sense of when customer demand is expected to go up or down, your budget may not be effective or reliable. With a solid forecast, you’ll be properly prepared for the biggest revenue-generating window of the year.
The convenient thing about forecasting is that it forces you to be customer-centric when you’re planning. By being most interested in forecasting demand, you can find out what shoppers want, and when. The more we put our customers at the center of what we do, the more effective and successful we will be as marketers.
Don’t Over Complicate it
- Start with previous data – The Black Friday t -Cyber Monday period of 2017 will provide you with essential information to predict the clicks that Black Friday to Cyber Monday 2018 will generate.
- Establish your expected growth rate – You’ll want to include some information about how you expect your demand to change this year. You can use the information you already have for 2018. As ⅓ of the year behind us already, we can already see how much the weekly growth rate has changed compared to the time period in 2017. More advanced approaches will model this as something called “drift” and may average change over multiple years instead of just one.
- Find your estimate – Use your growth rate to the previous data you’ve collected and the result will be your estimated 2018 holiday clicks. You will then have an accurate forecast.
Analysing Customer Trends
While you may be inclined to prioritise events such as Black Friday to Cyber Monday, it’s important to look at consumer activity in the weeks around it as well. Retail forecasting helps to ensure that you don’t miss out and if you can get into the habit of forecasting every year, your marketing campaigns will become more effective and successful.