Black Friday 2017: A network's perspective

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Black Friday is well established in the retail calendar as a critical trading day across the world. 2017 was no exception. With each year that passes, our understanding of the day and wider Cyber Weekend develops. With that in mind, what did we learn this year from the thousands of publishers and advertisers running affiliate programs on Awin’s network?

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There is no doubt Black Friday 2017 was a record-breaking year. As the dust settles on the retailing juggernaut and the numbers are collated, crunched and verified, Awin can confirm Black Friday is largest trading day in our global network’s history.

Combined with the subsequent weekend and Cyber Monday’s revenue, the four-day event resulted in affiliates generating well over $475m in revenue globally for the 6,000 advertisers across Awin’s networks, including affilinet and ShareASale.

Across all 15 territories, Black Friday continued to lead during this promotional period, with revenue up 27% compared to Cyber Monday (up 17%.) On their own, these are impressive numbers, but this also indicative of the general flow of traffic across our network.

There are some signs we’re reaching ‘peak Black Friday,’ as brands fight for attention in a fiercely-competitive marketplace. This year saw what has become known as ‘retailer creep,’ with more and more offers launching prior to Black Friday. This was identified in 2016, with many promotions hitting sites on the preceding Thursday.

Retailer creep began even earlier this year, with some Black Friday offers launching at least one week in advance. Not only is this pushing peak trading ever earlier (2016 was the first year Awin recorded more revenue in November than December,) but it is also smoothing out the impact of a 24-hour sales window and shopper imperative to purchase within this narrow timeframe.

E-commerce trends tend to develop rapidly and retail events are fuelling many of these changes. It was only a few years ago that general advertiser attention around Christmas was focused on the first Monday of December. In 2017, this day was unlike any other trading day in December.

As the landscape changes, staying ahead of the latest trends and advancements becomes critically important. In this document, we will shine a light on this year’s numbers, provide granular insight from the individual markets and share some specific client examples.