Increased Website Traffic Is Not Converting to Increased Purchases, as Cart Abandonment Rates Rise During Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Monetate, the worldwide leader in personalization, released its 2018 analysis of ecommerce activity from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. The annual analysis—derived from 2.3 billion US, Canadian and UK consumer touch points across desktop, mobile and tablet in the past five days—shows a 5.4 percent increase in cart abandonment rates across Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday from 2017. The findings indicate that while brands are successfully driving consumers to their sites—website traffic is up 13.1 percent globally from 2017—consumers are shopping around before making final purchase decisions at a higher rate than years past.
“Retailers must reconsider their engagement strategies to ensure they are capitalizing on increased website visits. It’s imperative that retailers leverage every data point at their disposal to create the best and most relevant experiences for shoppers.”
More Key Findings:
- Sleeping in, shopping later: the majority of global Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases in 2018 occurred after 4 p.m. local time. In 2017, most purchases occurred at 10 a.m. on Black Friday and from 8-10 p.m. on Cyber Monday.
- Shopping through the weekend on mobile: global mobile traffic was 26.6 percent higher on Saturday, November 24 than on Thanksgiving Day.
- North American bounce rates are on the rise: US and Canada bounce rates were up compared to 2017 on nearly every day from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, with an increase of 12 percent on Thanksgiving and 5.2 percent on Black Friday in the US, and an increase of 7.8 percent on Thanksgiving and 5.6 percent on Black Friday in Canada. In the UK, however, bounce rates were down 1.8 percent on Thanksgiving and 6.1 percent on Black Friday.
- Washington, D.C. beats out New York in AOV: AOV for Washington, D.C. was $159.51 from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, while New York was $157.32; during the same time period in 2017, New York had the highest AOV among US cities while Washington, D.C. had the third highest.
- Londoners were the highest spenders in the UK: London’s AOV on Black Friday was £97.77; however, out of a list of 10 cities in the UK with the most shopping sessions on Black Friday, London had the lowest conversion rates (4.21 percent).
- Canadian shoppers spent more on average: US shoppers spent an average of $155.80 per order on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, while Canadian shoppers had an AOV of $204.60; shoppers in Great Britain spent an average of $103.71 per order.
- Canadian shoppers avoid browsing on Cyber Monday: In Canada, page views were down a staggering 96.1 percent on Cyber Monday 2018 despite AOV increasing 4.3 percent, indicating that shoppers are spending less time browsing during the online shopping holiday.
Global Shopping Analysis
Heavy traffic but low engagement and conversion rates signal that brands are struggling to stand out from the noise during the busiest shopping period of the year.
In the US, 2018 Thanksgiving holiday shopping bounce rates increased by 12 percent from 2017. Additionally, cart abandonment rates increased by 2.6 percent and conversion rates decreased by 9.7 percent. Black Friday shopping in the US revealed mixed results compared to 2017; while traffic was up 7.7 percent and Average Order Value (AOV) increased 2.5 percent, conversation rates were down 11.3 percent. On Cyber Monday, AOV was up 3.4 percent, but conversion rates were down 16.2 percent—a continuation of the YOY trend of US shoppers consolidating purchases on the biggest online shopping day of the year.
Similarly, in the UK, 10.4 percent more shoppers abandoned their carts on Black Friday year over year, while AOV dropped by 19.3 percent in 2018. Cyber Monday 2018 was also a less successful shopping day in the UK compared to 2017, with AOV down 11.1 percent and conversion rates down 9.2 percent, despite page views being up a whopping 35.4 percent.
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In Canada, Black Friday 2018 saw a 5 percent increase in page views and 1.3 percent increase in AOV compared to 2017. However, cart abandonment rates were also up 6.6 percent, a trend that continued into Cyber Monday 2018, when cart abandonment rates increased 10.4 percent from 2017.
“The holiday shopping period presents tremendous opportunity for retailers to win new shoppers and convert them into returning customers. Our data, however, reveals that brands are struggling to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Stephen Collins, CEO of Monetate. “Retailers must reconsider their engagement strategies to ensure they are capitalizing on increased website visits. It’s imperative that retailers leverage every data point at their disposal to create the best and most relevant experiences for shoppers.”
Monetate is committed to helping brands activate the signals hiding in their data to enhance every consumer interaction and maximize customer lifetime value—particularly during the critical holiday season. The company recently partnered with Bazaarvoice, Inc. to offer retailers combined expertise, technology and support that will enable them to create post-session product recommendations that turn first-time holiday shoppers into long-lasting, loyal customers. By embedding Bazaarvoice shopper profiles captured from billions of shopping signals from its network of over 5,700 brand and retail websites into Monetate Intelligent Recommendations, brands will be able to tailor shoppers’ experiences to reflect their individual preferences and recent online behavior, rather than their one-time gift-buying.