Breaking records in the US and greeted by a mixed reception in the UK; this year’s Cyber Weekend has been eventful from start to finish for both retailers and customers alike.
As the dust begins to settle, PerformanceIN takes a look at some of the key takeaways and global statistics from Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Record sales in US
Let’s begin with the US where retailers were gearing for their biggest holiday shopping day in history.
According to Adobe Analytics, which measured the transactions of the largest 100 online retailers, online purchases in the US alone reached a record $7.9 billion on Black Friday and Thanksgiving, increasing 17.9% from last year.
In addition, Cyber Monday was expected to drive $6.6 billion in online sales, making it the largest US shopping day in the day’s history.
Mobile was to no surprise the digital platform of choice for customers with 40% of online purchases on Black Friday made on mobile phones, however, with more sales made online, sales on the highstreet - as in the UK - took a decrease.
Amazon on top
If there was a winner of the shopping season, it would be Amazon; the e-commerce retailer capitalised on the Black Friday boom with online sales increasing by more than 18%, which in return increased Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon’s net worth by $2.4 billion to over $100 billion.
In fact, Amazon itself was estimated to have driven a staggering 45-50% of all online sales on Black Friday - which would amass to roughly $2.5 billion earned on the day - as it reported shopping activity in the US was at “record levels”.
Publishers earning profits soar
It’s been a busy weekend for advertisers with many expending large budgets to push display ads to capitalise on Cyber Weekend sales, leading to higher earnings for publishers.
According to the Ad Revenue Index, display ad rates in November went up 18.7% prior to Black Friday. On the sales day itself, publishers saw their highest total EPMV (earnings per thousand visitors) with online ad rates by day reaching maximum of 100 - the highest ever recorded on the index.
On top of this, ad tech firm Marfeel reported their publishers experiencing unprecedented increases (95%) in average revenue per user (ARPU).
Brand safety concerns didn’t seem to factor in, as advertisers went in ‘no holds barred’ with programmatic ad serving. Ve Global reported a 70% uplift in conversion rate for programmatic display advertising on Black Friday, and a rise of 15% on Cyber Monday.
Following earlier predictions, affiliate network Awin kept tabs on key sales and trends around the world across the Cyber Weekend.
In the US, sales through the network’s affiliate programmes almost doubled while revenue was up by 62%, reaching a total of $169 million. In the UK, sales revenue went up by 11%, indicating online shoppers have spent more proportionally compared to others overseas.
"This international reach, underlining affiliates ability to engage shoppers everywhere, serves as a fascinating counterpoint to the world’s biggest shopping event, China’s Singles’ Day which has, despite its enormity, struggled to be as universally adopted as Black Friday has been," said Robert Davinson, Content Analyst at Awin.
On customer interaction with content across multiple devices, price comparison, social media traffic and content sites accounted for 32.6% of total transactions on Black Friday alone across Awin’s network.
Between mobile and desktop, this figure rose to 37.5% for smartphone purchases with the latter for desktop transactions dipping to 29.9%.
The end of in-store?
With shoppers heading online, cloud management system PCA Predict reported a 24% drop of in-store transactions during Black Friday.
David Duke, COO of Visualsoft, said this has been attributed to the rise of mobile-first retail and Cyber Monday, meaning retailers who have taken the time to optimise their digital offering will flourish.
ADYOULIKE’s UK MD, Dale Lovell, believed “wider economic issues” could be affecting spending power within bricks and mortar retailers.
Despite this, data from customer relationships experts Optimove on over seven million online transactions on Black Friday found although the average discount on a purchase order fell by 12%, the average amount ordered by customers grew by 9% compared to last year - insisting that discounts might not be a key decider in the customer buying process.
See how all the action unfold on November 24th with our statistics round-up on Black Friday.