Born in Pune, bred in Mumbai, now earning his bread at VovIndia, Vivek is a Search Marketing Specialist. When he's not busy setting up and optimizing search campaigns, he moonlights as a metal-head and likes honing his culinary skills by trying out new cuisines.

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2019 Holiday Shopping Season Review & Lessons for 2020

Another holiday season has come and gone. While many people are focused on taking the tinsel off the tree and packing away the decorations until next year, the team at Vovia has been busy taking a look back at the digital side of things. It was another busy online shopping season and we noticed some trends from our campaigns that are worth taking a closer look at as they will help form a strong marketing strategy for the 2020 holiday season!

Person ordering something online

In this post, we will look at some stats and trends from one of our eCommerce customers to see how their Holiday Marketing Campaigns played out.

Mobile On The Move

During last year’s holiday season, we saw that users on desktop and on mobile each drove around 45% of the transactions and revenue, with the remaining 10% coming in from tablets.

However, this year we saw almost 55% of the revenue and transactions come from mobile and only around 39% of the transactions and revenue coming from desktop. People are purchasing on their mobile device more than ever.

What does this mean for 2020? Creating ads that are suited for mobile should be top of mind. This is true for any season, but especially for holiday campaign strategies! For tips on getting the most out of mobile ads, check out our blog post:  “The Evolution of Mobile Marketing.

This also underlines the importance of making the mobile purchasing experience quick and easy. Everything from your website design to your checkout process needs to be as frictionless as possible.

Shoppers Are Buying Early

It was predicted that online holiday shoppers were going to start shopping earlier this year, and the recommendation was to ramp up marketing campaigns as soon as October in preparation for Black Friday.  

While the early sales don’t necessarily drive the most transactions or revenue, we recommend incorporating a strategy that sees any major holiday sale come with an increased online presence beforehand as many users are looking and may even end up purchasing before the “official” sales period begins. Engaged users and those who click through means more people entering the funnel and more people to re-market to later when the sales really begin!

We took this strategy to heart, firing up some “Pre-Black Friday” campaigns to get the word out and get users engaging. In the week leading up to Black Friday, conversion volume saw an almost 110% increase compared to the same period in the previous year. Revenue also saw a 87% increase!

 Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday

While Black Friday is one of the most anticipated sales of the year – it is still often associated with door crasher deals and people lining up early in the morning at stores to get the best savings. Meanwhile, Cyber Monday is considered the big day for online shopping. Question is, who actually comes out victorious in the digital world?

Turns out Black Friday still drives more website traffic, but users are holding off purchasing, possibly for the better online deal, and buying on Cyber Monday. 

For this eCommerce client, Black Friday overall website sessions were ~223,000 with slightly more than 5,000 transactions, vs. 196,000 sessions on Cyber Monday with approximately 7,600 transactions.  Black Friday revenue accounted for 41.25% of the total revenue for these two days while Cyber Monday accounted for 58.75% of sales. Winner: Cyber Monday!

In 2020, anticipating that users will wait a few extra days in pursuit of better savings will be a key part of the holiday marketing strategy.

Cyber Monday vs. Boxing Day

So, Cyber Monday came out on top of Black Friday, but how did it stack up against the historical king of Canadian sales events – Boxing Day?

In terms of transactions and revenue, Cyber Monday won here as well. In fact, Cyber Monday sales came out ahead of the entire Boxing Week sales.

This doesn’t mean that we are recommending writing off Boxing Day altogether, just that it may be worth taking a close look at where to utilize your budget and when would be the most effective time to amp up marketing campaigns during the online shopping season. 

Planning for the 2020 Holiday Season

If there’s one big takeaway from 2019, it’s that Cyber Monday is a high traffic and high revenue sales event that outperformed all other sales of the same season. A successful marketing campaign in 2020 needs to include a well thought out Cyber Monday strategy to capitalize on shoppers who are looking for deals and willing to purchase online! 

It will be interesting to see the growth of Cyber Monday in 2020, as our Google / CPC campaigns saw a 47% increase in revenue for Cyber Monday 2019 compared to same period in 2018. Google / CPC also drove 24% more sessions during the Cyber Monday 2019 period vs 2018.

Want to start planning out a marketing strategy for your business that includes the 2020 Holiday Season? It’s never too early to start. Get in touch with us and lets chat!