Consumers continued their holiday shopping in November. Although the U.S. election impacted traffic and online shopping, consumers quickly picked up, leading to the biggest U.S. ecommerce day ever on Cyber Monday.
Behaviour changed and consumers were no longer waiting until Thanksgiving weekend to take advantage of promotions and sales. Analysts believe demand was “marginalised” as retailers steadied sales throughout the month instead of waiting until the end of the month.
Even though Cyber Monday was the biggest ecommerce day ever, the 15% YoY growth did not meet expectations. Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the proceeding weekend performed better with 21+ % increases YoY.
These patterns carried over to our clients as did the shift to e-commerce. Our clients reported Month over Month (MoM) increases in revenue, orders and clicks but saw declines when comparing Cyber Weekend YoY. Through this lens, there was a 3% decline in revenue and 12% decline in orders, data that aligns with what analysts have reported about shopping behaviours changing, including earlier shopping, in 2020.
Revenue, orders and clicks
Looking at our client data between October 2020 to November 2020, we saw an increase in revenue—up 95% MoM. This revenue increase was primarily driven by clients in the Apparel, Household and Health & Wellness business sectors.
Orders were also up 72% MoM but Average Order Value (AOV) was down 3% MoM, reiterating that consumers were shopping but spending less than they did last year. Consumer confidence hit a 3-month low in both the U.S. and globally with a record wave of new coronavirus cases and lockdowns.
While all affiliate partner/publisher types were up MoM, the largest increases were seen in Deal partners (up 428% MoM) and Coupon (up 82% MoM). This is reflective of consumers continuing to shift toward shopping tactics that will save them money, especially through the use of digital coupons and searching for deals.
Acceleration Partners client performance data: November 2020
Overall, November “wins” for Acceleration Partners’ clients globally include promotions throughout the entire month, more deal and coupon placement opportunities pushing deep discounts and exposure with mass media partners.
- Most of our clients saw double digit increases in revenue with those in the Apparel vertical driving a 67% increase, Health & Wellness seeing a 50% increase and Household delivering a remarkable 121% increase MoM. These elevated revenue rates were driven by increased promotions throughout the month of November paired with new placements with loyalty, deal and coupon partners, and exposure with mass media partners.
- While revenue was up 95% MoM, commissions were up only 83% MoM, resulting in a higher Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) for many of our clients. The increase in placement exposure continued to deliver positive results for many brands including a 137% increase in new customer revenue MoM.
- Deal partners were up 428% in revenue MoM, with a 354% increase in orders with a 164% increase in clicks. Consumers leveraged deal partners to find the best of web deals and promotions and converted quickly. All other affiliate partner segments were up double to triple digits MoM as consumers continued to leverage Loyalty partners to get rewarded for their purchase (up 91% MoM in revenue). Revenue driven by Content affiliates were up 71% MoM and Mass Media publishers, up 139% MoM.
Acceleration Partners’ clients: November over October 2020 data analysis
Affiliate Partners: November over October 2020 data analysis
Cyber Weekend comparison (November 26-30, 2020 vs. November 28-December 2, 2019)
Like our industry insights, Cyber Weekend growth in 2020 did not compare to 2019. Because many of our clients’ promotions and sales started earlier in the month, we saw a 65% decrease in clicks YoY and a 12% decrease in orders.
Cyber Weekend essentially became Cyber Month.
Even though traffic was down YoY, revenue was only down 3% YoY, with some clients, including those in the Food & Beverage and Health & Wellness verticals, have their revenue increase triple digits over last year (up 106% and 162% respectively). This was driven by the shift in consumer demand for food delivery services, and health and wellness products.
The traditional gifting verticals, including Apparel and Technology, were up 34% and 62% in revenue YoY as consumers were still focused on winter clothing, athleisurewear and electronics.
Revenue for brands in the Household vertical was down 15% YoY as consumer confidence continued to decline globally. Although consumers are spending on gifts, the reality is that most are spending less. In the U.S. specifically, 37% of consumers are expected to spend less this holiday season; that could drop to 30% with a second stimulus check.
Cyber Weekend Comparison of Acceleration Partners’ Clients
Cyber Weekend Comparison of Affiliate Partners
Up next … December 2020 client data
Next month, we’ll share our client performance data from December 2020 (comparing to November 2020).
Questions about this data or the strategies other brands are finding successful? Contact our team!
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Kelly Ground is the Associate Director of Strategic Accounts at Acceleration Partners