While online and mobile sales are on the rise - especially for Black Friday and Cyber Monday - a large percentage of retail sales are still transacted in store. However, a true omni-channel strategy shouldn't be about online vs. offline. Instead, to create seamless shipping experiences and capture a true 360 degree view of each customer, retailers should look at how marketing and data management efforts across all channels affect each other and sales overall.
Even with the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind them, retailers are busier than ever gearing up for a promising holiday season. To help retailers maximize their learnings from the past week, we opened up the Performance Horizon data vault to compare Black Friday activity from 2015 and 2016. While we are using hard data, we are keeping the analysis light.
This past week has been a big one for retail with major transactions erupting on Black Friday, continuing throughout the weekend, and spiking again during Cyber Monday. As a follow up to our Black Friday analysis, we’ve taken a look at the real-time data in our data warehouse and compared conversion activity on both major dates.
Last week, Black Friday drove tremendous partner marketing activity on the Performance Horizon platform. This included almost ten million conversions occurring in 53 unique currencies (from United Arab Emirates Dirham - AED to South African Rand - ZAR) resulting in a total of over $100,000,000 in economic impact for advertisers over the course of a single day. These conversions dwarf our stats from last year, in large part because of the significant volume of traffic from our new clients in 2016.
With Black Friday rearing its head this week and Cyber Monday just around the corner, global retailers are primed and ready for action. Last year, Black Friday drove £1.1 billion online sales in one day and sales this year are estimated to surpass those figures.
It’s no surprise that cutthroat competition has increased pressure for retailers to drive both customer acquisition and retention. At the same time, complex customer journeys challenge brands to integrate their marketing activities across more touchpoints, channels, devices, and marketing partners as well as measure the return on investment of those efforts. As retail marketers scale their efforts, digital marketing must evolve to better serve their needs and accommodate both online and offline ecosystems.
Client Success Story
THE ICONIC is Australia's leading online destination for fashion and sportswear, selling products from over 700 Australian and international brands. Although they managed a large portion of their affiliate channel in-house and had direct relationships with their key marketing partners, THE ICONIC sought a technology partner that provided more sophisticated, in-depth performance data and would enable them to work with all of their partners on a single platform.
The main challenge THE ICONIC faced was transitioning to a technology platform while seamlessly onboarding existing marketing partners. Onboarding any new enterprise software can present challenges, and with thousands of partners to transition in the affiliate channel, seamless execution is critical to avoid wasting money both in lost sales and inefficient use of internal resources.
THE ICONIC's affiliate program was fragmented across multiple networks and lacked in-depth performance data, which hindered long-term channel growth. THE ICONIC needed a solution that allowed them to view all partner performance data on a single dashboard, track individual partner performance in detail, and increase data transparency alongside their partners to improve performance.
Client Success Story
As a global agency, iProspect has a highly-scalable offering with one of the largest agency affiliate marketing teams. They have the expertise, global footprint, and relationships to grow channels and incorporate new markets while benefiting from local insights. For these reasons, bringing their affiliate program in-house made sense for both them and their clients - including global sportswear brand adidas.
The main challenge iProspect faced was running the affiliate program for adidas in four markets. Each market had its own account manager with little to no correspondence, no centralized reporting, budgeting or forecasting - and, most importantly, no shared insights. Affiliate accounted for only 6% of adidas's digital spend, so there was ample room for growth.
iProspect wanted to become further embedded with adidas and truly understand their internal challenges and margins within their affiliate channels. iProspect looked at different solutions that would allow them to migrate their program entirelty in-house on a self-serve platform and acheive the objectives of centralization, consolidation and changing their network model.
From Big Data to Relevant Data
Big data has died down as a buzzword over the past couple of years and largely reverted to what it's been all along: data. Let's face it—when referring to data, "big" is likely a given. For most companies, the volume of available raw data is so immense it maxes out conventional spreadsheets and any actionable insights are buried deep in an avalanche of numbers.
Last week, Performance Horizon attended the 7th Annual StarTrack Online Retail Industry Awards along with 700 people at the Dockside Pavilion in Sydney, Australia.
As part of the event, Performance Horizon sponsored the award category “Best Mobile Commerce Site/Application,” which spotlighted the retailer with the best overall mobile site and/or smartphone application.
We mention this not to simply tout our own participation but to draw attention to a topic that should be top of mind for every retailer – and in fact – every brand and digital advertiser: mobile commerce.