Even though Black Friday has traditional been the day of full parking lots of maddening crowds looking for wild deals, 2015 was certainly the year of Cyber Monday. In fact, according to Variety, Black Friday sales were rather underwhelming with a drop from $11.6 billion in 2014 to $10.4 billion in 2015.
Cyber Monday on the other hand broke records well beyond what was forecasted by Adobe. Ending the day with about $3.07 billion in sales, online shoppers drove Cyber Monday 2015 to become the largest online shopping day in history. This revenue figure is a 16.2% jump from last year’s Cyber Monday.
From a digital standpoint, it’s not just how much revenue was generated, but how it was generated. According to Adobe, smartphones and tablets accounted for 49% of all shopping visits (breaking down to 38% for smartphones and 11% for tablets), which in turn accounted for 28% of all online sales throughout the day.
Adobe also found that 200 million visits to 4,500 websites accounted for the $3.07 billion in sales. Google and email marketing campaigns were the primary drivers of visits and orders.
Organic search drove 20.7% of sales, email marketing drove 22.1%, and paid search campaigns were responsible for 16.6%. Social media campaigns on the other hand did not play a significant role in sales, accounting for just 1.6% of all orders according to The Custora E-Commerce Pulse platform.
One last item of note are buying times. ChannelAdvisor found that most of the traffic began between 5-6 a.m. EST, and peaking between 2-3 p.m. EST. There was another rise in traffic around 6 p.m. which stayed consistent towards the end of day.
Making sense of the numbers
Mobile Mobile Mobile
The buying behavior of Cyber Monday customers seem to fall very much in line with the rest of the year. It’s no secret that mobile devices have become the primary tool for Internet search and browsing. Companies thinking about how they can best capitalize on 2016 should already get started on their mobile strategies. If Cyber Monday 2015 has told us anything, it’s that mobile e-commerce will only continue to get bigger in 2016.
Use social media for your message, but not traffic source
Where Google and email marketing campaigns took the reigning leads of orders this year, social media’s underwhelming performance shows that customers are either apathetic or not yet aware that they can discover potential deals through social media outlets.
Whether this will change for the better in the coming years is not clear. For now, it’s important for businesses to keep their message strong on their social media networks, but aim to rank for targeted search terms and create lasting email campaigns if possible.
Be ready by Thanksgiving
While the sales figures from Cyber Monday alone were significant, research companies started keeping track of online sales starting on Thanksgiving Day. Adobe found that between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, a five-day period, revenue totaled to $11.11 billion, which is 2.4% more than what was expected.
With this in mind, businesses thinking about how to best captialize in 2016 will want to have their pieces in place well before Cyber Monday or even Thanksgiving. Customers are already on their mobile devices and laptops getting ready to scope out what they want for the season while the turkey is cooking.