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Jamie Birch Data Analyst Awin Global

5 Things We Learnt from Black Friday Last Year

Looking back to Black Friday last year, we explored our data at Affiliate Window highlighting some of the key learnings from the Cyber Weekend period, focusing on insights from Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  We based our analysis on over 2,100 advertisers spanning sales from over 100,000 publishers across retail, telecom, travel and finance sectors. 

1.     First and foremost, we learnt that Black Friday 2015 was a wholly online event, and although newspapers heralded the event as a “damp squib” across the high streets, we saw shoppers turning online to bag the best deals.   Across the peak trading hour, Black Friday saw 600 sales a minute and 105 clicks per second. We also saw a 47% increase in year over year revenue.  2015 also saw the emergence of a curious trend, the “Black Friday Elephant” which we witnessed across both traffic and sales.   We saw a spike in these metrics from UK based customers, who were poised to get the best deals at midnight before a drop off through the night.  Towards 9am we saw a massive upsurge in performance, in line with consumers getting to work, peaking within that hour.  Contrasting Black Friday and Cyber Monday we saw a much more gradual build up in performance until late in the evening, with consumers holding out on Cyber Monday for the best deals. 

2.     Black Friday was a mobile event, not just an auxiliary, but instrumental in driving performance. Mobile accounted for 41% of all sales recorded, with smartphones accounting for 21%.  Smartphones had a greater impact in the morning, with consumers researching deals on their way to work, with tablets winning out later in the evening.  2015 was also the first year we were able to understand how consumers interacted with multiple devices in the path to conversion. On Black Friday alone cross-device activity accounted for 3,400 sales and £380K in revenue.

3.     Black Friday is not just a US and UK centric event, we also observed the impact last year from Global markets, contrasting performance on Black Friday against an average Christmas trading day.  Notably Brazil saw a strong spike in both revenue and sales, and the Nordic territories also saw a skewed importance for Black Friday, albeit with a lower relative average basket value than their UK and US counterparts. 

4.     2015 also saw Black Friday as more than just a retail and gifting event, and interestingly 6 out of our top 20 partners were telecoms clients.

Affwin_pic2.pngBlack Friday has the power to create artificial seasonality, with telecoms customers renewing 12 month contracts around the Cyber Weekend, and contributing to a decline of the typical January Broadband peak period. 


5.     Lastly, and looking to the future we viewed how advanced data points, such as customer demographics and rich post transaction value data can help us to target and segment customers. These additional learnings can demonstrate the impact of brand USPs, free delivery as well as the impact of marketing channels on loyalty and customer retention. 


With Black Friday 2016 and the Cyber Weekend just gone, we now turn our focus towards the latest insights this year, and we’ll shortly be able to reveal how this year’s Cyber Weekend evolved further from 2015.  We’ll shortly be publishing our 2016 learnings including some of the trends we have seen globally.  We also ran a live data visualisation event on Black Friday this year, showcasing updates across the UK and Globally for each hour, featuring detailed insights from the event.  For all our latest insights on the Cyber Weekend 2016, please feel free to subscribe to our Strategy newsletter and check out our Strategy Hub for further details.