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CJ Affiliate Holiday Season Highlights

Jan 26, 2016

All the lights are down, Christmas trees composted, and decorations put away. The holidays may be over, but I gathered some great insights from the buying patterns across the CJ network this year that can help retailers plan how to adjust for next season.

Black Friday had Universal Appeal

Black Friday's same store growth (sales and revenue) bested Cyber Monday's by 6 percent unlike in 2014 when Cyber Monday was the leader in both sales and growth.

Early season promotions and a strong interest in Black Friday sales delivered a positive sales and revenue growth trend in the UK Network—revenue was up 35 percent YoY.

Black Friday was also a hit in Germany. The CJ Affiliate German Network experienced 30 percent growth in sales during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday time period.

23% of Sales were Mobile, 36% of Clicks on Phones

US shoppers showed a stronger preference for purchasing on a phone versus a tablet (16 percent and 7 percent of sales, respectively) and most mobile clicks were on phones.

UK shoppers were the most highly mobile—mobile clicks accounted for 53 percent of all clicks.

Email publishers achieved the greatest share of mobile clicks and sales during the 2015 holiday season. 

Smartphones Impacted Sales Timing (Day of Week)

Greater accessibility to shopping away from a computer has erased past dominance of weekday ecommerce sales. This year signaled the second year in a row in which Sundays have emerged as a peak shopping day of the week.

Clicks Were Down yet Sales & Revenue Grew

Network clicks were down YoY across many publisher models, most notably in the Ad Network and Content publisher segments. Despite this, most retail categories experienced growth in sales while growth in average order values drove revenue growth, as well.

Trends: US, UK, and Germany

US Trends

  • US shoppers did not start shopping as early in November as they did in Holiday 2014 and they slowed their purchasing during the second week of December. Shopping volumes picked up during the third week of the month and then experienced a post-Christmas lift.

  • Same store sales and revenue during the last five days of December increased 35 percent and conversion rates were also up, most notably on December 28 when YoY conversion grew by 40 percent.

UK Trends

  • Early season promotions and strong Black Friday sales delivered a positive sales and revenue growth in the UK Network—revenue was up 35 percent YoY.

  • Revenue increases were heavily driven by growth in overall average order values—UK shoppers spent approximately $30 USD more per purchase this year than last year.

  • Retailers in the Department Stores/Malls, Games & Toys, Food & Drink and Clothing & Apparel experienced the greatest growth in the UK market and achieved this by working closely during the pre-holiday season to forge partnerships with new publishers in the Coupon and Content verticals.

Germany Trends

  • Sales and revenue growth in the DE Network was driven by the strong performance of retailers in the Beauty, Department Stores, and Clothing categories.

  • Average order values increased an average 19 percent and German market retailers experienced 30 percent growth in sales during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday time period.

  • An important and exciting development in the German Network has been the growth of retail sales in the Czech Republic which is experiencing a positive economic development and ecommerce growth, as a result.

Mobile

In terms of connecting with mobile shoppers, email publishers achieved the greatest share of clicks and sales during the holiday season due to their success in reaching potential shoppers on their smartphones.

Coupon publishers—including deal sites—were nearly as successful in terms of engagement (clicks) and sales—this was driven by the successful mobile apps many coupon and deal sites have launched and through which they push advertiser and product-level deals.

Greater accessibility to shopping on larger and faster smartphones has erased past dominance of weekday ecommerce sales.

  • This was the second year in a row in which Sundays emerged as a peak shopping day of the week—conversion rates on Sundays across the network averaged 23 percent growth.

  • Mondays are no longer the strongest days in terms of sales volume and YoY growth, yet average order values experienced their greatest YoY increase on Mondays and Fridays. ROAS growth ranged from 7 percent to 9 percent and was highest on Mondays.

That brings us to a close of yet another successful holiday season in affiliate. Tell us in the comment section below, about your wins and what you plan to do differently this coming year!

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