Black Friday Cyber Monday Wrap Up for 2023

December 8, 2023

Black Friday Cyber Monday 2023 has concluded and now it's time to delve into the highs, lows, and invaluable insights gained along the way. This overview is a compilation of our involvement with clients and insights from various sources.

Key Learnings:

  • Start planning for BFCM24 as early as January.
  • November's advertising costs are higher.
  • Nail down your creative approach.
  • Be intentional with promotions.
  • Anticipate the unexpected and build contingency plans.

Setting The Scene

In November 2023, Shopify Merchants achieved a remarkable milestone, raking in a record $9.3 billion USD in sales over the Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) Weekend—a staggering 24% increase from the previous year.

  • From early Friday in New Zealand to late Monday in California, over 61 million global consumers made purchases from brands powered by Shopify.
  • Sales peaked at $4.2 million per minute at 12:01 p.m. EST on Black Friday.
  • Leading product categories: apparel and accessories, health and beauty, and home and garden.
  • More than 55,000 merchants had their highest-selling day ever on Shopify.

At Reason, we were able to be a part of our client's BFCM planning and execution. We helped deliver some of the overall November results, including:

  • Over $5million in revenue
  • An average of 59% YoY growth
  • Highest client growth of 66%

Year after year, we have observed an increase in advertising costs. Across Meta, BFCM definitely impacted November 2023.

CPM (Cost per 1000 Impressions)

  • November 2023 CPM was 37% higher at $12.47 than the average of 2023 and 12% higher than November 2022.
  • However, it was 25% lower than November 2021 at $16.64.

CPCs (cost per landing page view)

  • November 2023 CPC was 11% higher at $2.14 than the average of 2023.
  • Since November 2019, we’ve seen CPC’s increase 130% from $0.93 up to $2.14.

Our Key Black Friday Cyber Monday Learnings

As the market matures, and consumer behaviour changes, we continue to learn more about this potentially fruitful marketing period.

Doing the same as last year, doesn’t quite cut it - Build a plan

  • Black Friday remains a goldmine for e-commerce businesses, with early and thorough planning proving crucial for capitalising on this peak period. 
  • Our recommendation is to start planning backward from November 2024 in January—what can be done now to ensure future success.
  • This involves testing various promotional types throughout the year to present the best promo when it matters most.
  • With revenue from returning customers during BFCM reaching up to 60%, the focus should be on generating new customers and accumulating email addresses throughout the year.

Being Deliberate With Your Strategy

In the planning process, build promotions aimed at achieving specific results. For instance:

  • Promos focused on generating new customers need to reduce the barrier to entry or framed up as ‘starter kits’
  • Promos focused on increasing AOV -could be bundles, spend $200 & get a free gift, etc etc.
  • Promos geared towards clearing stock require specific strategies.

Not Everything Goes As Planned

In the dynamic landscape of BFCM, promotions may fall short of their desired impact or stock might move faster than anticipated. While planning is essential, the inherent uncertainties until sales commence require a proactive approach. Here's how you can position yourself for success:

Monitor the metrics that matter:

  • Core business metrics: Revenue, spend, sessions, MER, CPA, AOV, Conv. rate. 
  • Customer metrics: new vs returning customers aids in understanding customer conversion patterns.

As part of your planning process, establish contingency plans to navigate uncertainties effectively. Consider:

  • Additional advertising budget, other channels, or additional layers of promotions - my favourite is the option of layering in free shipping.
  • The flexibility to pivot quickly and adjust the approach during sales weeks and days is crucial. Collaborating closely with internal teams or agencies ensures the best outcomes.

Creativity Is Key

  • This year, static images took precedence, outperforming videos. With one client, users were three times more likely to click on statics, the importance of quick readability cannot be overstated.
  • Promotions should be easily digestible within three seconds; otherwise, they risk being scrolled past.

In conclusion, Black Friday Cyber Monday 2023 showcased remarkable achievements and valuable lessons. As we reflect on the past, the key is to apply these insights strategically for future success.

Written by:

Written by the team at Reason.

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