Black Friday 2020: Retail Shake : 7 tips to boost sales!

On Friday, November 27, 2020, one of the most important e-commerce events will be launched: Black Friday followed by Cyber Monday.

What is Black Friday?

It is a gigantic commercial operation, which appeared in the 1950s in the United States and takes place on the Friday before Thanksgiving. This operation is a day at “broken prices” a month before Christmas. It has become a must-see event, especially since many Internet users have already started their Christmas shopping.

Which stores and products?

Today, almost all brands and brands offer promotions during Black Friday. So we find the giants of the web like Amazon, Cdiscount or FNAC Darty. During this operation, consumers will find mainly high-tech products, furniture and large appliances are in high demand during this commercial period.

Non-exhaustive list of major players (followed by Retail Shake 😉): Amazon, CDiscount, La Redoute, ebay, ManoMano, Fnac Darty, Boulanger

To make the most of it, here‘s a quick guide to get the best you can on Black Friday. Learn how to manage your strategy and why Retail Shake is becoming your best ally!

Why is the competition tougher on Black Friday?

Black Friday takes place just before christmas, so there is strong consumer demand. Their goal is to find the products at the best price.

Between private sales, flash sales, promotional offers or sales periods, prices are very competitive and vary from one brand to another for the same product.

1/ Do you have a good competitive watch?

It is all the more important to carry out a competitive watch before this period of strong promotions. Retail Shake is a 360-degree standby tool that lets you track the brands and brands you’re interested in. This allows you to compare your products with those of your competitors. You follow prices, customer reviews, merchandising, geolocation of your products and the stocks of your brand or those of your competitors. This will let you know what products will be sold by them and their promotional policies.

2/ Anticipate the importance of the event.

To anticipate Black Friday, you need to prepare your e-commerce site for the increase in traffic that this will generate.

  • Browse the website on mobile devices (tablets, smartphones) and on a desktop computer.
  • Facilitate the user experience (responsive, dedicated Black Friday page…)
  • Anticipate the number of visits to prevent the risk of breakdowns.
  • Check your site’s performance and site speed. Too long a loading time will lead visitors directly to leave without having bought anything.

3/ Optimize your fare watch.

During Black Friday, prices are very competitive and vary from one e-commerce site to another for the same product. It is therefore necessary to be vigilant about its price watch in order to be seen as the best in the eyes of the consumer.

Retail Shake offers smart pricing watch. Indeed, our tool is able to collect daily the product pages of your customers and your current and future competitors. Finally, our artificial intelligence matches these products.

With our solution, you are automatically informed and alerted on a daily basis about the competing brands, the number of common references with them, as well as their price indices.

The product sheets of a Seynave suspension in the Retail Shake tool.

If you’d like to learn more about your rate watch, check out our article on this.

4/ Prepare your stocks

During this important commercial operation such as Black Friday, it is necessary to provide a sufficient quantity of products in stock in order to meet the strong consumer demand. So you need to plan your inventory and check your inventory level in order to have a sufficient quantity of products.

To better track your stored products, Retail Shake geolocates your inventory. So you can see on the map, those that are present in each store. In addition, you are alerted on a daily basis about the value and quantity of your stocks. But also on break-ups and overstocks.

Screenshot of our Eglo Townshend suspension tool. You can see the amount of inventory of this product in each store.

Find our articles on this topic: control of your stocks and the availability of your products and but where are your products?

5/ Watch your customer reviews

Consumers are very sensitive to customer reviews of products: almost 9 out of 10 consumers consult product reviews before purchasing it. With Retail Shake, you can monitor reviews of your products and compare them to those of your competitors.

6/ Improve your merchandising

The points of sale are strategic in the customer journey. We offer you a new way to monitor the good and bad practices of your employees, like those of your competitors.

Retail Shake allows you to share your best merchandising practices with your community (other store, central, supplier…).

If you want to learn more about optimizing your merchandising, check out our article on it.

7/ Choose the right main photo

The main photo of your product is one of the most important elements of your e-commerce site. Photos that highlight your product are part of the information that most encourages the consumer to buy, in front of customer reviews and product description.

Don’t forget that your visitors to your site can’t touch or see your products. Their only way to have a vision of your product passes with the visuals of your listings. It is therefore essential to have the best main photo. Retail Shake allows you to view photos of your products as well as those of your competitors.

After Black Friday, Cyber Monday arrives

Cyber Monday is a commercial operation that follows Black Friday. This year it will take place on Monday, November 30. Cyber Monday is therefore the online equivalent of Black Friday with even more promotions than Fridays.

Get ready for these two gigantic commercial transactions with Retail Shake!

It becomes essential to know everything, faster, better and before others!

Everything you need to know about merchandising optimization! 😉💡

Merchandising combines all optimization techniques related to the allocation of product exposure areas at points of sale (PDV) and the presentation of these products to consumers. The main goal is to maximize sales and profitability of products.

The layout of your store meets pointed merchandising rules and strongly influences the development of your business. This is a marketing approach that involves optimizing product presentation in order to be as cost-effective as possible.

Screenshot of our tool. Different photos of linear merchandising can be seen in a sign.

The pillars of merchandising

Merchandising of seduction

Denotes the layout of a sales space in its entirety. This goes from commercial animation to window decoration, layout furniture and signage. The principle is to seduce the customer through a universe, a unique atmosphere.

Management merchandising

This axis refers to the space allocated to linear lines based on the sales area and the width of the assortment. Positioning the product well is now essential to be seen and purchased.

  • How high do you place the product you want to sell?
  • How is it placed in relation to the customer? Across the street, at eye level? Down (entry-level) or up (high-end)?
  • How do we put it first? Decor on the linear?

Organizational merchandising

It refers to the organization of an assortment in a point of sale by theme or family of products. Think about paceing the presentation to avoid the uniform mass effect. Currently the assortment is structured, it must tell a story through the choice of colors, materials, etc. …

Different stages of the VDP (merchandising)

First, the company studies the potential market for the area in which the VDP is located and then evaluates the commercial attractiveness of the VDP. Secondly, it must specify the layout of the VDP in order to be as efficient as possible when it opens.

This work requires a four-step reflection:

  1. Define the assortment offered to customers.
  2. Identify the location of the rays in the VDP.
  3. Implant products in linear lines.
  4. Put in place a control procedure that ensures the best profitability of linear lines.

1. Define the assortment offered to customers

The assortment consists of the commercial unit of the products offered by the company to its customers. It is also called a mix-product. It must be necessary and sufficient to meet the needs of customers.

It is defined across three dimensions:

  • Length: the total number of references offered by the company. For example, all fixtures at Leroy Merlin.
  • Width: the number of different needs that the assortment will be able to meet. For example, suspension, spot, lamppost and wall applique.
  • Depth: the number of different possibilities the company has in its assortment in order to satisfy the same need.

2. Set up the linear in the VDP

To set up the linear in the PDV, it is necessary to define hot and cold areas (bottom of the store, where the customer takes the most time to go), traffic zones, the direction of the gondolas (positive or negative), attractive areas usually dedicated to commercial animation (gondola head, podium, table, silhouette on mannequin).

It is also necessary to know how:

  • Encourage the customer to travel to encourage unpredictable and spontaneous purchases.
  • Avoid theft and unknown marks.
  • Limit handling.
  • Optimize the quantities stored gripping by the customer to facilitate self-service.

3. The implementation of the products

The surface occupied by a product in a linear line is measured by two elements. On the one hand, the ground linear, which relates to the length of the soil occupied by the product, and the developed linear, which concerns the number of levels occupied by the product.

Visual merchandising is an activity that takes care of the visual organization of sales areas. It can be defined as the art of staging products by reconciling objectives of commercial efficiency, aesthetics and brand image. It relies in particular on the establishment of a merchandising book which should be the reference for implementation with photos, sketches, a planogram and a nomenclature of the layout.

4. Optimize your in-store merchandising

The outlets still have a very bright future ahead of them. Indeed, they remain strategic in the customer journey and keep your customer loyal. We offer you a new way to monitor the good and bad practices of your employees, like those of your competitors.

Retail Shake allows you to share your best merchandising practices with your community (other store, central, supplier…).

Screenshot of our tool. Different photos of linear merchandising can be seen in a sign.
Here’s an example of how to use
it: Irwan, department manager at Leroy Merlin Ajaccio, posted photos of his linear lights on Retail Shake. Its community (the powerhouse and other stores) can love, comment and share its achievements. 

Do you want to optimize your ranges, make the right decisions quickly and have a real-time photo of your competitive space?

Job offer: Tech Lead / future CTO

Find our job offer on LinkedIn:

What do we do at Retail Shake?

Retail Shake gives superpowers to retail professionals!

It is a subscription application (SaaS) dedicated to the pros of the mass distribution (generalist or specialized), marketplaces as well as brands, whatever their field of activity! It allows teams to track their positioning and marketing-mix (4P) on the market and to be alerted in real time: prices, promos, stocks and photos…

We have just finalized our first fundraiser, and now have the means of our ambitions! For the past 18 months, the founder, Irwan, has built the technical architecture with his small arms and trained 3 junior developers to launch the team. We are now looking for a talented and ambitious tech lead to join the adventure and help us accelerate.

Our stack tech:

  1. Web Front and back-end: PHP, Javascript, MySQL (Bootstrap, jQuery, Smarty, Leaflet), Apache SolR, Spark
  2. Mobile: React Native (Expo)
  3. Scraping: Scrapy, Selenium, Python
  4. Image recognition and machine learning: Tensorflow, OpenCV
  5. Servers: DigitalOcean, Amazon AWS, OVH.
  6. Environment: GitHub, Visual Studio Code, Slack
  7. Monitoring and QA: Uptime Robot, Selenium

You will be responsible for…

  • Build: animate the roadmap, strategist of the architecture and general design of the platform, listen to needs, build and write the code of evolutions
  • Deploy: Animate the continuous integration of apps and data (GitHub actions and scripts)
  • Run: operate a reliable, stable, available, secure platform
  • Management: being the undisputed reference for the developer team and growing them

Depending on your skills, your ambitions and your professional project, you may eventually become a CTO associate.

Your skills and abilities

  • Entrepreneurial spirit: motivated, ambitious, visionary and also pugnacious
  • Tech enthusiast: being both strategist and pragmatic while being on standby
  • Sense of customer contact: listening to needs, participating in pre-sales
  • Autonomy / RIgueur: deliver quality, on time, on budget
  • Taste of management: being a leader, dedicated and loving to grow your team
  • An experience in retail would be a real plus


Compensation: 35-50K depending on your profile – possibility of bonuses and BSPCE (participation in capital)

Location: Euratechnologies (Lille) – telework

Duration: CDI.

The recruitment process

In 3 steps: 

  1. Meet the Founder, Irwan
  2. Meet the tech team: Christophe, Clémence and Philippe
  3. A day of testing at the office (Euratechnologies Lille) with technical test

Control its stocks and the availability of its products?

Linear lighting products. We see a tidy stock, no break, a self-service stock and a very readable face.

Inventory management: definition and issues 

The acquisition and storage of inventory represents a significant cost to businesses. This is why it is essential to ensure the sustainability of the company, to have good inventory management. To do this, the company must determine:

  • when to stock up
  • quantities to buy

This management is essential to meet all customer requests.

Avoid under-storage

If the stock is not large enough, we are talking about stock outages or undersupery. If the company has a product not available at a sale, a stock outage has a negative impact on the service rate. This can result in a loss of the company's customers and buyers, who turn to competition.

This product is out of stock in Caen whereas usually there are at least ten pieces per store.

Avoid overstocking

Maintaining too high a level of products entails very high costs (Logistics, fixed assets …) that weigh heavily in operating accounts. In addition, poorly controlled volumes create a risk of becoming obsolete or aging poorly.

The map shows a store that has ten times more inventory than the neighbouring stores. A surstock that will take up space at the expense of other products in the store. It is also the risk of causing disruptions in the chain's other stores.

How do you manage your inventory?

Safety and alert threshold.

Safety threshold (SS): it aims to avoid stock outage. It is a minimum amount to hold to meet demand. When the safety threshold is reached, the command point is triggered if no Alert Threshold (SA) is set. To be effective, the security threshold must take into account resupply times. The longer the delay, the higher the security stock and vice versa.

Warning threshold (SA): it is the stock that triggers the order, it is equal to minimum stock – security stock.  Minimum stock (SM): it is the stock that corresponds to sales during delivery times. For example, a supplier asks for a week of delivery. If the sales of an item are 20 pieces per week, that is the minimum stock. If the store orders with only 15 pieces left, it will be out of stock before the end of the week.

The distribution of your stocks …

To better track your stored products, Retail Shake geolocates your inventory. You can see on the map, those that are present in each store. To get better visibility, you can filter according to your needs (product breaking or less than such number of parts).

Screenshot of our Eglo Townshend suspension tool. You can see the amount of inventory of this product in each store.

You are alerted in real time to the quantity and value of your inventory as well as the stores that are out of order. This information is indicated for each product.

Screenshot of our tools to know the stocks and stock values of each of your products.

Retail Shake helps you locate your inventory, detect any breaks or those that are left. You are then master in your decisions: delivery arbitrages, stock balances in a geographical area, destocking or reverse logistics.

To find out where your products are distributed, we invite you to read this article: But where are your products?!? 

Do you want to optimize your ranges, make the right decisions quickly and have a real-time photo of your competitive space?

The essentials to know about your rate watch.

Before starting a definition of tariff watch.

Tariff watching is a technique that allows a company, distributor or brand to regularly or continuously monitor the prices charged by its competitors in the market.

The importance of tariff watch for a company.

Today, it is important for distributors and brands to remain competitive. To do this, you need to know how to adjust your pricing policy on the products they market. And whatever the distribution channel, whether in-store or via the Internet. In other words, in order to make the right decisions, brands must constantly monitor tariffs, to monitor the evolution of the prices charged by distributors of their products. Distributors, on the other hand, must monitor the prices charged by their competing brands.

Tariff watching is therefore essential to develop its business strategy more effectively.

The 6 stages of the tariff watch:

  1. Defining the competitive perimeter
  2. Data collection
  3. Product matching
  4. Analysis
  5. Decision-making
  6. Moving into action

Step 1 out of 6: Definition of tariff scope

The first step in the tariff watch is to define its tariff scope. Retail Shake lets you track the brands you're interested in. All you have to do is click the "SUIVRE" button.

Follow a sign (here the Castorama sign) with the Retail Shake tool

Step 2 out of 6: Data collection

Retail Shake offers smart pricing watch. Our robots scan the product pages of its customers and competitors on the internet in real time. Our solution scans 2,699 brands and brands.

For example, the photo below shows the product sheets of a Seynave suspension in 6 brands: Leroy Merlin Italy, Leroy Merlin France, Weldom and Brico. 

The product sheets of a Seynave suspension in the Retail Shake tool.

Step 3 out of 6: Product matching

Our artificial intelligence recovers all the product catalogs marketed on the market. Then it automatically establishes a match between these products. To do this, it uses barcodes, supplier references and image recognition.

Step 4 out of 6: Analysis and your price indices

Retail Shake calculates the price index for your brand and that of your competitors. You are then informed about the competing brands, the number of common references with them and their price indices.

On the example below, Retail Shake calculated 48 price indices for Leroy Merlin. We notice therefore that the ManoMano brand with 2828 common references and a price index of 97.86 compared to Leroy Merlin.

Retail Shake calculated 48 price indices for Leroy Merlin

Step 5 out of 6: Decision-making

Once you have collected and analyzed the information on your pricing watch, you have better knowledge of your environment. However, gross rate watching is not enough to make the right decisions in the short and long term. You have to cross this with quantitative aspects (stock and digital distribution) and qualitative aspects (customer reviews, photos and texts, merchandising).

It is by combining the four main areas of marketing mix: product, price, communication and distribution, that a brand or brand is able to make the right decisions to ensure its success or that of its product.

Examples of decision-making related to the tariff watch analysis include:

  • Having to lower these prices in order to remain competitive.
  • Have the opportunity to increase rates by remaining competitive but increasing its sales margins.
  • Monitor its exclusives and distribution monopolies.

Step 6 out of 6: Moving to action

Finally, the final step: The move to action. The move to action is simply the things to do in the back office (central or store). The price change, the product repository (Product Information Management), ERP (electronic catalogue).

Do you want to optimize your ranges, make the right decisions quickly and have a real-time photo of your competitive space?