Black Friday and Cyber Monday - The Social Angle

By Paloma Hurtado

Black Friday and Cyber Monday represent a unique opportunity for brands to increase their sales in the run up to Christmas. We decided to analyze the impact of social platforms on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The origin of Black Friday goes back to the 1950s, celebrated in the United States on the Friday following Thanksgiving. Due to the boost in sales created on this big shopping day, the stores managed to get their bank balances ‘in the black’ - hence the name.


Cyber Monday, on the other hand, has more recent origins: it was held for the first time in 2005 with the aim of encouraging online purchases - which at the time were not as popular as nowadays.

Currently, the distinction between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is no longer so clear, given that 80% of Black Friday purchases are now made online.

According to Adobe Analytics, U.S. retailers earned a record $7.9 billion from Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in 2017, an increase of nearly 18% from 2016. The mobile phone was the most used device for shopping last year: e-commerce marketing firm Criteo reports that 40% of all Black Friday online transactions took place on smartphones, up 11% from Black Friday 2016. Total 2017 Black Friday e-commerce purchases occurring on desktop surpassed $2 billion for the first time ever, according to comScore.

Naturally Amazon gets a lot of attention at this time of year - their 2017 Cyber Monday registered the highest number of purchases in the history of the platform, surpassing even the sales recorded during Prime Day, and growing to 50% globally, compared to 2016. This platform recorded, in addition, more than 940,000 orders - 10 orders per second!

SOCIAL NETWORKS ARE THE NEW ECOMMERCE PORTALS

More and more brands and advertisers invest in social channels to promote themselves in the run up to Christmas. Adglow's own data shows that advertising investment by brands in social platforms increased by 12% from 2015 to 2017.

During this period, what advertisers seek most in these channels is to increase traffic to their online stores as well as connect with users before, during and after their purchases.

According to Facebook's own data, in 2017 the platform reached more than 450 million video views globally during Thanksgiving weekend and more than 130 million users from all over the world participated in the conversation of #thanksgiving through Instagram and Facebook. On Instagram, 1 out of 3 businesses shared Instagram Stories that same weekend.

Last year on Twitter, 79% of users were looking for offers through the platform during Black Friday and 55% during Cyber Monday. In addition, 1 in 2 users claims to pay special attention to the content generated by their favorite brands during the Black Friday week.

On Pinterest, users average 45% more pins during Black Friday and 47% during Cyber Monday. They stand out for spending 29% more than users of other platforms, especially electronics (72%), technology (56%), and children's clothing (50%), according to Pinterest’s own data.

THE BEHAVIOR OF BUYERS

According to the American Marketing Association, 42% of users start looking for Christmas gifts during Black Friday. The majority of holiday shoppers (71%) plan to take advantage of holiday sales this weekend, according to a Deloitte survey.

Over 64 million Americans combined online and in-store shopping from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, as shows the conclusions of a survey from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey.

Those ‘on-and-offline shoppers’ spent $82 more on average than online-only shoppers, and $49 more on average than in-store only shoppers. Consumers spent an average of $335.47 during the five-day period according to this survey.

At the same time, according to Twitter data, the vast majority of purchases during this period are impulse buys, so brands should keep in mind that their main motivations are price and keywords such as offer or discount.

2018 WILL EXCEED FORECASTS

This year, brands and online retailers are hoping for records to be broken. They have cause for optimism:

According to Deloitte’s survey, more than 70% of consumers are planning to shop during the Black Friday / Cyber Monday Weekend. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents said they will be waiting at stores before 9am on Friday, with mass merchants (45%), department stores (43%), and electronics/office supply stores (33%) being the top in-store destinations.

Cyber Monday is expected to rake in an average of $170 per shopper. Additionally, 41% of respondents said they would buy something online while in stores if they were offered better pricing, demonstrating the rise of omnichannel shopping.

To sum up, Black Friday is a huge opportunity for major profits and that’s why companies need to unleash during Black November. Despite Black Friday is increasingly becoming an online shopping event, brands should take into consideration in their plans how clients move in between digital and physical stores nowadays, in order to build an hybrid strategy that connects with the clients in both spheres.

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