7 Key Takeaways from Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2017. Is Your Brand Ready for this year's holiday?

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, which also means its almost that time of year when Americans are probably going to need to invest in a bigger pair of pants after the holidays. Thankfully, the retail gods have graced us with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The stampede is sure to claim some victims, so in order to guarantee your brand gets a hefty slice of the pie, we’ve scoured the internet collecting the biggest takeaways from last year.


Standout Statistics from 2017

Leading the pack, Cyber Monday brought in a whopping $6.59 billion in online revenue, hitting a new record as the largest online shopping day in U.S. history. In comparison, Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day brought in $5.03 billion and $2.87 billion in revenue (Adobe).

From Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, more than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online during the holiday weekend. The biggest spenders, millennials aged 24 to 35, paid out an average of $419.52 per person (National Retail Foundation).

We definitely felt the effects of Amazon’s presence in the Shopping space with Amazon capturing 55 percent of Black Friday transactions among top online retailers, and 45 percent on Thanksgiving Day (Hitwise).

 

2017 Hottest Trends

Personalization

Retailers are seeing the impressive impact of personalization on the biggest digital days of the season. On Black Friday, while only six percent of shoppers engaged with product recommendations, those shoppers accounted for 32 percent of all digital revenue. On Cyber Monday, five percent of shoppers engaged with product recommendations, which accounted for 26 percent of digital revenue that day (Sales Force).

Mobile Shopping Overtake

In 2016, mobile purchases surpassed desktop on Black Friday, but fell just short on Cyber Monday. However, last year mobile purchases surpassed desktop throughout the entire weekend (Shopify).

Shopping and buying on smartphones is becoming the new norm and can be attributed to continued optimizations in the retail experience on mobile devices and platforms. During Cyber Monday last year, mobile set a new record representing 47.4 percent of all retail site visits and 33.1 percent of the total revenue (Adobe).

Increased Email Conversions

On Black Friday alone, retailers sent nearly three billion emails, more than 82 million SMS and push notifications and collected 8.8 billion data points, like email sign-ups (AdWeek).

Last year, Shopify looked at how different sources performed during Black Friday Cyber Monday 2017. Relative to other sources, email came in with the highest conversion rate at 4.29 percent, followed by search in second (Shopify).

Longer Shopping Cycle

Over the past few years now, Black Friday Cyber Monday sales have continued to become longer and longer. However, what we did see this year, that was a departure from previous years – is that the performance throughout the weekend was much better, largely because Black Friday deals are now being extended throughout the weekend and into Cyber Week (CPC Strategy). 


Missed Opportunities

Slow & Steady Doesn't Win the race

E-commerce businesses lost an estimated 13 percent of potential online sales due to speed and functionality issues. The 13 percent value is actually consistent with expected losses on a standard day, but with the losses amplified by the weekend's high number of sales, retailers missed out on $1.88 billion in sales. Stability and speed issues were culprits in this loss, with major retailers like Macy's and Lowe's encountering serious glitches that likely cost them a significant amount of sales (Business Insider).

The Double-Standard

Throughout society, gender norms are dying hard these days. And yet, many retailers think of shopping as a primarily female activity. But if you look around the grocery store, you’ll find that men increasingly identify as the primary shopper. Moreover, men are driving online retail, even if they’re mistaken about how much shopping they do relative to women. Most brands are ignoring this to their peril (Total Retail).

Hello? Is Anybody there?

Mobile sales dominated Cyber Monday 2017, but many retailers have yet to optimize their mobile experiences. Improved sales likely await retailers that are able to offer a quality mobile experience, as Pier 1 saw its mobile conversion rate jump 93 percent after redesigning its mobile app (Business Insider)

 

Predictions for 2018

In recent years, Black Friday deals have been starting early in the Black Friday season. This year we should expect to see ad scans leaking by early October (BlackFriday.com)

Physical storefronts will continue to be eclipsed by e-commerce masters like Amazon if they continue to fail at successfully transitioning to an omnichannel fulfillment model (Business Insider).

The growing popularity of smart speakers like Amazon  Echo and Google Home will lead to an explosion in voice-based shopping. In fact, some are already calling voice the fourth sales channel (TechCrunch).

 


Need help optimizing your Black Friday Cyber Monday Sales Calendar? For a one-month free trial, try out Plannista’s calendar feature which allows you to easily plan your promotions, daily homepages, emails, social media posts, and anything else you’ll need to run a successful marketing campaign this holiday weekend.

With email marketing leading in conversions, and continuing to be the most direct and profitable channel for e-commerce retailers, it would only be another missed opportunity to not perfect your email marketing strategy.

Get inspiration for your emails and subject lines by utilizing Plannista’s Time Machine Feature. You can easily see the emails and homepages your competitors are showcasing today, last month, or last year all in one place. Filter your results by a sector, date, or company and voilà! Getting inspiration from your main competitors has never been easier.

 

Using the Time Machine we've showcased some great email inspirations from Black Friday Cyber Monday 2017.


 

 

By: Ana Lucia Parham Santana