Application Development

3 Ways to Prepare Your Data For a Cyber Black Friday

Covid-19 concerns may force Black Friday to look a lot more like Cyber Monday this year. For retailers, the result could be devastating unless they take the necessary steps to get ready now.

Sharon Bell

Jun 15, 2020

This Black Friday might look unlike any other, as the epic in-store buying day drives higher digital workloads than ever before for big box retailers. Growth of digital purchases has already outpaced in-store buying for several years. Just last year, the U.S. saw a 15% jump in ecommerce spending compared to 2018, where consumers spent more than $600 billion online.

With coronavirus lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, millions of people have created and reinforced online buying behaviors and habits. Already, coronavirus-induced online shopping sent sales soaring 49 percent in April, according to Adobe research.

For retailers, the result could be devastating unless they take the necessary steps to get ready now. As shortages appear through supply constraints and digital channels become the only way to serve customer needs across the retail landscape, businesses will need access to fast, compliant data in order to optimize a digitally-enabled customer experience and deliver rapid value.

From accelerating app development with faster test cycles and allowing companies to pivot their strategies from in-person shopping to digital, retailers must embrace their status as a data company.

The key to winning as a data company? Start with an API-first data platform that enables programmable data infrastructure. Here are three ways a data platform like Delphix can transform Black Friday preparations for enterprise data teams and meet the massive spike in demand for digital shopping.

1. Speed Up Application Development

One of the biggest challenges to fast-tracking digital applications and experiences is the time-consuming and resource-constraining effort of migrating, moving, and securing massive amounts of enterprise data. Data exists everywhere in ecommerce and mobile applications, logistics systems, marketing and promotions, customer service, and ERP systems.

In order to drive customer experience transformations, retail companies need to harness data across heterogeneous systems while cutting time and cost. With an API-first data platform, software teams have the ability to automatically provision data into environments to accelerate test cycles, integrate data across systems for fast, flexible systems integration testing, and enable fast end-to-end testing of applications—preventing downtime that can result in major revenue loss.

2. Perform at Scale and Boost Profits with AI and Analytics

A.I. and machine learning are changing the way businesses interact with customers on every level. Data becomes key to opening doors to valuable insights into purchasing behavior, foreseeing customers’ needs, and designing personalized shopping experiences. These require the ability to rapidly iterate and version data for training and test models for AI shopping analytics

A programmable data infrastructure can feed data from multiple sources into AI and machine learning initiatives to deliver localized and personalized omni-channel shopping experiences over a buyer’s journey across touchpoints. With access to fresh, high-quality data, teams can train and test AI models to maximize click and collect, beacon usage, flash sales, and dynamic clustering. In addition to this, teams can run simulations on the previous year’s holiday volumes can be of tremendous benefit for logistics, planning, and accelerating last-mile delivery.

3. Become a Trusted Steward of Data with Privacy Compliance and Governance

Last but not least, customers expect companies to protect their personal information. The last thing you want is a data breach that jeopardizes Black Friday sales, customer loyalty, and brand reputation.

The global average cost of a data breach is $3.9 million, and Black Friday preparations expose a wide range of data to global test, dev, and analytics teams. A data platform that combines automated data compliance and on-demand data delivery reduces data risk for onshore and offshore development teams by ensuring that sensitive data is masked in development and testing environments. In addition, retailers can securely share data with global supply-chain partners and speed up testing of integrated solutions.

As a result, retailers can keep data safe and in compliance with regulations, including GDPR, CCPA, and PCI-DSS, without delaying time-to-market for new digital applications and online shopping/buying experiences.

Final Thoughts

The management of data must evolve into a seamless collaboration around the flow of information within the enterprise, without compromising data privacy and security. A programmable data infrastructure provides teams with easy access to data in a fast and secure way, ultimately delivering quality data to applications and business processes. Without a data-first approach, retailers will struggle to find innovative ways to meet customers’ expectations, make the shift to digital, and drive profitability during the peak shopping season.

Delphix provides a data platform for Black Friday transformation. Register for this live webinar, "Just in Time Digital Transformation," to hear about how to prepare for a cyber holiday shopping season through digital transformation of applications and services, rigorous testing, and improved production resiliency.