That’s a wrap! With Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, everyone wants to know how retailers did and what the key 2014 Cyber Week marketing trends were from this year’s biggest shopping week.
Lets Talk Revenue.
First off, eCommerce revenue was up 15 percent on Cyber Monday 2014 compared to Cyber Monday 2013, making it the biggest day in US online shopping history. According to IBM Corp., retailers saw an average increase in Cyber Week revenue (Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday) of 13 percent over 2013. In comparison, Springbot customers exceeded the industry average with an increase in revenue of 46 percent. Springbot customers are also reporting an average increase of 2 percent for their average order value (compared to the industry average decrease of 4 percent) and an average increase of 44 percent for their number of purchases.
How did Springbot customers exceed the industry average? Easy. Here are some of the Cyber Week marketing trends we uncovered and why Springbot customers were able to exceed the industry averages:
1. Mobile Domination
IBM released a report stating that mobile did better than ever this year with Cyber Monday mobile traffic accounting for 41 percent of all online traffic, up 30 percent 2013. Even more important, mobile sales were also strong, reaching 22 percent of total Cyber Monday online sales. For the full holiday weekend, mobile shopping accounted for 26 percent of orders, up almost 20 percent over the same period in 2013. This is a trend that held true for Springbot customers as well. Think about it…people check their emails, Twitter and Facebook accounts on phones, allowing them to check the email and social promotions that you send out almost anywhere.
Lesson learned. Mobile is here to stay so you better get mobile optimized for holiday 2015. At this stage in the game, being mobile friendly is not enough. You need to offer shoppers a full mobile experience. Consider how they view content from your site on their mobile devices, how the email promotions you are sending look on mobile and how the links in that email appear on mobile. Want more mobile advice? Read our 6 Mobile Trends Impacting eCommerce Stores featuring our latest eBook.
2. Email Marketing Still Top Dog
Email marketing was by far THE marketing channel driving the MOST online sales for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the overall holiday weekend. On Black Friday alone, email was the primary marketing channel, driving a little over 27 percent of sales with a similar trend for Cyber Monday with 24 percent sales. For the overall holiday weekend, the story is similar, with email marketing generating 23 percent of orders.
Lesson learned. Email marketing is still the channel that is driving the most holiday conversions. Get ready for 2015 and really utilize this channel by doing these three things:
1) Use email to create a sense of urgency getting shoppers to buy immediately. Example: Free shipping for the next 30 minutes only!
2) Emails should be personalized to your customer’s demographic and purchase behavior data. Example: Try sending an exclusive post holiday offer to your most frequent buyers thanking them for their continued support. This is a great way to show customer appreciation while also driving conversions after the holiday rush.
3) You MUST MUST have an automated triggered email strategy in place.
3. Average Order Value Down. But Why?
In an effort to outsell each other, online retailers start marketing holiday sales earlier each year. We now have Cyber Week, starting Thanksgiving Day with heavy discounts extended beyond Cyber Monday. It’s clear that for many retailers, AOV was down in 2014. What’s not clear is the reason.
Perhaps with the early start of heavily discounted products starting well before Thanksgiving (some even before Halloween) customers started doing their shopping much earlier in the season thus purchasing less during the traditional holiday shopping weekend. Another factor could be attributed to all the free shipping offers. If a customer does not have to meet a threshold to qualify for free shipping, perhaps they end up purchasing less overall? Or perhaps they still spend the same and instead make multiple purchases. Only time (and access to data) will tell.
Lesson learned. AOV may be down but what does that really mean?You need access to real-time data to answer this question. I suggest:
1) Make sure that you understand your store’s data so you know what is attributing to that decreased AOV.
2) Understand your store’s CLV (customer lifetime value). Perhaps AOV is down but your current customers are actually spending more during holidays (just in multiple orders).
3) Understand if the holiday marketing that you are doing is actually attracting more first time buyers who spend less while failing to nurture your most valued customers that typically spend more?
4) For 2015, make sure you’re leveraging high value products in your holiday campaigns to help increase AOV.
What are the key takeaways for holiday 2015:
- Cyber Monday is now Cyber Week
- Understand the importance of starting marketing promotions early
- Make sure that your holiday campaigns include high value products to help boost AOV
- Understand how the various holiday discounts you offer impact your bottom line
- Having an email marketing strategy is key to success
- Remember mobile is a MUST for Holiday 2015
And stay tuned for my future blog post in January for 2014 Holiday Trends Uncovered and 5 Things You Can Do Now to Ensure Success for Holiday 2015.