In January we have what is known the most depressing day of the year – Blue Monday. While the science behind “Blue Monday” is questionable, there’s no denying that for most retailers and merchants January is a quieter month.
In the comedown from the insane holiday season you might relish in the reprieve that a slower January brings, but as sales and/ or traffic dips (depending on your seasonality) you might be feeling a little blue.
It’s not all doom and gloom this month! The numbers from our client’s Black Friday Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day are in, and we’re happy to recap and share with you industry insights from these top-performing retailers, successes during the busiest time of year, and what you can implement for success in 2018.
Black Friday Cyber Monday 2017 Retail Performance
Year after year Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) grows bigger as retailers run promotions to to attract and entice consumers.
According to the National Retail Federation, from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, more than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online during the just-concluded holiday weekend, beating previous estimates. In 2017 retail sales increased 5.5%, which exceeded forecasts and showed the biggest gain since the last recession.
The NRF’s Chief Economist stated, “The economy was in great shape going into the holiday season, and retailers had the right mix of inventory, pricing and staffing to help them connect with shoppers very efficiently.”
When compared to the results of Black Friday sales in the US, over the 5 days leading up to Cyber Monday, retailers saw growth of approximately $2.6B, or about 13.2% sales growth YOY, where our key customers saw an average increase of 31.71% YOY over the 7 days leading up to Cyber Monday.
Pela Case Grew Sales 1,700%+ YoY!
Our in-house Shopify brand, PelaCase.com’s success during Black Friday Cyber Monday was astronomical! The Pela team started their prep work for this big sales event months in advance, just as we would with any other major campaign, and the payoff was well worth the preparation.
To get all the details on how we achieved such a big win, check out our CEO and Pela’s Co-Founder, Matt Bertulli’s post covering the strategy behind this amazing Black Friday Cyber Monday Success!
Demac’s BFCM 2017 Retailer Growth
Our in-house product aside, our retail and merchant partners recognized a 31.71% YoY revenue growth during the week of Nov 21st to Nov 27th 2017. They saw in increase in traffic to their sites by 20%, and growth in number of transactions by 40%, and an increase in conversion rate growth by almost 38%!
Did you feel unprepared this Black Friday Cyber Monday? Shopify has a great 26 point checklist you should reference before ANY big sales holiday.
Mobile Commerce on the Rise During BFCM
During the 2017 Black Friday Cyber Monday time period we noticed that more users visited sites directly from mobile and tablet devices. Our clients experienced a 32.31% increase in users coming through mobile and only 1.70% increase in users accessing their sites via desktop (our average growth was 16.80% across all platforms). We also saw half the revenue growth come from mobile/tablet and half from desktop, although our clients recognized an increase of approximately ~42 to 45% in conversion rate on mobile.
Our friends over at Shopify reported similar findings about the usage of mobile on Black Friday and Cyber Monday for their merchant base. This was the first year they witness mobile surpass desktop throughout the entire weekend.
Black Friday Cyber Monday Acquisition High Performers
According to our final numbers it looks like Demac’s retailers were on trend this season! 2017 was the year of Customer Engagement, with brands and retailers focused on bringing in new customers and keeping them coming back for more by creating engaging and meaningful experiences.
Demac’s retailers saw strong results over the BFCM sales period through increased customer engagement efforts. Our partners at Yotpo have a great list of customer engagement strategies that includes: sharing customer reviews on Social Media, boosting sign-ups with gamification, and connect customers through Q&As.
Social Media was the highest revenue growth driver for our clients, followed closely by Display Ads, and Referral Channels.
The biggest transactional percentage growth came from Referral Channels, followed by Display and Email.
Display Ads, Social Media, and Affiliates were our client’s biggest growth driver for traffic by session but Social Media was the largest driver of growth in actual sessions, followed by Email and Organic Search.
Social Media, Email, and Organic Search are your sure bets, during the holidays, and all year round to generate qualified traffic!
Boxing Week 2017 Retailer Performance
Boxing Day, the Commonwealth equivalent to America’s Black Friday or Super Saturday, is observed by our Canadian retailers. On Dec 26th this sales holiday brings consumers back to malls or online to snag even deeper discounts and spend the gifts card or cash they’ve received as presents. Although the prevalence of Black Friday in Canada has started to gain momentum in recent years, Boxing Day still remains a day that retailers will make gains before the end of the year.
Overall our clients saw a sales growth of 15.33%, an increase in traffic by 30.3%, 52.43% increase in transactions.
Boxing Day Device Performance
Retailers take note! By device our clients saw a 24.94% increase in revenue in mobile, and 7.25% increase in revenue in desktop.
Boxing Day Channel Performance
Email was our retailer’s top performing channel on boxing day, seeing an increase of 214%. Paid search transactions increased by 51%, resulting in a 17.8% increase in revenue. Social also saw a great increase in revenue, by 125% this year.
Post-Holiday Takeaways for 2018
What happens during the holiday sales season doesn’t just apply to next year’s holiday period. Here are a few of our findings from BFCM 2017 that we think are useful takeaways for retailers to integrate into their strategies all year round.
1. Mobile eCommerce / mCommerce
Clearly mobile was the biggest trend we saw this Black Friday Cyber Monday, with sales on mobile devices surpassing desktop for the first time throughout the weekend.
Start with improving your sites navigation and user experience for mobile users. Ask yourself, how is it for visitors to check out? Think about integrating one click check out fd you haven’t already. According to Mobify, mobile will reach 70% of eCommerce traffic by the end of 2018.
2. Customer Engagement Drives Performance
Increasing customer engagement was one of the best ways to drive traffic and sales ahead of the holiday season. It can be measured and increased in a number of ways but as our partners at Yotpo point out engagement is essentially measuring customer sentiment in order to predict future loyalty.
Leveraging our in-house interdisciplinary Grow Services team at Demac, our retailer’s were able to improve brand sentiment in advance of the holiday season, resulting in the strong performance of our Social Media, Display, and Referral Channels.
3. Make Multichannel Shopping Easy
Online, offline, Social, on-site, mobile – no matter where shoppers came through to make a purchase this BFCM, or where your new shoppers will find your brand in 2018, the experience should be seamless and consistent but don’t forget to personalize for the individual.
According to a study by Adobe, on Black Friday 2016, retailers who focused on mobile, email, and social reported an average of 30% more sales than stores who only invested in one or two channels.
4. Focus on Loyalty
Why settle for only a few busy months at the end of the year when you can have a steady flow of customers all year? Turn those holiday shoppers into lifelong shoppers with the right marketing tactics.
Implementing a great loyalty program is one way to engage shoppers all year, and getting them buying from you during BFCM 2018! Our partners at Smile.io have a free ebook containing reward program strategies for long-term profitability.