By Emma Evans

Last year we saw how important Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be to increasing sales around the Christmas period. Amidst worries that this American tradition would spoil retail performance in the run up to Christmas, we were closely watching the performance of the season as a whole. Happily, we saw that Christmas shoppers kept on giving right up to the big day!

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday form the two main pillars of the gigantic sales event that is Cyber Weekend. The anticipation of massive discounts has brought the start of the main Christmas buying period earlier, to the end of November. The frenzy that makes crowds flock to stores also brings people online to take advantage of the flash sales. At least, that was the situation in 2014. So did the trend continue this year?

In a word, yes.

Cyber Weekend this year made last year look like a regular sales day. And, that’s not all – the sales continued to grow and grow throughout the holiday period. Take a look at the increase in conversions across accounts from a number of different verticals compared to the same time last year:

Increase in sales pre-Christmas 2015

Although the precise impact of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, early December and Christmas vary massively between industries & clients for good reasons, overall there are clear underlying trends.

For some clients, the last delivery date will dictate how late sales can continue until while others, like financial loans companies, see the highest activity just after major sale periods.

1. There was over a 200% increase in conversions on Black Friday alone

Increase in conversions on Black Friday 2015

Although we call it Cyber Weekend, the star of the show is undoubtedly Black Friday itself. Even clients that held no special promotions for the day saw a surge of increase in traffic coupled with a bounty of new sales.

Why?

People expect a sale and they’re ready to buy. This effect was especially strong in the electricals industry where Cyber Weekend is traditionally the most centred. This year Black Friday was bigger than ever, and from all indications is on an upward trend unlikely to slow down soon.

2. Cyber Monday also saw a massive growth of 150%

Increase in sales on Cyber Monday 2015

It seemed like Cyber Monday wasn’t really a thing last year. It’s certainly less well known and raved about than Black Friday. This year that started to change with a massive increase of conversions on this day as well. It may not be as big as Black Friday yet but it’s more significant than your average Monday.

When planning your marketing strategy it will therefore be more helpful to think of what you can do over the weekend as a whole rather than pinning all your effort on Black Friday.

3. Sales have grown throughout November & December rather than declined

Despite claims that the rise of Black Friday has resulted in the demise of October, November and December, here at Periscopix growth continued throughout the whole period. So, does the rise of Black Friday mean we need to rethink our entire Holiday season marketing strategy?

Not quite.

The increase of sales over this key weekend is more likely to impact profit margins for clients than sales volume. All the usual rules still apply and you should absolutely be prepared for that.

4. Mondays are becoming ever more favoured retail days

Peak sales on Mondays in December

We’re used to seeing so-called Mega Mondays where the start of the week is hands down the best performer. What was different this year is that this effect only seemed to grow in the lead up to Christmas rather than decline. It seems that online has become a more readily available way of purchasing last minute gifts for those who can’t face the crowds, while retailers are offering ever improving delivery options.

5. Christmas Day is now an acceptable sales day

Sales spike on Christmas Day

If you found your Christmas presents lacking this year, have no fear. It’s now acceptable to interrupt the festivities to take advantage of Boxing Day offers that start early. Christmas day has even been called the most lucrative ever [day] for online shopping. Looking at our growth trends it even rivals Black Friday for attention. So if you were thinking of switching your PPC off for the big day, think again. Set yourself some automated rules and reap the rewards.

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