2013 Cyber Reports for the Holiday Season
This year’s Cyber Monday has become the biggest online spending day in US history, but it was not alone in success. Black Friday online sales surged past $1 billion, and, over the course of the long weekend following Thanksgiving, online sales raked in $3.5 billion, 24.3% more than last year. This, according to comScore Inc., who doesn’t even account for smartphone and tablet sales.
Which is pretty astounding as yet again, this online shopping season has proven to gone the way of mobile.
IBM Corp.’s data suggests that 17% of all total online sales for Cyber Monday were from mobile devices, helping to make this year’s Cyber Monday trump last year’s numbers by more than 20%.
And while most online retailers pull out the tricks for Cyber Monday, some studies suggest that even retailers who weren’t pushing any special sales enjoyed massive conversions. Why? It appears that we, as consumers, have quickly conditioned ourselves to view Cyber Monday as the day to get all our online shopping done, sale or not.
Mobile devices have also helped to prolong the online shopping day. In past years, Cyber Monday was typically relegated to work hours (much to the chagrin of managers and business owners). But thanks to the ease of use of tablets and phones (and retailers wisely creating apps and responsive mobile-friendly sites), the Cyber Monday schedule went beyond work hours. Although on the east coast, sales began to surge around 11 a.m. (just long enough for employees to say they got ‘some’ work done), these sales continued well into the evening, according to ChannelAdvisor CEO Scot Wingo.
What Worked For Online Retailers?
While the online sales are huge, it still took work and effort for online retailers to truly enjoy a piece of the pie. The biggest advantage this year was the push notification. Push notifications, through mobile apps and newsletter signups, increased drastically in the weeks leading up to the shopping weekend. This suggests to online retailers that now is the time to put into place a well designed mobile app, or newsletter system, so that by next holiday season, you, too, can reach your customers directly just before crunch time.
Social media gets a lot of heat as it tries to prove its worth beyond just absolute time drain and virtual stalking. Perhaps this is the year they’ve proven their worth? More and more people entrusted the suggestions of their social circles on what to buy, and where to go. People tapped into their accounts, took note of where their friends and followers were shopping, and followed suit. The results were high conversion rates from online shoppers coming directly from social media sites, however social media conversions only accounted for 1% of the overall sales.
The biggest winner of them all? Facebook. The Facebook conversion rate was nearly 40% higher than Pinterest. What’s this mean for your 2014 goals? Today marks the day you have to build a strong social media following. Social media users rely on trust and relationship, meaning you can’t expect to win them over weeks before the holiday season. This trust-building process begins today.
When Cyber Monday Goes Awry
Cyber Monday is typically a time to rejoice, until something goes wrong. This is the last day on earth you want technical issues, like the ones plagued by sites as large as HP.com and CrateandBarrel.com. Eerily reminiscent of our current health care system state of affairs, both of these sites had trouble ushering users through the checkout process.
If ObamaCare has taught you anything, it should teach you that pre-launch testing isn’t a luxury. It’s a must. Before next year’s holiday season, it’s important your site be thoroughly tested to see if it can handle the traffic you hope to see.
Onward and Forward
The online retailer community, as a whole, can rejoice from another successful year. But the successful retailers have already put the celebrations aside, and are now sifting through the data. It’s clear that mobile and social are key components toward a consumer’s likelihood of conversion, as is a retailer’s ability to reach a consumer directly in the weeks leading up to the holiday season.
Every holiday season brings with it volumes of lessons to be learned for the following year. OperationROI can help you convert this year’s holiday season, into next year’s success story. Call us at 1-888-277-5429 or fill out our contact form for more information.