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#12DaysofStrategy: What to Expect from the Post Christmas Sale Period

While you read this, hopefully you are already reveling in what a successful festive period you’re having and looking forward to maximizing a very significant sales period, even with the rise of Black Friday. For industries outside of retail such as travel and home, this also indicates the peak of the year increasing in wider online prevalence.

So what can we expect from the Boxing Day/January sale?

Sales to be spread over a wider period due to where Christmas falls
With the 27th also a bank holiday in the UK, it’s likely we may see a slightly quieter day than normal due to consumers also having the 27th to shop. This is a trend that we saw reflected by many of our clients last year, and is something to keep in mind.

With the first Sunday of the year being the 1st it will significantly change the buying patterns of customers. We’d normally see a very strong first Sunday, especially in the home and travel sectors, but with this being the 1st we expect to see sales more evenly distributed.

Home & Travel sector changes

This will still be a strong period for both sectors, but there will need to be flexibility in the way you work, as what we’re currently seeing in buying patterns and product choices from customers may vary.

A change in store behavior?

Could this be the end of the mad Boxing Day rush in-store? With parliament discussing whether stores should be forced to close on Boxing Day, this could see massive gains for online retailers, with more customers shopping from a mobile device or desktop in the comfort of their own homes, and a potential shift in how companies split their sales items between store and online.

Similarly to the run up to Christmas being impacted by Black Friday, there are a lot of external factors in when public holidays fall, the state of the market, and how this will impact consumer behaviours. Expect to see the sales trends from last year vary both in when they fall, but also in the products ranges being purchased.

Black Friday Online Sales Performance 2016

There was a lot of talk before Black Friday suggesting that this season would not see nearly the same growth as it had in previous years. In fact, advertisers anticipated that in-store sales would take a massive hit as most people turned to the internet for the majority of their shopping. Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, we can accurately determine what success the massive shopping day actually received.

According to Sky News, “Black Friday failed to deliver a double-digit surge in online sales growth while high street shopping visits unexpectedly rose, according to industry figures.”

“Online purchases climbed by 6.7% compared to last year but this well short of a forecast for 25%, and was a big slowdown compared with a rise of 31% in 2015.

Footfall – a measure of shopper visits – was up by 2%, with high street growth at 2.8% beating retail park and shopping centre growth. Footfall was expected to decline by 5%.

We’ve taken a look at a sample base of our client activity and determined our own stats from the holiday.

Black Friday Performance

From the data collected, we found that (on average) Black Friday revenue was up by 13% year on year (YoY), with an 8% YoY increase for Cyber Monday.

black-friday-year-on-year-stats

  • Black Friday increased its dominance over Cyber Monday in terms of traffic, conversion rate and revenue:
    • Black Friday saw 251% more traffic, 384% more revenue, and a 152% higher conversion rate compared to the November average.
    • Cyber Monday only saw 172% more traffic, 190% more revenue, and a 114% higher conversion rate compared to the November average.

black-friday-vs-cyber-monday-performance

 

Breakdown By Device

black-friday-2016-device-breakdown

  • 55% of traffic on Black Friday was generated on mobile devices. This is up from 46% last year.
  • 38% of Black Friday Revenue was driven from mobile devices which is up from 31% last year.
  • Not surprisingly based on last year’s trends, revenue from desktop and tablet dropped by 4%  YoY.
  • Mobile and tablet traffic increased over the Saturday and Sunday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

black-friday-2016-stats-by-day-and-device

Time of Day Performance by Device

Black Friday continues to show a daytime dominated trend with desktop and mobile revenue peaking before midday. Tablet, however, continues to perform best during the evening.

black-friday-revenue-by-time-of-dayblack-friday-time-of-day-performance

 

Performance by Country

  • Looking at the performance uplift in markets outside of the UK, US, and Canada which have traditionally performed well on Black Friday:
    • France saw the biggest uplift in traffic generating nearly 2.5x the November daily average.
    • Germany, Ireland, and the Nordic markets also saw significant uplifts in traffic.
    • Spain saw the highest uplift in revenue on Black Friday, generating nearly 7x the November daily average.

black-friday-performance-by-country

 

With Black Friday gone, Christmas is fast approaching. If you want to make sure your sales continue during the holiday period check out our “12 Day of Christmas Strategy” blog series for all the latest inside tips to achieve the best performance possible.

Pinterest Play? Instagram Takes Steps Towards Shoppable Ads

Instagram waded into the shoppable ads arena when it trialled its version of the popular ‘buy now’ button with twenty US brands. The social photo sharing platform has taken steps to close the gap between browsing and shopping by allowing users to learn more about products from within their app, and then purchase them seamlessly. If this sounds eerily like Pinterest, you may be onto something.

Instagram recently ran afoul of Snapchat when it was accused of copying Snapchat Stories with its Instagram Stories.  After several failed attempts to purchase the platform, Mark Zuckerberg did the next best thing, copied Snapchat’s most coveted feature, Stories, on Facebook-owned Instagram as Instagram Stories.

Instagram is ready to play copycat again with its venture into Shoppable Ads. It set about testing posts with select brands in the US to allow users to learn more about the products they see before buying them. Instagram presents the user with a ‘tap to view’ icon at the bottom left of each photo which expands tags for up to five products. The tags contain the details and cost of the items but don’t immediately appear, users must hover over the ‘tap to view’ indicator to see a featured item. Users can then scroll through the products shown and decide to purchase from within the app.

Pinterest has had this feature for some time, and has seen remarkable results. 75% of its users have purchased something on the platform or because of it.  Pinterest users stay on the platform for approximately fifteen minutes per visit, giving marketers plenty of time to deliver ads to them. The demographic for Pinterest and Instagram used to vary widely, with Instagram being the platform predominantly for Gen Z and younger Millennials, and Pinterest skewing predominantly towards women in their late 20s to early 40s. Recently, Pinterest has seen a spike in Millennial use, with 67% of its users falling into that category.  Instagram is eager to cash-in on this potential new source of revenue and is now strongly courting brands to use its platform to reach their younger demographic. Add to this, the eventuality of a ‘save for later’ button, and Instagram fully moves into Pinterest’s territory as a save and shop platform.

This latest development is aimed at Instagram’s discovery audience, i.e., those who use the platform to look for the latest items but aren’t sure what they want just yet. Much like Pinterest, it enables retailers to capture users as they are information gathering and turn them from inspired browsers to buyers.

Why is this development important?

  • It cuts out a step/barrier to purchase. Users don’t need to leave the app and open a separate search window to find out more about the products they like. They can navigate and get all the pertinent information they need all within Instagram’s platform.
  • The consumer can then hit ‘shop now’ from within the tags and be taken directly to complete their purchase on the retailer’s website.
  • It solves the problem of inserting unwieldy captions to redirect users to click on links to circumvent Instagram’s ban on organic links within posts.
  • Shoppable ads have the potential to steal revenue from online shopping giant, Amazon, as users are heading onto sites like Pinterest and Instagram to discover new products and get alternative shopping ideas.
  • Most mobile use is spent in-app. Instagram has the highest rate of mobile use among social networks in the US. Given that Instagram is primarily mobile-focused, making products shoppable is a vital step for the social media platform and for brands that have a significant following on it.

Twenty popular US retailers have joined the endeavour, predominantly up-market brands such as Michael Kors, Kate Spade New York, Coach, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Hollister. The tags will be initially rolled out to iOS users in the US, but there are definite plans in the works to expand globally. Currently, this is a free service to post to your followers but Instagram plans to monetise the shoppable format by allowing brands to advertise to relevant target groups outside of their followers.

While advertisers have seen success using Instagram ads, only time will tell how users will react to yet another form of advertising. If it does not alienate its original base of photography enthusiasts, it has the potential drive significant ROI from Instagram.

Yandex Launch CPA Model for Yandex.Market

Last week Yandex announced the launch of a CPA model for their Yandex Market shopping comparison product. From next month customers will be able to purchase directly from Yandex Market, going straight to the checkout without leaving the webpage.

 

This massively simplifies the checkout process and should lead to a higher conversion rate for online stores. Using the CPA model, stores will pay Yandex a percentage of the value of each order, regardless of the product category.

 

Yandex say “We are now offering a benefit to stores and shoppers alike – online stores will pay only for tangible results, while shoppers will find it easier to find and buy what they need.”

 

Sarah, a Yandex Certified analyst at Net Media Planet thinks “the CPA model, offered alongside the normal CPC model, should lower the risk of entering Russia for UK companies.

 

 

Join the UK businesses seeing success in Russia with the adoption of Yandex advertising. For further information on the new CPA model or about any other advertising options with Yandex, please get in touch with Luke who will be happy to help.

luke@netmediaplanet.com +44 (0) 20 7186 2109

 

Read the official release statement on the Yandex blog:

http://company.yandex.com/press_center/press_releases/2013/2013-10-08.xml

 

Members of Net Media Planet are Yandex Certified.