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Along with a number of genuine national holidays, the end of November and beginning of December are a time for consumers to enjoy a time of frantic spending as we commemorate fictional occasions created by retailers to help make a few extra sales.

These special shopping days always have awful buzzword names that initially mean very little to anyone outside of the marketing industry, but eventually come to be used in every day conversation due to the good work of PRs and the national media.

Off the back of Thanksgiving we’ve just enjoyed Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which heralded the usual surge in online spending and unseemly squabbling in stores.

And here are some interesting stats detailing just how much was spent during the annual sales bonanza...

Mobile traffic at 42% on Mega Monday

According to IBM ‘Mega Monday’ fell on November 25 and this year saw a 33.5% increase in UK online sales compared to the same day last year.

Stats from its Digital Analytics Benchmark also show that:

  • Mobile traffic grew to 42.4% of all online traffic, an increase of 68% over 2012. Sales completed via mobile devices were also strong, growing 81.5% year over year, and exceeding 31% of total online sales.
  • While smartphone traffic accounted for 22.3% of all online traffic versus tablets at 20%, when it came to making actual purchases tablet users drove 19.4% of online sales, which was 56% higher than that of smartphones users who drove 12.4%.

Mobile accounts for 40% of PPC spend

Smartphones and tablets accounted for nearly 40% of all paid search advertising spend by retailers on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and 44% of all clicks on paid search ads. 

But 73% of sales revenue from paid search still came via shoppers using desktop computers.  

The data comes from digital marketing technology company Kenshoo which tracked impressions, clicks, conversions and revenue on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Amazon and eBay see huge increase in sales

Data from ChannelAdvisor shows that online marketplaces were one of the main beneficiaries of Black Friday sales in the UK.

Amazon's sales were up 63% and eBay's up 84% from last year’s Black Friday, while on Cyber Saturday/Sunday there was an increase of 46% for Amazon and 20% for eBay compared to last year’s ‘Cyber Weekend’.

Looking at Cyber Monday, eBay saw sales increase by 16% and Amazon by 13% compared to the same day in 2012.

These statistics come from ChannelAdvisor’s 'Same Store Sales' data, which measures the relative performance of various online channels through which its customers, who are online retailers, sell their merchandise. 

Social doesn’t have a great impact on sales

Only around 1% of purchases and traffic on ecommerce sites on Black Friday and the preceding week were directly generated by social media sites, according to further data from IBM.

That’s not to say that social had no impact on sales, just that it is was very rarely the last-click in the purchase journey. 

Looking at traffic from Facebook and Pinterest, IBM found that shoppers referred from Facebook had an average order value of $52.10, while shoppers referred from Pinterest had an average order value of $92.51. However Facebook converted sales at nearly four times the rate of Pinterest. 

The statistics are based on data taken from 800 US retail websites.

4m Black Friday tweets

Analysis by Crimson Hexagon shows that there were a total of 4,156,900 tweets about Black Friday, of which 43% were positive, 35% negative and 21% neutral.

Among the positive conversations, 30% expressed excitement about Black Friday and 13% discussed hunting for deals and sales.

Among the negative conversations, 13% were moaning about the mayhem of Black Friday, 11% said they disliked working on the day, 5% discussed boycotting the annual event, 4% tweeted concerns about a lack of money or overspending, and the remaining 2% criticised the extended working hours of retail staff.

Mobile shopping spikes on Thanksgiving and Black Friday

There was a huge spike in mobile traffic over Thanksgiving and Black Friday as shoppers turned to their smartphones and tablets to browse for the best deals.

When compared with a baseline shopping period of mid-October of this year, data from Usablenet shows the following:

  • Total mobile visits increased by 93%.
  • Overall mobile transactions increased 219%.
  • Total revenue from mobile transactions increased by 368%.
  • Average order value increased by 56.3%.
  • Conversion rates increased by 93%.
  • 44% of traffic to the mobile sites evaluated came from new visitors.
  • 29% of all traffic was referred by Google, a 7% increase over the October baseline period.

The data comes from Usablenet’s mobile platform, which is used by more than 100 retailers including J Crew, Marks & Spencer, ASOS, and Dell.

Cyber Monday sees traffic peak, but NatWest causes conversions to drop

Online traffic peaked on Cyber Monday in comparison to the same time last year, however the average order value stayed the same at £43. 

The data from Peerius also shows that conversion rates were slightly up on last year, however retailers could potentially have seen a much higher increase if it wasn’t for a NatWest banking glitch which coincided with a 5% drop in conversions compared to Black Friday this year.

This year more purchases were made online using smartphones and other mobile devices on Black Friday and Cyber Monday than ever before. 

Data from Peerius’ retail clients shows a 55% increase in mobile traffic compared to the same time last year.

Ecommerce sites see popularity grow as Black Friday approaches

Data from Socialbakers has revealed some interesting findings around the popularity of ecommerce and retail brands on Facebook before and during the shopping period.

Retail brands were receiving 72% of likes between February and March in the US compared to 28% for ecommerce, whereas this moved to 54% for retail versus 46% for ecommerce brands in November and the period around Black Friday.

On average, retailers still have more popular Facebook pages than ecommerce brands due to their massive brand presences and legacy.

However, ecommerce pages are dominating in terms of the number of interactions in this period, with 65% of the interactions compared to 35% for retail pages.

On Black Friday, both retail and ecommerce brands saw significant interactions on their Facebook pages. In terms of interactions, the top three retail brands on Friday were Macy’s with 43,360 interactions, Foot Locker with 20,299, and Southern Tots with 12,881.

The top ecommerce pages in interactions were ShoeDazzle with 56,614 interactions, RetailMeNot with 9,946, and ThinkGeek with 4,390.

Black Friday cements place on UK retail calendar

Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw combined sales leap by a third across the 1,500 UK retailers on the Affiliate Window network. 

Boosted by a significant 22% increase in the amount the average shopper spent, commissions also spiked by nearly 40%. Sales registered a more modest 10% rise.

In 2012 Black Friday accounted for 44% of the revenue recorded across the two days, whereas this year – boosted by the average sale rising by £17.20 (or 26%) – it was neck and neck with Cyber Monday.

David Moth

Published 3 December, 2013 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (6)

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Tony Heyworth

Tony Heyworth, Marketing Director, International at LivePerson

Can someone please clarify:

Mega Monday - 25th Nov
Black Friday - 29th Nov
Cyber Monday - 2nd Dec

Lots of publications seem to suggest Mega is just another name for Cyber...

Thanks

over 2 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

@Tony, as I understand it, the dates you've written are the correct ones.

over 2 years ago

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Rob Mangiafico, CTO at LexiConn Internet Services, Inc.

Good roundup of holiday stats. We just posted our stats for smaller ecommerce merchants this holiday shopping season. It's a look at the stats from a different perspective...

http://www.lexiconn.com/blog/2013/12/small-ecommerce-holiday-stats-2013/

I hope it adds to the overall picture of holiday sales in 2013. :)

over 2 years ago

Tony Heyworth

Tony Heyworth, Marketing Director, International at LivePerson

David,

Are you sure of your claim: "Cyber Monday sees traffic peak, but NatWest causes conversions to drop..." ?

The glitch did happen on Cyber Monday but your back up stats refer to Black Friday...

"The data from Peerius also shows that conversion rates were slightly up on last year, however retailers could potentially have seen a much higher increase if it wasn’t for a NatWest banking glitch which coincided with a 5% drop in conversions compared to Black Friday this year."

I'd hate them to be blamed for something as large as a 5% drop in conversions on the wrong day.

Tony

over 2 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

@Tony, the 5% drop in conversions was between Black Friday 2013 and Cyber Monday 2013. Therefore if the NatWest glitch hadn't occurred then it's possible the Cyber Monday conversion rate would have been equal to or higher than the Black Friday conversion rate.

over 2 years ago

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Estonish

Wow. 4 million black friday tweets! That's an amazing stat. I'm surprised that social didn't have a bigger impact on sales.

over 2 years ago

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