While consumers pounded the streets and their keyboards in the hunt for great deals, Affiliate Window were casting an inquisitive eye over Black Friday, through their interactive Live Tracker.
A Day To Remember
Black Friday is arguably the most anticipated event on the marketer’s calendar. With some campaigns kicking off as early as August, the shopping event can make or break a brand’s sales figures. But campaigning aside, the day itself is packed with data showing just how consumers are spending their money, when, where and on what. The insights to be gained from Black Friday’s sales data will inform the campaigns of next year, across all industries.
Rising to meet this challenge was Affiliate Window, who created a Black Friday Live-Data Tracker to collate and display some of the key findings from the day’s sales across their extensive network of affiliates. Previous years have signalled a coming change in the way Black Friday impacts on the UK market, and this year’s shopping event held true, with fascinating new developments around ad spend, device usage and peak sales hours.
What Did We Learn?
Overall Black Friday revenue increased by 30 per cent across the Affiliate Window network, and as multi-channel marketing and investment increases momentum, businesses benefitted from having a wider variety of methods from which to initiate those sales with their customers. The data tracker recorded that sales from laptops only made up 54 per cent of sale initiations on the day, while tablets and mobile each achieved 21 and 25 per cent respectively. Mobile emerged as the true ruler of Black Friday conversions and sales, and “compared to 2015, smartphone sales grew at almost six times the rate of desktop and four times that of tablets”. Perhaps it’s a reflection of the on-the-go consumer, that mobile took 57 per cent of all additional activity across the network.
The Sustained Spending Scenario
There are more insights to be had from an in-depth look at the distribution of sales throughout the day. Affiliate Window registered the “smartphone power hour” between 7 and 8am, “with two in every five transactions taking place on this device type”. There were additional, notable peaks at midday, driven by desktop, and in the evening, which was mainly tablet-led. Affiliate Window connect this with the dissemination of device use for the average consumer: “For many, lunchtime could be the first real opportunity to purchase (possibly having researched on the go on a mobile device, re-enforcing the need for robust cross-device tracking), while the later peak could be attributed to customers settling down for the evening.”
And while consumers have been bombarded by Black Friday offers for several days, or in some cases, weeks before the 25 November, “Black Fiveday” did not level out the week’s sales as much as expected. Friday remained the real winner, with 12.5 per cent of all November’s sales falling within the 24 hour period. It would appear that the UK consumer would rather hold out just in case of a better deal, than jump the gun when it comes to securing seasonal bargains. But there can be no doubt that the Black Friday shopping event is evolving alongside the innovations in digital marketing, which always has space for new ideas, experiments, and optimisation.
Kevin Edwards, Global Client Strategy Director said “Black Friday provides a fascinating insight into ecommerce trends and how consumers are buying online. This year we saw smartphones really impose themselves reflecting not only how consumers are confidently purchasing across multiple platforms but also indicating how important it is for retailers to ensure they’re sending the right message to the right consumer at the right time. Overall affiliate marketing is a perfect fit for Black Friday and offers a fascinating window into wider consumer trends”.
You can walk through the Data Tracker yourself at: http://www.awinblackfriday.com/