4 Trends Every eCommerce Marketer Should Know This Holiday Season
With the biggest shopping season just around the corner, eCommerce businesses are looking to reap even more financial reward than in years past from Black Friday and the following shopping days. eCommerce sales are expected to reach $134 billion this holiday season compared to $110 billion in 2017.
With Jumpshot parter Lotame, a data solutions company, we analyzed 2017 data to uncover trends and interesting facts surrounding Black Friday and beyond. If you sell products online, it’s vital to understand how behavior varies across Amazon and the rest of the digital ecosystem. A good start is to review the trends and statistics we uncovered in our 2018 Digital Holiday Shopping Insights Report.
1. Black Friday Searches Start Early
Our data shows that Google searches for Black Friday start to surge the last week of October and the first week of November as folks start thinking about good deals. Growth in searches hold relatively steady for a couple weeks before spiking sharply again the week of Black Friday.
Leverage It: Get your Black Friday deals ready early, ramp up to match interest and consider offering savings in advance of the holiday.
2. Deal and Affiliate Sites Reap Benefits Before Black Friday
Deal/Affiliate sites, as well as publishers like Cnet and Forbes that refer traffic to eCommerce sites and offer product reviews, see the majority of searches for Black Friday with savvy shoppers conducting early research. But the week before Black Friday, eCommerce sites start taking more and more market share, while Deal sites become less popular for searches. Publishers see relatively constant traffic throughout this period.
Leverage It: Consider partnering with a deal site or selling products on Amazon to maximize Black Friday sales before the actual day.
3. Mobile & Desktop Conversion Rates May Vary
Conversion rates for both desktop and mobile users peak two weeks prior to Christmas on Amazon. This suggests that people use Amazon (likely due, in part, to that powerful free and fast Prime shipping) to make their last-minute buys.
Amazon sees a dip in market share in terms of conversions around Black Friday as other retailers see a surge of interest, particularly in Women’s Clothing and Electronics, but they quickly recover to dominate the month of December
For other retailers, conversion rates tend to stay flat throughout the holiday shopping season. Sales and visit volume surge, but in equal proportions.
Leverage It: Don’t overlook mobile. It’s predicted that 46% of all holiday orders will happen on mobile this year.
4. Patterns Vary Across Different Categories
We found it interesting how much variance there was in purchase activity across different product categories.
For example, when it comes to Appliances, people start researching (but not necessarily buying) four weeks before Black Friday to find products. This causes conversion rates to go down because conversions stay flat as product views soar.
Then conversion rates skyrocket, rising 80% from the baseline of the previous weeks starting on Cyber Monday. So it’s clear that Appliances have a longer sales cycle, and that Cyber Monday offers shoppers plenty of incentive to pull the trigger.
In Beauty, conversion rates stay steady on non-Amazon retail sites and increase closer to the holidays. Amazon conversions peak early in December.
The category that sees the highest growth in conversion rates is Toys and Video Games. On non-Amazon retail sites, like Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Costco, and others, rates increased 113% the week of December 11 from their baseline in September.
Leverage It: The more places you sell your products, the more revenue you can bring in this holiday season. Consider purchasing sponsored ads on Amazon to stand out in a crowded marketplace for categories that do well during Q4.