Cyber Weekend has become a huge phenomenon for consumers in the UK over the past four years, with more and more people taking advantage of discounts on the busiest shopping weekend of the year. For marketers worldwide, it now marks one of the busiest times of year and many are developing various strategies in order to fully optimize sales and draw in customers with great offers in the lead up to Christmas.
This year was certainly no exception and the weekend marked a period of intense activity among marketers trying to navigate the consumer shopping habits of previous years and target the right person, with the right deal, at the right time. However, no two years in the marketing calendar are the same and this year we unearthed some very interesting insights into the latest consumer trends over Cyber Weekend 2018.
Get Yourself on a Comparison Shopping Service
To optimize sales throughout periods of high consumer activity, make sure to take advantage of Comparison Shopping Services (CSS). A CSS will allow you to push out your shopping campaigns to Google Shopping with a 20% savings on CPCs. This will allow you to create campaigns in a cost-effective way and assist during peak times. This will be more efficient and free up budget to be critically invested in other channels. It is also easy to implement and only requires you to sign up with a CSS provider and then duplicate campaigns.
Mobile Comes First for Conversions
This Cyber Weekend, mobile devices were the most popular platform (53%) used by consumers to complete purchases, showing a 17% increase in conversion rates from that of last year. In comparison, desktop purchases remained steady though findings show this decreased during the day whilst people were typically at work.
Due to a high volume of people using mobile devices to get their Cyber Weekend bargains, marketers should look to increase their investment in mobile advertising to maximize this opportunity.
Creating mobile-friendly ads which then take users to a website which is easy to navigate on their device can help marketers tap into this dominant traffic source and create a seamless marketing journey, from advert to shopping cart.
Key Times to Push for Sales
In addition to peak days, traffic also soared at particular times, with the busiest times being the commuter rush (6am-12pm) and evening hours (4-9pm). The latter also out-performed other times in the day by generating the most revenue.
With marketers able to pinpoint exactly when their ads are most likely to be effective, these insights can be fed into successful campaigns. For example, setting up alerts for trends will assist marketers in knowing exactly when to push ads, helping to drive engagement and ultimately increase their edge over competitors.
The Power of Social Media
Interestingly, 2018 also became the year social media advertising peaked during Cyber Weekend. Findings showed that Click Through Rates on social media channels were up by around 23% this year — a promising sign for any marketers now beginning to utilize social platforms as a way of promoting offers and driving brand awareness during this time.
However, these efforts can be taken one step further. Social media ads now enable brands to suggest items to consumers based on their search history. This is particularly valuable throughout Cyber Weekend, as it ensures ads are being seen by those with an existing interest in the brand’s offering and therefore likely to generate a higher conversion rate to that of standards ads.
The Run-Up to Christmas and the January Sales
Lessons learned over Cyber Weekend can also help marketers to enhance their campaigns in the stages leading up to Christmas and the January sales — famously another busy period for marketers. For example, it is vital that marketers acknowledge the last delivery date by highlighting the urgency to make a purchase and therefore grabbing the last minute shoppers. Once the last delivery date has passed, marketers should look at altering the messaging to ‘Click and Collect,’ acknowledging to customers that they are still able to make a purchase.
Furthermore, targeting customers with key messages such as, ‘Still Available in Store,’ is vital in order to drive the final sales. It is also a good idea for marketers to cut down on targeting nationally and concentrate on targeting the local surroundings who are able to get to the store.
Perfectly poised at the beginning of the festive period, the buzz over Cyber Weekend shows no sign of slowing among consumers and marketers alike. To fully capitalize on what has been the most active period to date, brands must use the trends in consumer behavior to measure the success of previous campaigns and use them to adapt plans for the year ahead. By doing this successfully, brands can ultimately look forward to the cut-through needed to make noise in a busy period and drive sales with a better customer journey.