Cyber Monday 2015 Recap: 3 Notable Marketing Trends for Online Merchants
Traditionally, the Monday after Thanksgiving is one of the most pivotal times of year for online retailers to meet business projections. With more than 500,000 small and medium eCommerce stores in the U.S., we’ve taken a closer look at our data and are excited to find Springbot customers saw a 13 percent growth in Cyber Monday revenue when compared to 2014.
That’s great news for the SMB space! And it’s in line with what major news outlets are reporting. Specifically, Adobe (which reported on big retailers) predicted the growth at 12 percent, so SMB commerce is doing well. With the growing demand for online shopping, etailers have taken an aggressive approach in their holiday marketing plans by pushing holiday promotions earlier than the year before.
This effort has paid off for marketers as “Cyber Monday clocks record sales” touted a recent USA Today article. On Cyber Monday, Springbot’s small and medium-sized eCommerce stores* increased revenue by 13 percent over last season—that’s two times higher than the industry estimated 6 percent increase in online sales for small retailers. One industry report found the average order value (AOV) for mobile and desktop shoppers dropped by 0.6 percent from 2014 to 2015. However, Springbot’s customers experienced an increase in AOV by over 10 percent. This indicates merchants with access to data are getting savvier at using bundles and promotions including free shipping thresholds or discounts for a minimum purchase amount.
Big kudos to the savvy online merchants! Digging into our numbers, we wanted to find out what other areas improved and led to a successful Cyber Monday. Pulling the data from our US customers, the springbots have been hard at work and uncovered these top three areas of growth:
1. Email Marketing
Email is still king! Some online stores rely heavily on email marketing, but only for communications with customers (like order confirmations and newsletters). But setting email marketing apart from your overall marketing plan is a recipe for disaster. In reality, email marketing efforts must sync with your content marketing, social outreach, landing pages, retargeting campaigns, and in-store promotions (if applicable) to make your marketing plan even more effective.
In fact, revenue from email campaigns grew by 84 percent — a 38 percent growth of total revenue generated on Cyber Monday – which proves that email is still the king of eCommerce marketing channels.
2. Automated Triggered Emails
On Cyber Monday 2015, 14 percent of all revenue generated (via Springbot) was a result of triggered emails (abandoned cart emails, post-purchase emails, etc.) proving that setting up automation across the purchase journey is a critical path for merchants. This type of automation allows online store owners to focus their attention on other marketing efforts.
One of the more popular triggered emails in an eCommerce marketer’s toolbox is abandoned cart emails. With more shoppers browsing online, there were also more abandoned carts on Cyber Monday this year. However, sharp online merchants who had an automated process in place recouped part of these sales.
When compared to 2014, there was a 75 percent increase in potential revenue lost from the abandoned carts which accounted for almost a quarter (23 percent) of the total revenue, up from 15 percent for Cyber Monday 2014. This is equivalent to a store generating $500,000 in revenue on Cyber Monday and calculating $115,000 in potential revenue loss from abandoned carts. With Springbot’s help, online store owners recovered 6 percent of revenue in an automated fashion that would have otherwise been lost from abandoned carts.
3. Social Channels
Leading up to the holidays, we’ve recommended utilizing the right social media channels to reach your customers. From Facebook and Instagram ads to Pinterest posts, there’s no shortage of social channels for businesses. Now, the numbers speak for themselves. On Cyber Monday, Springbot’s eCommerce stores saw a growth of 130 percent in the total revenue generated from social channels.
And taking the lead, Facebook performed the best generating more revenue than any other social channel on Cyber Monday 2015. Many online stores went a step further from traditional ads with retargeting ads. Online merchants can agree that getting new traffic to a site is tough, so maximizing your window shoppers into buyers is a smart move. According to AdRoll, only 2 percent of shoppers convert on the first visit. Reaching out to the other 98 percent proved beneficial to Springbot merchants as they saw a 53 percent growth rate in the total revenue generated from AdRoll.
Cyber Monday Success Story
While overall Cyber Monday stats are great for both the industry and Springbot customers, we wanted to share specific customer performance data on an individual level and find out specifically contributed to their success.
With that in mind, we talked to Matt Watson of Country Club Prep, an online preppy clothing haven, about how Cyber Monday fared for their store. Matt says that Country Club Prep experienced a 52% increase in revenue for Cyber Monday over 2014 as well as a 31% increase in site traffic, 58% increase in order volume, and 25% increase in conversion rate. “We rely on a robust system of automated triggered emails to engage interested customers on a day to day basis,” he said, “but we attribute our Cyber Monday performance to three key actions: (1) correct identification and promotion of desirable product based on Springbot traffic and conversion analytics; (2) email marketing focused on rich lifestyle photography and brand voice; and (3) integration of social media channels prior to and during Cyber Monday to activate the social media community and convert casual users into customers.”
While predictions indicated consumers would be shopping online more than previous years, Cyber Monday 2015 set the record in volume and revenue. And while some early shoppers may no longer be on the hunt for holiday gifts, late shoppers are still in the market and online merchants will continue to push promotions and sales throughout the month to mobile and desktop viewers via social media, email campaigns, retargeting ads, and much more.
The holiday shopping season is still in full swing which means online merchants can’t let their guard down just yet. For more marketing tips for your online store, check out our other blog posts including how to amp up your social posts with inspirational visuals, 2015 holiday shopper trends so you know who you’re selling to, and a feature spotlight on the importance of segmentation for email campaigns. We’ve also pulled together several holiday marketing resources from monthly marketing checklists to customizable email templates and more tips to help you succeed. Check out our holiday marketing workshop for all your holiday marketing needs.
*Data based on Springbot’s eCommerce customers on the Magento and Shopify eCommerce shopping cart platforms.