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NetElixir Reports Strong 2018 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Results

Online shoppers have raced out of the gate this holiday season, driving 18% year-over-year sales growth in the U.S. from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. We analyzed performance data from our roster of retail clients to generate these results, with aggregated holiday traffic totaling over 400 million impressions.

Back in September, we projected 15% YoY growth in online holiday sales (see below), meaning the robust holiday shopping season we predicted is well underway.

In September, we projected 15% YoY growth in online holiday sales

Holiday Weekend By the Numbers

We saw a 15.33% YoY increase in conversions over this period, along with a 12.31% uptick in CPC. However, AOV fell 8.82% compared to last year.

Despite the overall decline in AOV, Thanksgiving and Black Friday showed significantly higher order values than the rest of the weekend (see below). It’s a fair bet that many consumers pounced on big-ticket items during this early window, taking care of pre-planned purchases before getting more spontaneous later in the weekend.

Thanksgiving and Black Friday posted much higher AOVs than the rest of the holiday weekend.

Cyber Monday continued its reign as the top online holiday shopping day, accounting for 36% of all orders over the five-day timeframe. That represents a 1% decrease from 2017, as Black Friday climbed 1% to increase its share to 24% of orders.

Mobile Keeps Growing

The rise of mobile has been one of our most frequent refrains over the years, and Thanksgiving weekend only further highlighted the fact that we’re living in a mobile-first world.

Mobile grew its share of both visits and orders, though AOV was 52% lower than on desktop. Consumers are becoming more comfortable browsing and buying on mobile devices, though perhaps, not for their most expensive purchases.

High-impulse shopping categories like Apparel and Beauty & Cosmetics showed the biggest share of mobile impressions and orders (see below). In fact, these were the only retail categories for which mobile accounted for over 50% of orders. If you operate a business in these spaces, it’s essential to provide users with a frictionless mobile experience.

Mobile dominated the Apparel and Beauty & Cosmetics retail categories.

Google vs. Amazon

Amazon accounted for 23% as many visits and 32% as many orders as Google during the holiday weekend. These numbers reflect Amazon’s status as an important driver of ecommerce traffic and orders, one retailers shouldn’t ignore.

However, the average value of Amazon orders was around 40% of the AOV for Google. This suggests that retailers are being strategic in where they sell their products, choosing to promote lower-value products on Amazon and pricier items on their own sites.

Outlook for the Rest of the Season

We predicted 17% growth in orders and 15% growth in revenue (YoY) in our holiday forecast. From Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, orders were up 21% and revenue up 18% over last year. The holiday shopping season has gotten off to a record-breaking start, and it seems likely to continue in a similar fashion.

If you’re concerned that you’ve already missed the boat on a successful holiday season, don’t worry. We estimate 76% of online holiday sales have yet to happen. Retailers still have time to adjust their strategies and attract lots of shoppers over the next few weeks.

We estimate 76% of online holiday sales have yet to happen

Need a Holiday Pick-Me-Up?

Those looking for some expert help in crossing the holiday finish line should check out our free search marketing resources for retailers. These include a holiday workbook containing 20 proven ideas to boost results, a comprehensive calendar to guide your paid search budget, and more. Visit netelixir.com/holidays for details. You’ll also want to view our on-demand webinars, including the full presentation of our Black Friday and Cyber Monday results.

From all of us at NetElixir, here’s to a happy, healthy, and profitable holiday season!