eCommerce retailers have been prepping for Black Friday and holiday season for years now, planning and testing carefully thought out strategies and promotions well ahead of time, all with the aim of boosting revenue, and growing their customer base heading into next year.
This massive migration from shopping at physical stores to eCommerce all points to a record-breaking holiday season, beginning with Cyber Week. Just how busy will Cyber Week be this year?
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, online sales in 2019 reached $601.75 billion – up 14.9% from $523.64 billion in 2018. That’s already a steady growth rate in line with their data over the past decade. Simply projecting this growth rate into 2020 would see online sales reach $691.4 billion dollars by the end of the year — but that’s not including the massive effect of the coronavirus on global commerce.
That impact was heard loud and clear last quarter, where eCommerce sales in Q2 jumped 36.7% to $201 billion from $147 billion in Q1, and accounted for 15.1% of all total retail sales. That’s a dramatic year-over-year increase from the 10.1% online share of retail sales registered in Q2 2019.
With retail and eCommerce brands all vying for what is shaping up to be an historic surge in online traffic and sales, the 2020 holiday season is going to drive more online revenue and competition than ever before — And the time is now for eCommerce retailers to refocus their investments so that they can be where their customers are this coming Cyber Week, and maximize sales and retention through the holiday season and into the New Year.
To equip retailers with the knowledge to optimize their strategies and make the most out of their Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020 promotions, let’s take a look at relevant results from 2019 and predict the impact that retailers can expect to their online sales this year, as well as consumer trends that have emerged building up to this year’s mega eCommerce events.
WHERE WILL ECOMMERCE CUSTOMERS BE BUYING THIS BLACK FRIDAY AND CYBER MONDAY?
While the pandemic has surely changed consumer essentials so far this year, many popular Cyber Week product categories are expected to see a major swell in online traffic in sales. Looking at our 2019 Black Friday and Cyber Monday industry data, we can see that consumer electronics brands and apparel retailers saw the biggest spike in online conversions on Black Friday and Cyber Monday when compared to the previous six Fridays and Mondays respectively:
Electronics and apparel retailers should expect to see even larger spikes in online conversions this time around, and we can see that many large retailers are realigning their priorities to focus on eCommerce given COVID-19 concerns. Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Kohl’s, and Dick’s Sporting Goods have already revealed they will keep their physical stores closed this year on Thanksgiving Day, and as yet have not announced store hours for Black Friday. This should result in even more consumers looking to eCommerce as the solution for their gift-buying needs not only Thanksgiving but through Cyber Week.
Over in the UK, consumer research shows that only 13% plan to shop at high street stores this coming Black Friday — pointing to a predominantly online Cyber Week for retail brands.
Across Europe, consumer electronics also experienced the biggest increases in online conversions during Black Friday and Cyber Monday when compared to daily results for the previous six weeks, and with the vast majority of consumers staying away from retail shops, there’s every reason to expect dramatic upticks in eCommerce sales this year:
TRAFFIC HIJACKERS WILL COMPETE WITH YOU FOR YOUR OWN TRAFFIC THROUGHOUT CYBER WEEK
While crafting the right online promotions to attract and convert shoppers is key for eCommerce businesses — diverting traffic away to other sites is precisely the business model of traffic hijackers, who use ad injections to monetize valuable online traffic by injecting unauthorized ads for competing promotions into consumers visitor sessions. The widespread problem of Customer Journey Hijacking cuts into conversion rates and revenue for enterprises year-round, but traffic hijackers especially eye peak season events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday to distribute injections through free desktop software, extensions, and apps downloaded by consumers so that they can up their ad revenue.
How many holiday season customers will be seeing ads aimed at luring them away from your site? Namogoo’s analysis of over 2.5 billion consumer visitor sessions during the 2019 holiday shopping season showed that 18.86% and 18.21% of all eCommerce visitor sessions were targeted by unauthorized ad injections.
With this portion of customer journeys distracted by competing promotions, eCommerce retailers across industries have been consistently losing out on 1.5% to 5% of their overall conversion rate throughout the year. In terms of revenue, the effect is dramatic. In the past year, online enterprises blocking ad injections with Namogoo have directly recovered over $4.46 Billion that would have been lost due to Customer Journey Hijacking.
With 19.2% of all retail sales last November and December taking place online, Namogoo recovered $857 million for its clients during the 2019 holiday season. You can calculate how much revenue you can retrieve this coming holiday season here.
With foot traffic being replaced by web traffic in 2020 at a rate never seen before, the number of online shoppers that will see unsanctioned ads competing with your planned experience will be higher than ever, and their effect is estimated to cost online brands 30% more in lost online revenue.
HOW CAN ECOMMERCE RETAILERS AVOID LOSING REVENUE THIS BLACK FRIDAY?
Ecommerce retailers can expect a major influx of traffic visiting their online stores, as has been the case in recent months. With competition for their online attention at an all-time high, the last thing they should be seeing when browsing your site are unauthorized ads featuring similar products from direct industry competitors, many of which offer lower-priced alternatives.
How much do these disruptions affect conversion rate optimization efforts during peak shopping seasons? Retailers eliminating these ad injections throughout the 2019 holiday shopping period for their hijacked segment saw these shoppers convert over 2.5 times as much as the rest of their traffic.
Zooming in on how conversion rates for recovered visitors (site visitors previously impacted by ad injections blocked by Namogoo) performed compared to unaffected visitors (visitors unimpacted by ad injections) through the 2019 holiday shopping season, we can see how much higher these visitors converted across verticals in the US and Europe:
A huge swell in traffic is expected this coming Cyber Week, and like never before, optimizing conversion and lifetime value in 2020 means delivering an individualized experience and preventing disruptions from luring your site visitors to buy elsewhere.
With nearly 20% of all this traffic seeing invasive ad injections, and how much higher these shoppers convert when removing them, the math is clear: eliminating Customer Journey Hijacking is the most immediate and effective way online brands can maximize revenue this holiday season — and making the most of that opportunity has never been more critical than in 2020.
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