As e-retail continues to grow apace with an estimated £56bn being spent online in 2010, the guesstimation game of when the peak pre-Christmas trading period will be has become an annual tradition.
With that in mind we decided to delve into the Affiliate Window & buy.at databases to see whether affiliate trends followed the much hyped performance of Manic Monday .
This year the media widely reported the peak pre-Christmas trading day online could actually fall in November rather than the usual first Monday in December. Possibly off the back of earlier discounting by retailers and a potential UK shift towards the US tradition of ‘Black Friday’ (the day proceeding Thanksgiving) it was felt November 29th could be the bumper sales’ day for retailers.
So what do the network stats show? On the Affiliate Window platform, Monday 29th was actually the second quietest day of that particular week for commissions with the week peaking on Wednesday 1st December. That said, for sales’ revenue it was only marginally down on the peak days, proving to be the third biggest day of the week behind Tuesday 30th November and Sunday 5th December.
£30.6m of sales for Affiliate Window
On both networks combined sales for Manic Monday were 28% up on the previous Monday, commissions up 19%. The entire week saw Affiliate Window alone tracking £30.6m worth of revenue for our advertiser base.
Buy.at noticed a huge leap of 35% in sales between Monday 22nd and Monday 29th November with commissions increasing at a lower rate, underlining how average order values tend to drop in the run up to Christmas.
Buy.at’s significant sales’ hike continued as it pulled in 26% more sales for the seven days week ending 5th December.
So what of the following Monday, the traditional peak day? It duly trumped the previous week’s numbers pulling in 20% more sales. Affiliate Window posted sales of £6m in one day or an average of £250k of sales tracked through the platform for every hour of Monday 6th December helping contribute to a weekly tally of nearly £35m advertiser revenue for Awin merchants.
So contrary to media reports there is no doubt in our minds that the first Monday in December, yet again, remains the day every advertiser needs to ensure everything runs like clockwork to maximise this vital trading period.
When the dust has settled and the January sales are running out of steam our attention will turn to the detail behind those statistics; how many people bought through their mobile? How does peak affect average order values and conversion rates? Did the iPad convert better than any other device? Only then can we start to build a fuller picture of the true contribution of the channel.