US & Canada Black Friday 2017 results

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From North America to Australia and every Awin market in between, we have compiled key insights from Black Friday 2017 to provide a visualization of global activity throughout the day.

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Across our 15 global territories, Awin saw a 21% YoY increase in the number of transactions, a 28% YoY increase in advertiser revenue, 23% YoY increase in publisher revenue, $8 YoY increase in AOV and an 8% YoY increase in clicks. Using this global activity as a baseline, how did our global YoY Black Friday results compare to performances in North America?

In the US and Canada, there was a 97% YoY increase in the number of transactions tracked, a 47% YoY increase in advertiser revenue, a 62% YoY increase in publisher revenue, a $20 decrease in AOV, and a 73% YoY increase in clicks. Average order values were impacted by major site-wide discounts as well as free shipping deals, allowing customers the freedom to place multiple transactions in succession, each with lower cart values.

Additionally, 10 a.m. EST (7 a.m. PST) was the peak shopping hour for all US and Canada network activity on the day – with 5.4% of all sales occurring at that time. This is a shift from last year, which saw 8 a.m. as the peak buying period. This two-hour delay signals a weakened urgency felt by customers, likely due to the longer stretch of sales offered outside of the Black Friday 24-hour window. Of note is the peak buying period on smartphones only, which was 12 a.m. after the Thanksgiving holiday (midnight on Black Friday.) While not a large portion of overall sales (similar peaks occur late morning and again into the evening,) it highlights how the browsability of a phone can unintentionally lead to a full transaction (i.e. while lying in bed) due to the increase in mobile optimization of many retail sites.

As seen in the graph below, the percentage of transactions over the week leading up to Black Friday show Monday as the runner up. It appears each year the creep of pushing out deals prior to Black Friday starts earlier and earlier, which undoubtedly impacts shopping behavior throughout the day compared to years past.

Reviewing advertiser sector performance by revenue generated on the day, consumer demand was spread across all major verticals, with top performance shared across Electronics, Department Stores, Clothing & Accessories and Health & Beauty.

Further examining performance by advertiser sector, we can see performance by hour. Electronics (a small portion of Awin US/Canada brands) saw peak sales periods, with Department Stores, Clothing & Accessories, and Health & Beauty maintaining consistency throughout the day. Interestingly, we saw shopping patterns remain largely the same by sector, and a demonstrated urgency to secure electronic deals (which often come with the highest value discount on a limited basis) earlier in the day.

Cashback and Coupon Code publishers still dominated as the leading revenue-generating publisher types on Black Friday in the US and Canada. PPC took a surprising 7.3% share of all affiliate activity (PPC held 0% of 2016 activity,) with Social Traffic and Content partners slightly down from 2016. When reviewing publisher activity by specific brand instead of type, top-ranking publishers in North America (primarily consisting of cashback and content affiliates) exhibited between 119-369% YoY growth. On an international level, Cashback was also leading with 38% of transactions, followed by Coupon Codes (18%,) Retargeting/Remarketing (11%,) Social Traffic (10%) and PPC (9%).

Leading up to Black Friday, Awin predicted mobile sales would dominate on the day. In reality, 29.34% of all transactions occurred on mobile devices (only a 3.9% YoY increase.) While sales via desktop were down 4.93% from 2016, Desktop was still the primary platform used to make a purchase – corning just over 70% of the market share.

With the newfound adoption of Black Friday into other territories, it was unclear if international shoppers would continue to purchase in the US and Canada during Black Friday. Data shows China had the highest number of transactions set to be delivered from the US with 3,468 sales in total. This was followed by the UK (3,112 sales,) Canada (2,063 sales,) Australia (622 sales,) Singapore (442 sales,) and Hong Kong (396 sales.)

Stay tuned as we will be reporting on Cyber Monday activity tomorrow, offering a more complete picture of North America consumer spending behavior. To read our analysis of global activity this Black Friday, please click here.