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SGAnalytics_Blog_Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Despite the high inflation, a spate of layoffs across the country, and an overhanging risk of recession, Cyber 5 sales volumes were better than market expectations (Adobe Analytics data). While this is an encouraging sign for the retail sector, with the holiday season ahead, retailers used deep discounts, promotions, and flexible payment options, including BNPL, to pull cautious consumers digital/offline stores.   In sharp contrast to tepid consumer spending during the year, online sales during the five-day, Cyber 5 period grew over 4% year-on-year to $35 billion. Cyber Monday lived up to its billing, creating another record of $11.3 billion in online sales, up 5.8% year-on-year. Black Friday e-commerce sales grew 2.3% year-on-year, going past the 2020 record of $9.03 billion, per data from Adobe Analytics.   Read more: Black Friday 2022: Will Inflation Impact Holiday Shopping for Consumers?  Figure 1: E-commerce Sales Across the Cyber 5 ($Bil)     Source: Digital Commerce360  While customers were waiting for holiday season discounts, consumer spending expectations were lower on account of tight budgets and lower discretionary spending power due to raging inflation. Retailers responded by amping up discounts across a range of categories. While in the toys category, discounts were as high as 34%, in the furniture and appliances categories, discounts rose steeply by 300%.   Figure 2: Deep Discounts Catalyse Higher Consumer Spending    Source: Digital Commerce360  Read more: Sustainability Outlook: Top Emerging Trends in 2023 and Beyond  In addition to macroeconomic uncertainty, there was also a looming fear of a repeat of the decline in spending in 2021. However, increased adoption of BNPL and an end to the supply chain issues fuelled the much-awaited discounts and consequent higher spending.   Figure 3: Cyber 5 Sales Reach Record Levels ($Bil)       Source: Digital Commerce360, Adobe Analytics  Additionally, Inventory buildup over the last few quarters forced retailers to go for clearance sales, especially when the interest rates are expected to go higher, which is expected to further dampen the demand going ahead. Additionally, the fear of excess inventory overwhelming consumers also fuelled bigger discounts to pull in demand.   Read more: A Critical Overview of Big Data and Bigger Dilemmas for Enterprises  Key Beneficiaries of Cyber 5  Walmart's excellent run continues post strong 3Q22 results. It was one of the big beneficiaries, racking up the highest number of online searches for Black Friday discounts, a 386% year-on-year growth. Target, with its constant focus on strengthening the supply chain and amplifying customer experience, and Kohl's were in second and third place, respectively, followed by Amazon, as per the Captify ranking.   In addition to the retail sector, the BNPL emerged as a big winner driving enthusiastic consumer participation despite the macroeconomic headwinds. BNPL order volumes and order values surged 85% and 88%, respectively in the holiday period compared to the previous week.   There has also been a strong shift towards mobile commerce as digital penetration has surged across a wider retailer base. Customers are increasingly using smartphones in search of the best prices/deals. During Cyber 5, 51% of sales happened on mobile devices vis-à-vis 46% in 2021.  Read more: Global Business Trends Outlook 2023  Another trend this year, Cyber 5, was the rebound in footfall at offline stores, a promising sign of continued spending activity during the holiday season. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), nearly 123 million customers went to physical stores during the cyber 5 periods compared to 130 million online shoppers.   Figure 4: Offline Footfall Rebounds  Source: Digital Commerce360   With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.       A leader in Data Analytics, SG Analytics focuses on leveraging data management & analytics and data science to help businesses discover new insights and build strategies for business growth. Contact us today if you are looking to make critical data-driven decisions to prompt accelerated growth and breakthrough performance.       


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SGAnalytics_Blog_How is Cutting-edge Technology Transforming the Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 Experience

How is Cutting-edge Technology Transforming the Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 Experience

The ongoing 2022 tech-driven FIFA World Cup in Qatar is backed by top innovations ranging from AI offside detection to assistance for visually impaired fans. While advanced technologies have dominated the past FIFA World Cups, Qatar has taken it to a different level.   In 2010, when Qatar was tasked with hosting the 2022 World Cup, the region started constructing Vision 2020-23 to outline FIFA's commitment to integrating technology into the tournament. The idea was to leverage different types of tech-backed innovations to enhance the game experience for fans on as well as off the field.   After winning the right to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar has invested more than $300 billion to build new infrastructure for the tournaments. For this World Cup, Qatar took the stadium's technology to a whole new level. They have also employed 5G and high-speed Wi-Fi across the stadiums will assist in remotely supervising and keeping a check on the spectators, along with the traffic movements, as well as maintaining the stadium temperatures. As many as 15,000 CCTV cameras have been installed to monitor all eight stadiums to keep track. The team has employed data analytics and other technologies to respond to alerts or mishaps.  Some of the integrated technologies involve- offsite detection, assistive technology for visually impaired fans, cooling technology for the stadium, and ball with sensors to detect peak game speeds.  Read more: 2022 FIFA World Cup: Who will Win the Golden Boot?  Top Technological Innovations to See in Qatar 2022:  Advanced Cooling Technology for the newly built Stadiums  One of the major concerns that the FIFA committee had to tackle early on was the harsh environmental conditions in Qatar. 7 of the 8 stadiums that are hosting the Qatar World Cup 2022 have integrated advanced cooling systems to keep the atmosphere inside the stadium cool.  Qatar has employed advanced refrigeration systems in the stadiums that were built for the tournament. The refrigeration technology used inside the stadiums will allow sporting events to be held all year round in the facilities. The technology is installed in 7 of the 8 stadiums.  The Lusail, built with a capacity for almost 80.000 people, will host the FIFA World Cup 2022 final. The stadium has a controlled air conditioning system that comes out through the stands. It will help stabilize the temperature for the assistants and soccer players. Sustainable techniques were also used in the construction of the stadiums in Qatar, such as wastewater recycling measures. After the completion of the FIFA 2022 World Cup, several facilities built for the tournament will be transformed into spaces for the community, schools, shops, and sports facilities. Read more: How FIFA+ Can Revolutionize Sports Streaming?  AI Rihla - The Official FIFA 2022 World Cup Ball  The 14th successive football developed for the tournament by Adidas has an inbuilt sensor to detect peak game speeds. The official FIFA World Cup 2022 ball - Al Rihla from Adidas, comes with an inbuilt Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) to detect illegal positions. The installed sensor sends a data packet 500 times/second to the VAR room. This helps detect the exact moment the ball is hit with absolute precision.  And all thanks to Artificial Intelligence. The data set collected by the ball can be processed in seconds. It then sends an alarm to the VAR referees each time it detects offside. Once this process is carried out, they will manually review the ball's point of impact along with the player's position. The resolution of each move likely takes seconds as the margin of interpretation is reduced drastically. The semi-automated outside technology also incorporates an element to detect offside incidents for the inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensor positioned inside the ball. The technology integrated into the ball was tested in 2021 at the Arab Cup as well as the Club World Cup.  Moreover, Adidas's suspension system, used in the ball, will assist in detecting the kick point with extreme precision. Al Rihla, which represents "the journey" in Arabic, is encouraged by the culture, architecture, iconic boats, as well as the Qatar flag.    FIFA Player App  Designed and developed by FIFA in collaboration with FIFPRO, the FIFA Player App will be operated for the first time ever in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The app will provide players with performance metrics and analysis, along with physical performance and enhanced football intelligence metrics, including line-breaking events, receiving locations, and pressure on the player in possession of the ball.  Read more: 2022 FIFA World Cup Controversy: Should Migrant Workers be Given Compensation?  Semi-automated Offside Technology  Semi-automated offside detecting technology is set to offer precise detection during the matches at Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022. FIFA has used this new mechanism to identify the football position, thus helping referees make accurate, fast, and reproducible offside decisions during the tournament.   The semi-automated offside technology used at the FIFA World Cup 2022 is set to offer a support tool for the video match officials and the on-field officials to help them make accurate offside decisions. With the assistance of 12 tracking cameras installed in the stadium and the Al Rihla ball, the technology is set to offer an automatic offside alert to the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) each time the ball is played in an offside position.   By combining the limb- and ball-tracking data and artificial intelligence (AI), the technology will provide an automated offside alert to the video match officials in the video operation room. Before informing the on-field referee, the video match officials will be able to validate the proposed decision by manually checking the automatically selected kick point along with the automatically created offside line. This will help reduce the dependence on VAR replays to understand whether a player is offside.     Assistive Technology for Visually Impaired Football Fans  FIFA integrated Bonocle and Feelix for visually impaired fans. The Doha-based company Bonocle was established in 2014 by Abdelrazek Aly and Ramy Soliman. With the help of assistive technology and transcoding functionality, Bonocle helps visually impaired individuals to enjoy and experience the World Cup like everyone else. On the contrary, Feelix Palm, developed by an Oxford-based company, Feelix, employs tactile palm communicators to communicate braille-like messages to visually impaired fans during matches.  Read more: Offsides: How FIFA’s New Semi-Automated Technology Can Change Football  Final Thoughts  This is the first time that the greatest event in world soccer is being organized by and played in an Arab country. It is also worth noting that technological advances like semi-automated offside and a football with a sensor named the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) will be implemented for the first time. With these two new tools, VAR decisions will be expedited, offering the referee little to zero margins of error.  Another technological tool that everyone is looking forward to is the FIFA Player. This is the first time the federation will allow the players to obtain real-time information on their performance on the pitch. All this has added to the existing technology and innovation integrated into the construction of the World Cup venue stadiums.  In addition to all the tech innovations inside stadiums, Qatar has employed technology to help surveillance and order outside sports venues. With 1.5 million visitors to a country of 3 million inhabitants, security was seen as one of the biggest priorities for World Cup organizers. They also set up a control center that will simultaneously monitor all 8 stadiums of the tournament and the surroundings through 15,000 cameras.  Artificial Intelligence tools have made it possible for the country to not only control the capacity of all the stadiums, but it has also helped in avoiding public congestion along with supervising the behavior of the spectators. This detection of irregular behavior will enable the authorities to act preventively in case of any crisis.  With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.                         A leader in the Technology domain, SG Analytics partners with global technology enterprises across market research and scalable analytics. Contact us today if you are in search of combining market research, analytics, and technology capabilities to design compelling business outcomes driven by technology. 


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SGAnalytics_Blog_FTX Fallout Calls for ‘Reset’ of Crypto Industry

FTX Fallout Calls for ‘Reset’ of Crypto Industry

The FTX meltdown has been the latest in a series of failures to have hit the crypto world in 2022, precipitated in part by the indiscriminate fall in crypto prices. While on the face, the series of collapses seem to put the future of cryptos as an emerging asset class in grave doubt, a deeper analysis shows an urgent need for formulating regulatory guardrails and accounting rules and standards aimed at cryptocurrencies and companies. Furthermore, the unraveling of FTX is yet another reminder for private market investors to enforce adherence to more rigorous due diligence.  Figure 1: Series of Crypto Meltdowns in 2022  Source: SGA Research  Read more: Generative AI - The New Venture Capital (VC) Gold Rush  While the dust is yet to settle on the FTX saga, the preliminary analysis reveals (1) a glaring saga of lack of transparency, (2) concentration of power in the hands of a select few, (3) inappropriate rehypothecation of assets, (4) and above all a gross financial misconduct supported by an absence of even basic corporate governance – FTX reportedly didn't have an in-house accounting department. The collapse is being investigated by multiple regulatory bodies, including the SEC.    "Never in my career have I witnessed such a complete failure of corporate controls along with the absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here," new FTX CEO John Ray III, overseeing company liquidation. Figure 2: Crypto Industry Reels under the impact of FTX Implosion  Source: CNBC  Such was the state of play that Alameda Research, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) 's crypto hedge fund, loaned $1 billion to SBF before going bankrupt. Previously, FTX rescued BlockFi to seemingly gain control over customer funds and moved $10 billion to Alameda to cover its thin balance sheet.   The shady financials spooked Binance, which attempted to bail out FTX. Just over 24 hours after agreeing to buy its troubled rival FTX, crypto exchange Binance backed out. The fallout led to FTX, which was valued by private investors at $32 billion in January despite turbulent markets, filing for bankruptcy and its FTT token close to rock bottom.   Read more: Tech-Related Ethical Concerns Businesses Should Address in 2022  More Oversight Required to Re-establish Trust   Private market investors are increasingly favoring entry and exit timing or chance instead of proper audit/due diligence. For instance, while multiple investors lost billions in the Terra/luna collapse, some investors, including Pantera Capital, had spectacular returns earning nearly 100x on their $1.7 million investment.   Sequoia, one of the leading venture capital firms with the tagline "We help the daring build legendary enterprises," is a major investor in the firm. The fallout has hurt both its reputation and financials. It had published a eulogical 14,000 words article on SBF, which has now been taken off the site. The VC firm has had to write off over $210 million in investment in FTX. Similarly, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has written off a $95 million investment in FTX.   Read more: Stocks with Multibagger Potential: Top Metaverse and Crypto Mining Stocks to Invest in  Figure 3: FTX's Investors  Source: Crunchbase  While these may be minuscule amounts of the total AUM for these investors, the larger concern is the erosion of trust in crypto companies that the ensuing saga could trigger. Particularly at a time when digital assets were progressively emerging as an alternative inflation-proof investment class with a potential for high returns and little correlation to other asset classes. Positive perception of cryptos had grown by six percentage points per a Fidelity Digital Assets survey of institutional investors.   Going ahead, in addition to regulations, the broadening cohort of private market investors will have to get back to basics in terms of due diligence. Growing competition for promising start-ups notwithstanding, private market investors just can't afford to have an outsourced due diligence process anymore when its LPs' and customers' trust that is increasingly at stake. First-hand verification of operational and financial metrics should outweigh other factors, including getting influenced by the names of other investors on the cap table. Above all, private investors will have to shoulder the responsibility of bringing credibility to the start-up ecosystem by bringing tighter oversight and enforcing stricter corporate governance, especially in the wake of Theranos and FTX wreckage.   Read more: The Emerging Blockchain-Based Tokenization: What Investors Need to Know About it?  How it Will Impact the Crypto Industry  The fast-moving FTX-Binance saga has shaken market sentiment for retail investors and is a serious setback to crypto's journey toward becoming a legitimate asset class. That said, it is unlikely to impact venture investment in the crypto space in the long run as VCs' investment horizon is long enough to brush aside the impact of such fallouts. Regardless, the collapse, along with a slew of previous insolvency events such as that of Terraform Labs, Three Arrows Capital, and Celsius Network, will set off a series of changes in the crypto industry.   Multiple centralized and opaque crypto lending platforms will likely vanish away as consumer trust erodes. The event, which marks the stunning fall of SBF's vast crypto empire, is also likely to bring in more opportunities in decentralized finance and leaves an opportunity for companies working on sustainably building real value.   Investors are likely going to gravitate toward Defi, which appears to be the future with logic embedded in the code, as highlighted by John Wu of Ava Labs. In that sense, the debacle could ultimately prove to be a silver lining for the industry as it ushers in the maturation of the industry with frothy players succumbing to market realities. Additionally, the crisis could underline the importance of blockchain intelligence companies detecting crypto-related fraud and financial crime, with digital assets and the mainstream financial system becoming increasingly intertwined.    Most importantly, there is an urgent need for more regulation of centralized crypto platforms. Additionally, the onus also lies on surviving crypto firms such as Binance to proactively adopt tighter financial and regulatory controls to regain lost investor and customer trust.   A leader in the Technology domain, SG Analytics partners with global technology enterprises across market research and scalable analytics. Contact us today if you are in search of combining market research, analytics, and technology capabilities to design compelling business outcomes driven by technology. 


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SGAnalytics_Blog_Top Data Science Trends to Look Forward in 2023

Top Data Science Trends to Look Forward in 2023

The world of data never stands still; new technologies are constantly transforming at a much faster and more accurate pace. With new trends emerging, they are bringing along new thinking and innovation.   Businesses are transitioning to a data-driven business model, where decisions are made based on data-backed insights. The wave of digital transformation is sweeping every industry, and the trend will continue in 2023 and beyond. It assists businesses in reacting with certainty in the face of uncertain crises. Projections and trends are crucial to surviving in the constantly innovating global market. Data science, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) are critical in business as they improve the growth rate of a business.   Data science trends are slowly gaining the expected prominence in businesses. In 2023, the emerging data science trends will further equip businesses to integrate data-driven tools and insights. These trends will offer significant benefits for the industry as well as to the businesses based within. Here is a rundown of the significant trends that will influence how data science will drive business growth in 2023.   Read more: Data & Analytics Strategy: Must-Have Crucial Elements for Decision Making  Emerging Trends in Data Science in 2023  The Rising Popularity of Augmented Analytics  A critical data science trend, augmented analytics, is finding a significant place day by day. Augmented analytics employs machine learning (ML) protocols and artificial intelligence (AI) to transform how data analytics is processed, assembled, and generated. Augmented analytics tools are currently in trend as they help in automating tasks and insight solutions through complex algorithms. In addition, augmented analytics also helps in the refinement of data science platforms and embedded analytics. In 2023, the trend of augmented analysis is expected to experience varied developments, thereby becoming a significant factor in BI platforms.     Transforming Operations with Big Data Automation   Today, automation is transforming every sector globally. It has stimulated significant transformations in business, resulting in sustained proficiency. In the last few years, industrialization has experienced the best automation capabilities with big data analytics. The process of Analytic Process Automation (APA) promotes growth by offering prescriptive as well as predictive abilities along with data-backed insights. Through this, businesses have received efficient results at low costs. With Analytic Process Automation (APA), businesses can enhance their computing power and make the right computing decisions.   Data analytics automation is the perfect disruptive force that is helping businesses substantially by stimulating valuable data usage and productivity. In a recent survey, 48% of executives acknowledged that data analytics is crucial for businesses today. Some of the prominent big data analytic software include Apache Hadoop, Sisense, IBM Analytics, and SAP Business Intelligence Platform.   Read more: 7 Trends That BFSI Industry Cannot Ignore Anymore- Get Ready for 2023  Integration of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS)  Data-as-a-Service, also referred to as DaaS, is a technology that enables its subscribers to access as well as use digital files with the internet. Built on cloud technology, the DaaS industry has experienced significant growth since the pandemic. And it is still evolving. In 2023, they are estimated to reach a value worth $11 billion. DaaS is today considered the top data science trend that enhances the productivity of businesses.  DaaS facilitates an appropriate understanding of the benefits of data for the growth of businesses, especially in marketing. The significant highlights of the data-as-a-service trend are as follows:  The data stream can be accessed on demand, thus making data sharing effortless.  It is convenient to use as no special fees for accessibility are charged.  DaaS subscribers enjoy access to high-speed data.  The financial demand for DaaS is increasing due to the availability of its resources and affordability.     Real-Time Data Tracking to Build an Analytics Infrastructure   When searching for data-backed insights, it is more acceptable to understand and take into consideration the current trends. This is where real-time data comes into the picture. And businesses are becoming interested in sourcing valuable real-time data to make vital decisions. However, working with real-time data requires a sophisticated analytics infrastructure that is likely to increase expenses. This involves analyzing clickstream traffic from visitors to the website to identify and create new offers and promotions. This also involves monitoring transactions in real-time to watch out for warning signs or cyber fraud.  Read more: It's Time to Put Marketing at the Data Table. Why?  Social media platforms like Facebook analyze hundreds of gigabytes of data for various use cases for serving up advertising and preventing the spread of fake information. Data is providing many organizations with a competitive edge. Businesses with the most advanced data strategies are increasingly looking toward the most valuable and up-to-date data. And due to this reason, real-time data will be the most valuable big data tool for businesses in 2023.     Data Regulation and Governance  Data governance is also being perceived to be big news in 2023 as governments are formulating and introducing new laws to regulate the use of personal and other types of consumer data.   After the likes of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Canadian Personal Information Protection & Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), and the Chinese Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), other countries are set to follow suit and introduce legislation that safeguards the data of their citizens. Recently, Gartner analysts predicted that by the year 2023, 65% of the world’s population would be protected by regulations like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  This implies that governance will be a crucial task for businesses in the next 12 months, irrespective of where they are in the world. Businesses are implementing measures to process their internal data and handle procedures of documentation. For many, this will indicate auditing what information they have, how it is collected, where the data is stored, and what is done with the acquired information. While this sounds like additional work, in the long term, the idea will benefit both businesses and consumers. They will be able to employ this data to develop products and services that align with the needs of the consumers at prices they can afford.  Data governance manages data access globally. Data governance has played a vital role in enhancing the data protection of consumers. A new policy has also been introduced to improve data security, data handling, as well as consumer profiling. The law is referred to as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). These policies are assisting in elevating business to a greater extent. CCPA influences diverse business operations along with controlling the personal data of consumers. It also guarantees data security and protection. Data governance offers businesses the right to distinguish and comes with its own perks. A convenient tool to use, businesses are incorporating data governance to have good subordinates.  Read more: Data Fabric and Architecture: Decoding the Cloud Data Management Essentials  Final Thoughts  Data plays a major part in transforming businesses globally. Data science is enabling businesses to identify the current market trends and generate insights that drive better results. This is helping them develop a foundation that will aid in attaining the envisioned growth. Businesses need to adopt agile innovation in their disruptive business models to uncover customer insights.  In this era of rapid digital landscape evolution, data collection & analysis play a significant role in shaping the future of businesses, industries, and even whole market segments. To remain successful and relevant, data science is a vital component that will drive them in the future. By embedding data science with its integrated elements, industries can grow and survive in this competitive world. Due to this, businesses are agreeing that analytics, data science, and machine learning hold the potential to change different aspects of marketing and sales.  The upcoming data science trends will help individuals and businesses integrate the vision of the dynamic future in the tech market.   With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.                         A leader in Data Analytics, SG Analytics focuses on leveraging data management & analytics and data science to help businesses discover new insights and build strategies for business growth. Contact us today if you are looking to make critical data-driven decisions to prompt accelerated growth and breakthrough performance.   


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SGAnalytics_Blog_Digital Marketing Outlook Top Trends for 2023

Digital Marketing Outlook: Top Trends for 2023

Today, digital marketing is thriving in the business arena, and this rise in popularity is likely to continue in the years to follow. It offers businesses exceptional global exposure to reach unprecedented success. The existing and emerging digital marketing trends are set to transform the way businesses operate entirely.   For businesses, it is important to keep a close eye on where they are heading in the long term. While nobody can 100% predict what the future of marketing holds or will look like, industry professionals are incorporating useful insights to identify some of the underlying possibilities. They are meticulously planning their marketing activities based on what they are aware of from the start of the year to the minute changes that are altering the existing trends.  As we step into a new year, it is time to identify the changing digital marketing trends that will dominate the landscape. What trends will dictate the market? Which trends should businesses be on the lookout for? While this is exciting, it is equally confusing.   That is the reason why we have curated a list of hot digital marketing trends that will define the course of businesses in 2023. Keep an eye on these trends to stay ahead of your competitors.  Read more: Debunking the Myths - Does Innovation Holds Back Digital Transformation?  New Trends in Digital Marketing 2023  Strengthening Influencer Relationships  The digital marketing landscape in 2022 saw a rise in Influencer marketing. And seems like the trend is likely to grow in 2023. While initially, influencer marketing was the domain only for a few marketers, it has now taken over as a go-to strategy for every brand with an online presence. Companies that are collaborating with influencers are witnessing a great return on their investment through improved sales and brand awareness.  In 2023, developing long-term relationships with influencers will be beneficial for brands as well as their marketing strategies. Influencers with a large following and the ability to create content that can be collaborated with to design impactful marketing campaigns. However, businesses should be careful when choosing who they want to collab with as an influencer. Marketing campaigns can often fail because of the different audience bases or reach of the influence that may not comply with the brand.     Employing Innovative Solutions for Data Collection  In 2023, businesses will be expected to become more proactive when it comes to gathering data. By employing different practices, businesses will have to explore innovative avenues to collect information about their customers who can support their sales. This data will help brands gain consumer insights, thereby enabling them to influence the consumer's next business decision. Today, even the most basic forms are helpful in gathering valuable information that can turn browsers into buyers.  With CRMs like HubSpot, brands can input customer data such as their name, email address, and phone number and add them to the mailing list. This will help the sales team to garner a better assessment of the buyer's journey.  Read more: Tech-driven Enterprises in 2023: How will Technology Spending Deliver Value?  Video Marketing: Story-Driven Content Visualization  With smart speakers and voice searches making their way into the mainstream, 2023 is expected to see a surge in story-driven visualization. While readable content was considered more important than visuals and design, the scenario seems to be changing. In fact, while advancements in voice search are influencing the way brands create content, videos or visual content infused with the basics of brand storytelling will see a surge.  Marketers believe that today's consumers prefer visual content over plain text. The growth of image-focused platforms like Pinterest and Instagram is living proof. Visuals are easier to remember than written form content. In 2023, brands will start adding more data visualizations like infographics, images, and videos to make the content more interesting and attractive.  Personalized Marketing to Gain Prominence  In 2023, personalized marketing will finally gain its due prominence. It will emerge as an important element in marketing efforts, as businesses will compete for customers' attention. With the current market competition, consumers are demanding personalized experiences. In response to fulfill these demands, businesses will have to undertake activities to collect data on their customers and use it to create and offer a rather customized marketing campaign.  Marketers will have to adapt to this change in order to stay relevant. In 2023, simply creating effective campaigns will not be enough. They will have to ensure that their brand's content is timely as well as relevant. Businesses will have to incorporate AI-driven platforms into their marketing strategies that will assist them in automatically adapting to the content based on real-time data on their customer's preferences and behavior, thereby enabling brands to offer a personalized experience.     User Generated Content will be at the Center Stage  One of the vital aspects of the digital world, user-generated content (UGC), is enabling marketers to create, distribute, as well as connect with their audience. Consumers create a UGC rather than brands/companies. Brands are integrating user-generated content into their marketing strategy to create their own unboxing videos, makeup reviews, hashtags for photos, and much more. With user-generated content, brands can connect with their new audiences and be seen by them. It enables them to create a more personal connection with their existing customers. Consumers are more likely to trust user-generated content than the one created by brands. This trend will help businesses to take their authenticity to the next level in 2023. Brands will now start prioritizing authenticity in their marketing strategy.  Read more: With Subscriber Rate Declining, What Does the Future Hold for Netflix?  Real-Time Messaging/ Chatbots will Become Sophisticated  With real-time messaging platforms, brands can experience a great way to reach out to and interact with their customers efficiently. In today's age of instant gratification, brands need to undertake everything they can for their consumers to provide them with as much information as possible. Or else they might risk losing their consumers to their competitors. With chatbots, businesses can simulate human conversation and provide customer support to promote a product or service. With consumers defining the new norms, many new platforms are enabling businesses to provide better customer interactions.  In 2023, chatbots will become more realistic, making them an integral part of every marketing strategy. Chatbots will also be able to handle more complex queries raised by the consumer. This will help in freeing up customer service representatives, thereby enabling them to deal with more difficult issues or crises that demand instant response or gratification.  Key Takeaways  The digital marketing trends that will likely dominate the landscape in the next 12 months include consumer experience, employee engagement, and content visualization.  The definition of marketing is constantly changing and undertaking a broader role.  In 2023, marketing will move beyond branding and advertising. Marketers are now working in collaboration with other departments to build great customer experiences as well as to engage them for long-term relationships.  Read more: Curation ,Consolidation, and More Creation: Digital Media and Entertainment Trends for 2022  Keep up with the 2023 Digital Marketing Trends  With technology continuing to advance at a rapid pace, businesses are staying updated with the recent trends that are focused on transforming the digital landscape. However, there is also a pushback against the rise in digitization and automation of interactions between brands and their consumers. While technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and data-driven marketing are continuing to grow, the focus is still on people, not technology.  The recent turn of events has compelled businesses to digitize their operations. Business leaders across sectors are integrating technology to run their commercial ventures. They are leveraging digital marketing to scale their presence in the digital medium extensively. However, it is important to understand that brand marketers do not need to try and incorporate all the trends at once. However, they need to be open to new opportunities and approach advancements with a collaborative mindset.  With the increasing advancements in marketing, it is safe to say that the upcoming trends will continue to transform the digital landscape as we step into 2023.  With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.     A leader in the Media & Entertainment space, SG Analytics helps leverage advanced analytics abilities to make authentic decisions and accelerate business growth. Contact us today if you are in search of media & entertainment solutions that enable businesses to solve problems by harnessing disruptive data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and innovative technologies.    


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SGAnalytics_Blog_Generative AI - The New Venture Capital (VC) Gold Rush

Generative AI - The New Venture Capital (VC) Gold Rush

Artificial intelligence has come a long way in the last few years. While it was initially used mostly for analytical work, the dawn of generative AI is opening up a whole new wave of use cases for AI. Simply put, generative AI is the technology to create new content by utilizing existing text, audio files, or images by using data-intensive AI capabilities like deep learning and neural networks. With improvements in model and computational power and the availability of more data, AI is now able to recognize underlying patterns from a vast collection of digital sources to come up with the required output.      What’s New?  AI technology has become incrementally better since its inception. The quality of generative AI output has now come to the point that is meaningfully good for creators and businesses. For instance, before 2020, the majority of use cases of AI (or rather traditional AI) were in spam detection and translation. That has changed now. More and more creators and marketers are using generative AI outputs for writing emails and promotional blogs. For writing that requires more creativity, generative AI outputs are already being used as first drafts, which for the time being, require further refinement. Leading US-based VC firm Sequoia Capital estimates that as the generative AI models are further improved, the technology will be able to write final drafts as good as if not better than, professional writers by 2030.   Read more: Tech-Related Ethical Concerns Businesses Should Address in 2022  Fig 1: AI Models Keep Getting Better  Source: Sequoia Capital  Another reason why generative AI is the buzzword these days is the proliferation of open-source alternatives. For instance, Eleuther.ai’s GPT-NeoX-20B is an open-source alternative to OpenAI’s GPT-3 model for text generation and StabilityAI’s recently launched Stable Diffusion is the open-source alternative to OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 for images and videos. By democratizing AI, these open-source alternatives are making AI easily accessible and affordable. Some estimates even suggest a 100x drop in the last two months in the cost to generate images and a 10x drop in friction to generate output in the last six months.    Burgeoning Use-Cases  With AI models undergoing transformation changes, the use cases have expanded significantly, particularly in creative industries. Applications of generative AI in the advertising and marketing industry are huge and wide. Companies including Copy AI, Jasper, Copysmith, and Contenda are pioneers in copywriting.     Read more: Global Business Trends Outlook 2023  Fig 2: Generative AI Application Landscape   Source: Sequoia Capital  Additionally, generative AI has use cases in coding as well, with companies like GitHub, Debuild, Mutable AI, and Moderne working on solutions like code generation, web app builders, and code documentation. While current tools help developers work faster and more efficiently, giving consumers access to code could bring in a new customer base and expand the addressable market significantly.   Read more: The Next Tech Time Warp: How Will Artificial Intelligence Possibly Change the World?  More applications of generative AI lie in design, gaming, and social media. Typically, design prototype development for digital products is labor intensive. Generative AI start-ups can solve this issue, especially when there is labor constraint. In social media, generative AI start-ups can create new social experiences. Further, generative AI for chatbots has been gaining traction for a few years now.  The rapidly expanding adoption of these generative AI start-ups is also reflected in their growing numbers. For instance, OpenAI’s image generator DALL-E 2 has more than 1.5 million users, while Mid journey has 3+ million users on its official Discord server. Remarkably, Mid journey entered open beta in July 2022. In its first full year of business, Jasper has registered $35 million in revenue and aims to attain yearly revenue of $75 million by the end of 2022.   Read more: Forecast: Top Venture Capital Market Trends In 2023  VCs Eye Opportunity  Some investors are likening generative AI to the early days of the web, seeing it as a transformative platform shift. US-based VC firm Sequoia sees generative AI as a technology that could generate trillions of dollars of economic value. As the demand for AI-powered content generation accelerates, generative AI start-ups have been garnering significant VC attention despite a broader slowdown in the pace of VC funding. Jasper, an Austin-based start-up, recently raised $125 million in Series A funding at a $1.5 billion valuation. London-based Stability AI also raised $101 million in an oversubscribed round, with investors like Coatue and Lightspeed Venture Partners participating. In May, Hugging Face also raised $100 million in a Series C round at a valuation of $2 billion.  The backing from big is another stamp of approval for generative AI start-ups. Microsoft has made significant investments in OpenAI and is anticipated to enhance its OpenAI efforts this year. Additionally, Google and Meta developed a new artificial intelligence tool to produce a video from a simple text prompt. Such interest from big tech could also very well spark a wave of M&A in the generative AI space.   Even if generative AI output can’t yet match the human-generated output, businesses and creators see them as handy tools in a broader toolbox. Further, a large number of firms are using generative AI to improve efficiencies and speed in their operations, providing value for their customers. That said, businesses need to address ethical concerns, which are often associated with AI.     With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.                          A leader in the Technology domain, SG Analytics partners with global technology enterprises across market research and scalable analytics. Contact us today if you are in search of combining market research, analytics, and technology capabilities to design compelling business outcomes driven by technology. 


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SGAnalytics_Blog_Sustainability Outlook Top Emerging Trends in 2023 and Beyond

Sustainability Outlook: Top Emerging Trends in 2023 and Beyond

A business opportunity and a customer obsession enabler, sustainability is emerging as an integral part of businesses. Seeded with government investment, sustainability is transitioning industries into a green market revolution. Environmental sustainability today encircles technology, supply chain emission reductions, climate risk, and professional services.   As sustainability becomes a top priority for many consumers, brands are employing measures to support this growing demand for eco-friendly products and practices and reduce their impact on the environment. Brands are striving to combat the effects of the climate change crisis and their carbon footprint. The sustainability trends in 2023 are predicted to plunge beyond eco-friendliness. They also involve measures to enhance the working environment, supply chain emissions, employee well-being, and ethical reporting.  With collective awareness, businesses are igniting a revitalized push and integrating a more innovative approach to address climate change. Consumers are ready to act and support brands that follow as well as deliver on their promises. Some of the most impactful changes that businesses can anticipate in 2023 in environmental sustainability are as follows.  Read more: Spotlight on EV Battery Technology as the US looks to Challenge China’s Dominance  Emerging Trends in Sustainability in 2023  Transparency Sustainability Reporting  With many environmental issues seeing the light in recent years, in 2023 and beyond, it is predicted that more and more companies will be held accountable for their carbon emissions. Stakeholders and customers alike will demand a full rundown of where things stand and the measures organizations have been taking to tackle the wasteful practices within the business.   While tracking all climate emissions as a business is a tough task to handle initially, businesses are incorporating the much-needed change to make things happen. One standard that businesses will incorporate is the supremacy for greater transparency in sustainable reporting. The new carbon accounting standard is assisting in drawing in on the existing standards. The standard will be applicable across industries to clarify murky areas of scope 3 reporting, including remote work emissions data, thus transitioning industries into a new era of transparency. This framework is aimed to deliver reliable scope 1, 2, and 3 data to investors, shareholders, as well as customers, thereby qualifying organizations for credit and lending.  Some of the measures include appointing a chief sustainability officer and publishing transparent reports on the company website for the public. In 2023, governments will also start outlining transparency measures through various climate summits. Transparent reporting will help businesses in getting ahead of the curve.     Eco-friendly and Sustainable Workplaces   Brands are analyzing their workplace operations and their impact on their employees to comply with the current sustainability regulations. Top corporations like IKEA and Prada are embracing the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard — a globally recognized third-party metric to integrate sustainability with everyday business operations. Industries across different sectors are also ramping up their focus on the occupational health and safety of their employees and teams. They are now committing to enhancing the working environment for workers in offices as well as their supply chain operations. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives are also finding a place within the organization. In 2023, businesses will witness a rise in more sustainable practices to create equity for their team members, consumers, and communities.  Read more: Sustainability in Tech: 3 Ways for Companies to Become More Sustainable  Switching To Better Delivery Options for Fewer Emissions   With online sales soaring during the pandemic, carbon emissions experienced a rise due to a rise in delivery vehicles. This growth is now pushing industry leaders to explore environmental delivery methods, making it a top trend in sustainability in 2023. The final stage of the shipping and delivery processes are also contributing to the rising carbon emission. Due to this reason, brands are switching to electric vehicles (EVs), drones, and cargo bikes to reduce their carbon footprint.  General Motors recently launched a startup name 'BrightDrop,' which employs the latest technology to offer - all-electric first -and last-mile products and services. Top corporations like FedEx and Walmart all use their services.  In association with Mercedes-Benz, Amazon is adding electric vehicles to its European fleet of deliveries.  Online shopping is helping the environment by reducing the tips of consumers to the store. Retailers moved their businesses online during the pandemic and have no plans of reopening their physical locations anytime soon.     Data and AI to Boost and Drive Sustainable Projects  The efficient use of cloud technology and data are assisting in fuelling a sustainable future. AI has proven essential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. AI is also aiding in precision agriculture, enhanced weather as well as disaster prediction & response, and much more. A PwC report estimated that AI can help in reducing worldwide greenhouse gas emissions by 4% in the year 2030. Google's AI engine is offering public sector agencies and researchers' data to enhance climate resilience. Firms are now able to analyze their footprint as they do not have the required information. Industries, as well as retailers, are now recognizing these benefits. Amazon is actively employing AI for its machine learning-based systems.  Read more: ESG Score - Definition, Process, Implications & Purpose  The Rise in Sustainable Practice: Reuse and Recycle   Retail generates a lot of waste, and the problem is only getting worse. The average e-commerce return rate is perceived to be 23.44%. That indicates that one in four parcels gets returned. This has pushed packaging waste to an all-time high. Cutting down on packaging waste will be one of the top priorities for brands in 2023.  Zabka, a European retailer brand, announced their plans to make their packaging recyclable by the year 2025. Many fast-fashion brands are implementing demand planning to accurately predict demand for seasonal items to tackle the issue of waste.  Another significant way to downsize waste is with a circular economy. This model fosters the reusing and recycling of existing materials. Many brands are now showing their interest in integrating circular strategies into their operations. Ikea committed to becoming fully circular by the year 2030. McDonalds and Starbucks are also hoping on this trend and seeking avenues to expand their reusable cup programs.     The Sustainable Cloud Revolution  In addition to AI, cloud technology, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), has been widely enabling companies to meet their sustainability goals. Cloud computing is leading to a greener tech transformation. With a focus on optimization and efficiency, cloud providers are designing and operating sustainable and low-cost workloads. This technology is helping brands battle their carbon emissions, reduce energy consumption, and support overall waste reduction measures.  AWS is working to achieve the goal of switching to 100% renewable energy by 2025. However, Amazon isn't the only cloud technology provider that is contributing to the cause. Microsoft's Cloud for Sustainability is assisting companies in managing their environmental goals. The cloud-operated data centers are considered to be more energy efficient than traditional enterprise data centers.  Read more: The ESG Rating Phenomenon: A Guide to Understand ESG Ratings  Building a Greener and Sustainable Future  While previously sustainability was considered as nice to have, in 2023 and beyond, attitudes of brands are shifting towards accountability. The pandemic shifted the focus on sustainability and clean energy. While sustainability was a general concern before, it is now a major focus of every brand. Hence there couldn't be a better time than now to integrate where businesses are and what improvements are to be made in the shorter and longer term to reduce their carbon footprint.   Brands of all sizes are taking action to overcome the ongoing climate change crisis. It is no longer a part of the brand's mission statement but is emerging as a collective foundational principle that is compelling them to take necessary actions.   Brands are now developing new sustainable strategies. They are ramping up efforts to decrease their environmental impact by switching to more efficient technology. This empowers them to ensure their staff's well-being while conducting business transparently. In 2023, brands not prioritizing sustainability will likely find themselves left behind in this competition.  With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.                         A leader in ESG Services, SG Analytics offers bespoke sustainability consulting services and research support for informed decision-making. Contact us today if you are in search of an efficient ESG integration and management solution provider to boost your sustainable performance.  


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SGAnalytics_Blog_Forecast Top Venture Capital Market Trends In 2023

Forecast: Top Venture Capital Market Trends In 2023

Fintech experienced a rather upward swing in 2021 when it came to funding. However, these venture capital numbers fell in 2022. And the existing scenario is expected to continue in 2023 as well. However, the retreat from this is more about strategy than perceived weakness within the industry.  The fintech venture capital marketplace is looking strong in 2023. However, it may not repeat the record-breaking growth of 2021. While many of the drivers are in place for growth, investors are exploring new early-stage deals that demand less investment.  In 2021, fintech solutions experienced a favorite investment of venture capitalists that accounted for more than $130 billion in venture funding. Moreover, fintech venture investment increased by more than 175% from 2020 to 2021. However, 2022 was considered a turbulent year on many fronts. The sustained pandemic outbreak, war-induced energy crisis, crypto market crash, and constantly changing market conditions - all became the new normal for businesses.  Read more: How is Multi-stakeholder Assessment Helping to Create Long-Term Sustainable Value?  The Fintech Funding Scenario In 2022  The drivers of Fintech investment in 2021—convenience, security, and flexibility- experienced upward growth in 2022. While fintech investments are unlikely to reach the highs of 2021, venture capital investors still seem interested and are modifying strategies to match the flow of the markets. VCs are eying new early-stage deals. Startups and other smaller fintech firms are adopting more agile operations to weather the existing market conditions due to rising interest rates, inflation, and other issues. The recent fintech news is indicative of a global shift in the venture capital and investment market. In India, fintech assets are growing and are expected to hit the $1 trillion mark in 2030, demonstrating growth outside standard regions.  Looking forward, it can be anticipated that global economies will undergo further changes in the way people live and interact with one another. Regarding the changing landscape of the fintech venture capital industry, the trends that will drive the course in 2023 are listed below.  Where is the Fintech Venture Investment Market Headed in 2023?  With growth still occurring in 2023, venture capital investments and fintech companies will explore and opt for stable moves rather than aggressive ones. While 2021 and 2022 experienced a high-risk, high-reward scenario, 2023 will see a more conservative approach. How will the venture capital investment market grow in 2023, and what can investors expect for the upcoming trends? Let's explore the trends that will continue to drive evolution in this space.     Venture Capital Market Trends 2023  Significant trajectories for ESG-focused Fintech Products  Environmental, social and corporate governance, also known as ESG, is emerging as a domain that is attracting huge attention and an influx of investment funds. ESG funds experienced a record inflow in 2022. Bloomberg estimated that global ESG assets are likely to surpass the $53 trillion mark by the year 2025. With investors, governments, and consumers continuing to pressure ESG missions in investments, venture capital firms will experience a surge in sustainable investments. Investors in ESG funds must chase opportunities that align with the vision of transparency in ESG investing. Investment in ESG funds is becoming more common and even a mandate in many cases.  Read more: How Fintech Companies are Revolutionizing B2B Payments  Investors are now willing to ride this wave of the latest fintech trends, along with being socially responsible. Fintech venture capitalists with ESG mandates are also reaping the benefits by uniquely positioning themselves for exponential growth.  Fostering Deal in Underdeveloped Areas  On many levels, fintech venture capital has been a financial liberator. From apps to investment structures, they are assisting in creating more accessibility for consumers at all income levels. They also enable investors to foster deals in underdeveloped regions. Fintech venture capital is driving evolution that is being considered a revolution. As a result, center capitalists are expecting to see a disruption in the traditional investment markets and practices in 2023.  Growth in M&A Activity  With the tech space continuing to evolve at a robust pace, it is leaving a trail of opportunities for investors in innovation's wake. Venture capital investors are exploring the new avenue and offering their backing to foster M&A activities. With investors' continuous support, startups are seeing healthy M&A propositions for all types of selling in the fintech markets.  A Rise in Embedded Services  With consumer demands for convenience and flexibility rising, businesses are embedding financial services into their processes. Investment and savings apps and automated invoicing solutions are leasing the investment front. While it is impossible to conclude how things will pan out for venture capital in the year 2023, it can be inferred that the industry trends pertinent to this sector are likely to have a profound impact on business. Embedded finance services and alternative financing are some of the trends venture capitalists should keep a close eye on.  Read more: Fintech in the US: The Top 8 Players to Look Forward to in 2022  The Dawn of New Investment Opportunities    The latest data suggests a slowdown. In the initial six months of 2022, venture capital investment in fintech companies in the UK fell to $9.6bn. This was perceived as a reduction of two-thirds compared with the same period in 2021. For the fintech venture capital market, a long-term secular growth story still needs to play out. While a moderate funding environment seems plausible, investors agree that since the pandemic, the sector has been experiencing a more linear trend line when it comes to funding volumes.   The focus has been re-shifting on many fintech businesses. While it is hard not to see how venture capital financing of fintech will be driven by interest rate movement, the year 2023 is likely to experience much progress and will continue to move upwards. In the longer term, a sustained focus will enable fintech to solidify its long-term story.   With the world still getting a grip over the rising interest rates, soaring inflation, and ongoing geopolitical strife, how is the venture capital market transition coming along?  Key Takeaways:  Venture capitalists need to recognize the requirement for working together, as new fintech startups and established names are striving to work together to redefine the financial industry.  The big names in the financial sector can also opt to invest in venture capital startups to gain a foothold in this digital-only banking industry.  Going into a transparent partnership is considered a fruitful option by many.  Read more: Ways Private Equity and Venture Capital Firms can Protect Themselves from Cyber Risks  In Conclusion  The future of venture capital investment is moving from a monolithic system to a hybrid multi-cloud architecture. This involves the integration of data analysis and AI products to offer a seamless experience and extreme digitalization within the investment ecosystem.  However, despite the chaos and uncertainties brought in by COVID-19 upon economies worldwide, fintech venture capitalists across the globe are reporting growth on average. While the growth is not the same for all regions, the investment industry is taking quick action to respond to the challenging dynamics of the market by tweaking its products and services or by offering new ones based on the current market conditions.  Yet, fintech venture capitals are still contended due to the significant headwinds in operations, fundraising, and regulatory challenges globally. Before the pandemic, venture capital startups were facing difficulties in funding as investors were choosing to prioritize fintech with established business models. There have also been interesting cuts and the slowdown of economies that fintech is facing.  However, on the upside, experts believe that the future of the fintech venture capital industry will take an advantageous turn and create new opportunities. Global economies are now opening up to the virtual scramble of new investment standards.  All in all, the future of fintech venture capital looks bright. While the 2023 funding totals may not rival the desired growth, fintech will still remain a top priority for VC investments.  With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.                         A leader in the Venture Capital space, SG Analytics partners with global companies and assists them in acquiring and realizing strategic value from their investments. Contact us today if you are in search of an investment research firm to leverage custom research support across a broad range of asset classes and enhance your investment decisions.  


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SGAnalytics_Blog_Black Friday 2022

Black Friday 2022: Will Inflation Impact Holiday Shopping for Consumers?

Predicted to be the busiest shopping day, Black Friday attracts several shopping visits for the holiday season in the U.S. Black Friday is positively the biggest shopping day of the year. There is a ritual of shopping on Black Friday, making it an occasion as much as a day to buy something.  Shopping visits to a retail store year-to-date for 2022 are expected to be flat compared to last year for the same period. However, in the years leading to the pandemic, foot traffic to retail stores was trending down about 5%. Taking this into consideration, 2022 being flat can be considered a positive sign.  Considering the fuel prices in 2022, many retailers are reporting that customers are making fewer trips to the stores and bundling purchases to spend more money per trip. While inflationary pricing may not have significantly impacted consumer spending, the total retail sales went up 9.9% in August 2022.  The steady organic improvement in shopper visits indicates that inflationary pricing may not impact this year's holiday shopping visits. However, the Fed interest rate hike may deter some shoppers from spending more on holiday purchases.  Read more: Sustainability Data Strategy: Top Key Components for a Positive Impact  List of Busiest Holiday Shopping Days in the U.S.:   November 25, Friday – Black Friday  November 26, Saturday – Saturday after Black Friday  December 3, Saturday – First Saturday in December  December 10, Saturday – Second Saturday in December  December 17, Saturday – Super Saturday  December 18, Sunday – Sunday before Christmas  December 21, Wednesday – Wednesday before Christmas  December 22, Thursday – Thursday before Christmas  December 23, Friday – Day before Christmas  December 26, Monday – The day after Christmas  On average, the above-mentioned busiest holiday shopping days in the U.S. account for roughly 40% of all retail holiday traffic. However, retailers are expecting larger numbers this year, as the soaring gas prices will lead to more shopping intensity on the busiest days. This will enable the shoppers to make fewer individual trips. In a recent shopper survey, respondents stated that they plan to visit more retail stores for the Black Friday holiday sale. This can be considered a great sign for physical retailers.  The Big Shopping Event: Will Black Friday 2022 be a Hit or a Miss?  The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday lands on November 25 this year. While that is still days away, holiday sales have already begun. However, they are only scratching the surface. There is still plenty of seasons as well as chances to save money. Looking ahead at this year's Black Friday, what can shoppers expect, taking into consideration the rising prices and other concerns?  Here's what experts are predicting about the big shopping event will is right around the corner.  Read more: A Critical Overview of Big Data and Bigger Dilemmas for Enterprises  Inflation to Impact Holiday Deals  Inflation drove the cost of all goods by 8.2% between September 2021 and September 2022, as per the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Holiday shoppers are now counting on discounts to offer much-needed relief. However, inflation is now taking a toll on retailers, as well. Stores are suffering equally. While their fixed costs remain high, the revenue graph is shrinking. They are not able to afford to offer deep holiday deals.  Inflation has hit certain categories harder as compared to others. For example, food prices are on the rise in comparison to clothing prices. In this year's holiday deals, shoppers will find that the quality of deals is likely to be dependent on what they buy. Many say that while retailers are still touting plenty of bargains, the savings may not live up to the holiday deal hype.  This holiday season will see higher prices than what the scene has been in the past, and promotions can certainly help offset them. However, inflation will push prices on a higher spectrum for retailers, and they will have to pass that cost on to the end consumer.  At the same time, in certain cases, the impact is expected to be subtle. There is a possibility of retailers charging higher delivery fees, or the shoppers may get less for their money's value considering the shrinking inflation. However, in both cases, the product's prices will likely remain the same, but the size or quantity may reduce.      Supply Chain Issues are likely to Resurface  Shipping backlogs, along with product shortages, made shopping a challenging holiday task last season. While inflation may be grabbing all the headlines this year, it is smart to say that the supply concerns are still not completely behind us.  The supply chain is a huge question mark for businesses. A lot of these crises are arising due to the war in Ukraine and how it is impacting the whole world. Shipping, oil and gas prices, and supply lines from China, have all been hit. However, retailers are trying to be better prepared to avoid empty shelves. Many are adjusting their ordering strategies and timelines to avoid any possible hiccups.  Supply chain obstacles can also benefit bargain hunters. With delayed shipment arrivals along with declining consumer demand, stores have been left with excess inventory in recent months. Some retailers are stuck with inventory that consumers are unwilling to buy. These products will probably go on the deepest discounts during the Black Friday sale. However, these products may not fit the ideal Black Friday gift-shopping bill.  Read more: How are Tech Innovations helping Businesses to Survive the Economic Downturn?  Holiday Sales are Happening Early  Previously the day after Thanksgiving was considered a mark to start the holiday shopping season. Despite Black Friday sales having increased earlier and earlier over the last few years, 2022 is no exception. This year, Target launched its holiday season discounts with the Target Deal Days event early in October, several days before as compared to 2021. Amazon's members-only Prime Early Access Sale started on Oct. 11 and 12. Huge events like these are expected to pop up later in October or early November. For consumers to shop, retailers are experiencing that consumers are taking some of the pressure off to complete all of their holiday shopping towards the end of the season. Retails are witnessing that holiday sales are expected to continue in the next couple of months.  This holiday season is providing shoppers with plenty of opportunities to find exciting deals. While some retailers are sitting on some of their best promotions as we get closer to Black Friday, there is no time to wait. It is in consumers' best interest to start thinking about shopping early for them to get great deals and discounts. They are now making a move to avoid the last-minute hassle by either selling out or not offering discounted rates later in the season.  Early shopping has strapped customers to spread out their spending and save their holiday budgets. At the same time, retailers, such as Target and other top brands, are letting shoppers request a price match if the item they wish to buy goes on sale for less later in the season.  Consumer Loyalty will Pay off   With shoppers still dealing with concerns over inflation and rising interest rates, retailers are more focused on consumer retention to bring in more sales. Consumers who are members of loyalty programs are expected to benefit from the exclusive holiday offers, as they will gain early access to sales, discounts, gift vouchers with purchases, and other sorts of benefits.  Read more: How Fintech Companies are Revolutionizing B2B Payments  To Sum Up  High inflation is impacting the way people shop during the holidays. People are reevaluating and recalculating their purchase options as well as how much they want to spend on gifts and spreading out their Christmas shopping. Consumer Reports have stated that this has led to retailers starting to offer holiday deals earlier than ever. The Consumer Price Index for September demonstrated that the consumer is still paying around 6% more for commodities compared to last year. And these statistics are making holiday shoppers nervous.  With a presence in New York, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Toronto, London, Zurich, Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad, SG Analytics, a pioneer in Research and Analytics, offers tailor-made services to enterprises worldwide.       A leader in Data Analytics, SG Analytics focuses on leveraging data management & analytics and data science to help businesses discover new insights and build strategies for business growth. Contact us today if you are looking to make critical data-driven decisions to prompt accelerated growth and breakthrough performance.                       


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