Annual Roundup: 2017 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Statistics

 In Ecommerce

If you haven’t heard, Amazon is King of the Jungle in the ecommerce world. In 2017, the online giant’s worth peaked at $405 billion. While this is impressive enough in and of itself, it’s especially amazing when you consider that the world’s top-five online retailers—Best Buy, Target, Costco, CVS and Walmart—were collectively worth $411 billion.

To put this another way, the top five retailers out there were only worth a collective $6 billion more than Amazon. That’s beans, by all accountings.

Nowhere is Amazon’s prowess more evident than in its Cyber Monday and Black Friday sales statistics from 2017.

Here’s what you need to know about those stats, and why they’re relevant to the ecommerce world as a whole.

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Amazon Black Friday & Cyber Monday Stats: 2017

Here are a few numbers to chew on from the retail giant’s most recent Black Friday season:

  • According to TechCrunch, “Amazon now says that Cyber Monday 2017 was bigger than any other shopping day, including the sales holiday it invented called Prime Day. Held during the typically slower summertime shopping season, Prime Day 2017 was the biggest sales day in company history, before now, and it was the biggest shopping day the year prior.
  • Customers purchased 140 million products from small businesses during this timeframe.
  • Amazon experts report that the retailer accounted for 50% of all Black Friday online sales.
  • Luxury beauty sales have increased 47% YoY, Prime Pantry items have peaked 38%, grocery items have gone up 33%, and furniture sales have increased 33%, to an estimated total annual sales volume of $1.5 billion.
  • Amazon’s electronics sales topped $8 billion in 2017.

As if all this weren’t enough, Amazon has also launched several innovative new programs in the last year.

These include the ecommerce giant’s in-store return program with Kohl’s (this program allows Amazon users to drop off a return at select Kohl’s stores for an instant refund, rather than mailing it back. Amazon has also launched Instant Pickup, a service that allows students at limited college campuses to pick up orders on campus, after placing an order through Amazon’s mobile app.

Still need some proof about how huge Amazon is getting? Check out this chart from WebInterpret, which came out in Q1 of 2017.

What to Look Forward to in 2018

While Cyber Monday and Black Friday are a ways off for 2018, it’s never too early to start shifting your sales strategy accordingly. Here’s a bit of what you can expect from the coming year.

Most Spending Will be Online

This year, as in years past, upwards of half of spending will take place online.

While much of this will occur during the Black Friday season, it’s essential to remember that online shopping remains an important vehicle throughout the year, and that brands can boost their sales by streamlining their pipelines, enhancing their inventory, and using intelligent ecommerce CRM software throughout.

With these statistics in mind, it’s essential for online retailers to use them to their advantage this holiday shopping season.

Shoppers Will go Big

Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the concept of shopping online. In 2017, 56% of shoppers reported that they planned to do at least “Some” online shopping during the Black Friday season.

This represents an increase from just 51.5% in 2013. As if this weren’t enough, it’s also important to remember that per-person spending topped out at $804.22 in 2017, which represents a 5% increase from the previous year.

The lesson: It’s essential for brands to prepare well in advance of these big holidays. The more prepared you are for an influx of shoppers, the more likely it is you’ll claim plenty of business during these big holidays.

Holiday Sales Will be Huge

According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales were projected to soar 4.1% in 2017, topping out at more than $619 billion. In 2013, by comparison, the sales only increased by 3.1%.

With this in mind, brands can prepare by creating unique online sales and prepping for the insanity surrounding the Black Friday holiday.

Returns Will be Common

Don’t let the craze surrounding the Black Friday buzz intimidate you too much. Remember that about one-third of the products sold during the Black Friday holiday will ultimately be returned.

Given the previously mentioned shopping stats, this means about $1.5 billion in goods was returned in 2017. While this may be a bummer for retailers, it only means that preparation is essential, and that brands that realize this will fare better than those who don’t.

If you’d like to handle returns easily and boost future sales, consider offering free returns. These are highly attractive to customers and can help attract customers to whom return policy matters.

4 Ways to Boost Marketing Before Black Friday

If you’re looking for ways to prepare for Black Friday 2017, boosting your ecommerce marketing strategy is one of the biggest and most important. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest. Here are four tips to get you started.

1. Retarget Your Ads

If you haven’t been retargeting your advertisements, your ecommerce is likely suffering. Here’s how retargeting works:

You take your advertisements and add a special piece of code to them. As users visit your pages and products, the code adds a special piece of code, or a “cookie” to their browser.

If the user leaves your website without making a purchase, the code will follow them through the web and place another ad on the other websites they visit.

This retargeting can help bring back customers who bounced before purchasing their cart. It’s also possible to create advertisements that target your best customers, customers who have purchased from you in the past, or who have simply visited your website in the past.

Still wondering how retargeting can help your brand?

Here are some stats to consider:

  • Users who see retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert.
  • Display ads enjoy a CTR of just 0.07% while retargeted ads earn a CTR of 0.7%.
  • When you retarget your ads, it can increase your branded search exposure by upwards of 1,000%.
  • Almost half (49%) of online marketers believe that not enough people use retargeting.
  • 49% of major brands have budgets dedicated solely to retargeting.

2. Pay Attention to Abandoned Cart Rate

People abandon their online carts for all types of reasons. Check out this Kissmetrics post for more information:

If you’re looking for ways to overhaul your ecommerce marketing, decreasing your cart abandonment rate is a fantastic option. Here are a few smart ways to do that.

  • Write a few different versions of automated cart abandonment emails and send them out to shoppers who bounce before making a purchase.
  • Retarget advertisements to people who have abandoned their carts.
  • Offer free shipping.
  • Offer free returns.
  • Provide a price-match guarantee.
  • Offer verified product reviews to help improve customer confidence.

While lots of online sellers throw up their hands in defeat about cart abandoners, it’s important to remember that there are things you can do to decrease your abandoned cart rate. It just involves taking a proactive approach.

3. Personalize the Process

On big shopping days like those surrounding Black Friday, personalization is key. While an online platform like Amazon inherently limits the personalization process, you have total control over how that looks in your personal store.

With this in mind, make it as personal for your customers as possible.

Here are a few tips to do that:

  • Make it easy for users to purchase with a single click. This appeals to upwards of 70% of shoppers. With this in mind, streamline your purchase process and make it as easy as possible for your users.
  • Get verified product reviews. Verified product reviews can help customers make smart purchasing decisions, as can digital coupon or promotional codes.
  • Target Your Audiences. Segment your lists and ensure you’re delivering highly targeted marketing messages to your various audience groups.

4. Take a Multimedia Approach

If you want to increase engagement coming into the major cyber shopping holidays, it’s smart to adopt a multimedia approach.

Formats like video can be incredibly compelling for your customers and will go a long way toward improving your click-through rates and boosting engagement on your online materials.

Don’t forget to optimize everything you have for mobile displays and convenience for your customers.

The Final Scoop

It’s never too early to start thinking about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and brands that want to improve their ecommerce approaches, starting right now, will do well to consider these helpful and commonly overlooked tips.

By taking simple steps, like adding multimedia marketing material, personalizing your shopping experience, and taking steps to reduce abandoned cart rates, brands like yours can prepare for these major shopping holidays, and improve your ecommerce efforts throughout the year.

After all, brands that prepare for Black Friday throughout the year will find it easier to pivot and adapt when the big shopping day rolls around.

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