Holiday “Cyber Stretch”: Pre-Black Friday to Post-Cyber Monday Period Boosts Online Retail Sales

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Performics’ ‘same store’ retail data shows YoY increases in holiday sales and conversions; making 2009 reminiscent of 2007, 2008 a ghost of shopping seasons past

Performics "Cyber Stretch" - Year Over Year Sales

Performics’ clients have seen very strong performance and growth during this crucial holiday shopping period, from the Wednesday before Black Friday to the Saturday after Cyber Monday

Performics, (http://www.performics.com), the performance marketing expert inside Publicis Groupe, today released aggregate data from its clients’ ‘same store’ online retail search marketing campaigns from the holiday season to date. The most significant findings indicate that the 11-day period, or “Cyber Stretch,” around Black Friday and Cyber Monday proved even more fruitful for advertisers than these individual days. Additionally, Performics has seen a return to 2007-like fourth quarter sales and conversion rates among its retailers, with data trending positive for the remainder of the holiday season.

Performics’ analyzes its ‘same store’ retail data to monitor daily trends during the holiday season. The latest data shows that year-over-year (YoY) online sales growth was double-digit for every day in the nearly two week period. While Cyber Monday did have the strongest growth (44 percent), what’s more telling is that Thanksgiving Day grew in sales volume as much as Black Friday (+26 percent), while the Tuesday after Cyber Monday showed the second strongest YoY growth (+31 percent) across all days in the period. By comparison, a more conservative growth estimate from the National Retail Federation saw only an eight percent growth in Cyber Monday traffic this year over 2008.

“Performics’ clients have seen very strong performance and growth during this crucial holiday shopping period, from the Wednesday before Black Friday to the Saturday after Cyber Monday,” said Nick Beil, CEO of Performics. “In fact, some of our largest retailers have seen growth on days like Thanksgiving and Cyber Tuesday that far outpaces the growth on the traditional Black Friday and Cyber Monday benchmarks. Marketers have better aligned their online and offline strategies and consumers are more actively shopping online over an extended period. This change in behavior should give retailers confidence to market and invest continuously through the end of December.”

Advertisers have adopted more aggressive strategies regarding pre-Black Friday and post-Cyber Monday advertising and promotions, which may also be contributing to extended online activity. As a result, 2009 holiday retail sales have returned to levels reminiscent of a healthier 2007. For instance, 2007 saw continuous holiday sales growth through the days leading up to Christmas, while 2008 saw a precipitous drop-off immediately after Cyber Monday through December 25th. These upticks are making the 2008 holiday period appear to be a ghost of seasons past for many advertisers.

More broadly, Performics ‘same-store’ retail data also shows clients are outpacing industry benchmarks, posting a healthy, five percent YoY advertiser spend growth rate for November. ComScore reported holiday season retail online spending for the month of November, noting a three percent increase in online spend in the same period last year as sales rose from $11.9bn to $12.3bn.
“Many retailers are continuing to heavily push online offers and promotions that started in the period around Black Friday and Cyber Monday to maintain the positive momentum in website traffic,” notes Beil. “In some cases, Performics clients have leveraged these promotions to gain transaction volume at the expense of average order values (AOV). Nonetheless, it reflects a growing opportunity for holiday advertising through the rest of the season”

It’s only mid-season and the full success of advertiser strategies remain to be seen. However, it is clear that while less noteworthy days have typically been associated with a lull in online shopping, the “Cyber Stretch” of peak shopping days continues to grow each year and positively contributes to overall holiday performance.

About Performics

Performics provides search and performance marketing solutions to more than 125 of the world’s top brands.

Methodically innovative, we use the digital building blocks of search to create future-forward media opportunities designed to acquire and convert consumers. We help shape how consumers engage with advertisers online; we are impassioned visionaries who use structured approaches to anticipate and generate new brand experiences and leverage those events to drive ROI.

Headquartered in Chicago with offices around the world, Performics is the performance marketing expert inside Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi Nerve Center. Performics is MarketingNext.

Visit us: http://www.performics.com

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Andrew Caravella
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