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Shoppers Spending More on Black Friday; Is Cyber Monday Now an Anachronism?

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SearchIgnite have released research that also suggests that Cyber Monday, the day that online shopping is meant to explode when compared to traditional footfall traffic, could become a thing of the past. As research from other paid search platforms has indicated, shoppers are clicking aswell as hitting the stores on Black Friday, rendering the Cyber Monday distinction almost obsolete.

SearchIgnite, who tracked more than 86 million clicks on Google, Yahoo! and Bing during Q4 from 2009-2010 across retail marketers, report that consumer confidence is back. Holiday shoppers spent more per transaction this year, with a 24% increase in Average Order Values (AOV) YoY - however, Cyber Monday consumers actually spent 14% less online than on Black Friday, suggesting that it is still the biggest shopping day of the year, even online. In fact, consumer spend increased only 10.5% on Cyber Monday YoY, and AOV was down 7.5%.

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In anticipation of the demand U.S. retailers increased spend on paid search advertising 47% YoY to kickoff of the Holiday Shopping season. Retailers spent similar amounts on paid search ads for both days, although increased their spend on Black Friday significantly compared with last year. Paid search spend for Cyber Monday saw a modest increase of 6.7%.

However, the complete picture may be more than the sum of it's parts as, according to comScore, Cyber Monday 2010 was the biggest shopping day of the year - setting a single day sales record of over a $1 billion.

Nonetheless as research from Kenshoo shows, in most cases return on advertising spend (ROAS) was significantly lower on Cyber Monday, showing that retailers face fierce competition to capture more consumer dollars - and thus performance across different paid search portfolios may differ somewhat. As Efficient Frontier noted, perhaps the most sustainable tactic for retailers next year is to increase budgets further still, within sales efficiency limits, to squeeze even more profitable sales from paid search campaigns.

The key takeaway is to plan and anticipate strong growth online, not just in-store, ahead of every Black Friday and factor flexibility into campaigns to take on even greater competition on Cyber Monday.


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