report

2019 Holiday Performance Benchmarks

Feb 6, 2020
Written by Sandrine T.

The CJ Affiliate global network experienced 29% revenue growth for Holiday 2019.

This immense growth was driven by strong shopper interest in purchasing clothing, sneakers, electronics, and sporting goods over the holiday shopping period. With a shortened holiday season, early shopping kicked off in November—sales for the first two weeks of November were up 33% YOY and with the momentum generated by extended promos and newly released offers the sales kept rolling in.

We will release a full analysis of Holiday 2019, plus strategies for Holiday 2020, in our annual Holiday Intelligence Report this July. Until then, we’ve prepared an interactive performance benchmarks report to assist you with your post-holiday analysis. Read on for an overview of the findings.

See the Benchmarks

Off to a Strong Start

Compared to last year, with five fewer days between Black Friday and Christmas Day, this holiday season’s prime shopping period was an unusually short one.

Retailers began pumping out promotions in early November and shoppers responded. This year, revenue in the first 15 days of November increased 30% YOY, compared to 18% YOY growth during the first 15 days of Holiday 2018, partly due to strong growth in the European markets. Daily order volume in the global network over this time period was up 12% YOY. Early promotions did not impact average order values in early November—order sizes were up 10% YOY.

Fashion is No. 1

Shoppers swooped in and took advantage of discounts on popular apparel and sneaker brands selling stylish casualwear and street fashion. In the CJ network, orders in the Accessories and Clothing & Apparel categories increased 55% YOY, making these categories two of the highest growth categories in the network. High-end fashion retailers also did well, with Clothing & Apparel being the number one category and product sold across the board over the holiday season.

Peak Shopping During the "Cyber 5"

Cyber 5 describes the expansion of the once only relevant Black Friday and Cyber Monday peak shopping days, to now include the entire five days of ecommerce buzz between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. This year, there are many takeaways from the Cyber 5 period that can be applied to Holiday 2020.

Cyber Monday was the clear winner in terms of orders and revenue growth for the Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday shopping period. Consistent with last year, retail order volume on Cyber Monday was the highest of any day of the entire holiday season—20% higher than Black Friday’s order volume—and increasing 38% YOY. Average order values on Cyber Monday increased 12% YOY as shoppers were keen to spend on Cyber Monday.

Underscoring the importance of keeping shoppers engaged on weekends, shopping between Black Friday and Cyber Monday delivered some of the strongest growth of the Cyber 5 period: Orders were up on Saturday (11/30) and Sunday (12/1) 37% and 40%, respectively.

Black Friday was a strong sales day for all types of retailers, but particularly strong for Telecommunications and Computer retailers. Conversion rates on Black Friday approached 9%, the 2nd highest converting day of the holiday season following Cyber Monday.

Finally, Thanksgiving Day’s revenue growth was less impressive than prior years, but still achieved double digit growth in orders and clicks.

Shopping Up on Smartphones

Shoppers increased their usage of smartphones to complete their holiday shopping by 20% YOY, with orders on smartphones now accounting for 36% of holiday season sales. For the Accessories and Sports & Fitness categories, orders on smartphones made up 41% of holiday season sales. The growing usage and dominance of smartphones for shopping has come at the expense of tablets. Across all markets in the CJ network, tablet usage for holiday shopping declined and accounts for only 3% of holiday sales.

For a deeper look at the numbers, check out the 2019 Holiday Performance Benchmarks. And to really round out your Holiday 2019 analysis, listen to the latest episode of our podcast Junction Live, Holiday 2019: Experts Weigh in on What Worked, What Didn't.

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Methodology: Growth values were calculated using same store retail sales tracked in the CJ network through November 1 – December 31 and compared against 2018 same day sales.

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