Best Shopping Day - Black Friday or Cyber Monday

on December 4, 2012

The Holiday shopping season is in full swing, the malls are packed and online retailers are busy fulfilling orders. Instead of standing in line on Thanksgiving weekend, I was busy answering a long standing question: Which shopping day has the best prices - Black Friday or Cyber Monday? As simple as the question appears, the answer, as always is: it depends.

Collecting data meant visiting several retailers websites multiple times a week and checking the price of nearly two dozen items. Then compiling all of the information into a spreadsheet and using Tableau Public to drill into the 22 products from 10 retailers measured over 6 days, just over 800 rows of data.

My viz helped me realize that retailers synchronize their prices on hot ticket items, things like Beats headphones and gaming consoles had similar prices at all retailers. I also found that some retailers used the hype of Black Friday and raised their prices. For example, Walmart sold the Google Nexus 7 tablet for $200 before Thanksgiving and then raised it to $250 on Black Friday. Low cost items like the latest Transformers Blu-Ray had super discounts of over 60%, definitely a hot buy. Tracking these prices made it possible to see fluctuations for each day and retailer and answer my question.

Do you regularly collect data for daily tasks? Tracking your weight, car mileage, daily commute time, bills, grocery lists - Tableau Public can quickly and easily help you spot relationships hidden in the numbers.

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