Retail holiday sales from November 1st through Cyber Monday 2012 rose 16% year over year to more than $16.3 billion.
And online retail e-commerce spending on November 23rd - Black Friday - topped $1 billion this year, according to market research firm CommScore, up 26% from 2011. Thanksgiving Day spending rose 17%, and on Cyber Monday online e-commerce spending topped $1.5 billion, up 20% from 2011, according to CommScore, though the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark report tracked a 30% increase among 500 retailers.
The data from our retail client base is even more exciting!
Our clients’ total revenue across this 5 day period grew 70% from 2011 to 2012. Revenue from one-time buyers grew an astounding 104% during this period in just one year, reflecting both the continued strategic importance of acquisition marketing, and also the enormous growth in eCommerce sales in general. And, to our delight, our clients’ saw 49.5% growth in revenue from repeat buyers – customers who purchased 2 or more times – from the same 5-day period in 2012 vs 2011.
Windsor Circle’s Retail Analytics and Retention Marketing platform is revealing some powerful insights about buying trends through the holiday season, particularly when comparing 2011 to 2012 and one-time buyers vs repeat buyers. We’ve analyzed purchase history across our entire customer base, representing hundreds of millions of transactions, and took a deep dive into the 5 days from Thanksgiving Thursday to Cyber Monday. Here’s what we found:
- Cyber Monday wins by a mile: From 2011 to 2012, Cyber Monday had both the largest growth (86% YoY) and represented the largest share (41%) of the 5 days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday.
- The day with the second largest growth in total revenue was Sunday at 74.5%, followed by Black Friday at 70%.
- Even though Thanksgiving Day saw the lowest amount of revenue across the 5-day period, it experienced the second highest growth, at 102%, due in part to more brick and mortar retailers pushing Black Friday sales into Thanksgiving evening, and more shoppers using mobile and tablet to price compare and make purchases while at the stores.
- Cyber Monday's share of total revenue for this 5 day period grew from 38.8% to 41.7%, while the largest drop occurred on Saturday, from 15.1% to 13.3%
- Black Friday remained the second largest shopping day, at 21.6% of total revenue for this 5 day period, even though it dropped from 22.1% in 2011.
When comparing the amount of total revenue across the 5-day period by each day, Cyber Monday comes out ahead with over 42% of the total revenue pie, followed by Black Friday with 21% and Sunday with 16%.
Revenue from One-Time Buyers
Revenue from one-time buyers grew 104% during this period in just one year, reflecting both the continued strategic importance of acquisition marketing, and also the enormous growth in eCommerce sales in general.
When comparing the amount of total revenue that came from one-time buyers across the 5-day period by each day, Cyber Monday comes out ahead with over 41% of the revenue pie, followed by Black Friday with 20% and Sunday with 17%. Cyber Monday's share of revenue from one-time buyers across this 5 day period grew from 37% to 41% from 2011 to 2012. All other days’ share of total one-time revenue declined, except Thanksgiving, which remained the same.
Our data also revealed that:
- Revenue from One-time buyers accounted for 44.3% of total revenue in 2011, and grew to 52.1% of total revenue in 2012.
- While all 5 days saw at least 85% growth in one-time buyers, the day with the largest growth in one time buyers was Cyber Monday, at 125% from 2011 to 2012, followed by Thanksgiving, at 101%.
- Black Friday had the lowest growth in revenue from one-time buyers, at 85%. Its share of the total revenue from the 5 day period fell from 21.8% to 19.7% in 2012.
Key Insight: Cyber Monday makes dramatic Shift Towards Acquisition marketing, but still shows huge growth in Repeat Buyers. On Cyber Monday in 2011, 42% of revenue was from one-time buyers, while 58% were from repeat-buyers. Both groups of shoppers on Cyber Monday represented the 2 largest sources of revenue growth across the 5-day period, yet the one-time buyer revenue grew more than twice as fast as repeat buyer revenue, shifting the weighting of revenue on Cyber Monday, with 51% from one-time buyers.
Revenue from Repeat Buyers
Total revenue from repeat buyers grew 49.5% during this period. Due to the even larger growth of overall revenue from One-time buyers, the share of revenue represented by repeat-buyers during this 5-day period dropped from 55.7% of total revenue in 2011, to 47.9% of total revenue in 2012. But while its share of total revenue declined, the sheer number of repeat-buyers, transactions, and dollar value increased due to improvements in retention marketing techniques, in part enabled by Windsor Circle’s technology.
- Cyber Monday and Black Friday were virtually tied in terms of revenue growth from repeat-buyers - 57.8% and 58.4%, respectively.
- Black Friday was the only day with a larger portion of revenue coming from repeat buyers, at 52%
- Cyber Monday’s revenue was split nearly evenly between one-time buyers (51%) and repeat buyers (49%).
- Repeat Buyers helped keep Black Friday in the middle of the pack, with YoY growth of 70%
- Our data showed an average life-time value of a repeat-buyer as nearly 5x higher than a one-time customer.
When comparing the amount of total revenue that came from repeat buyers across the 5-day period by each day, Cyber Monday comes out ahead with over 42% of the revenue pie, followed by Black Friday with 24% and Sunday with 14%.
Key Insight: Black Friday saw the slowest growth in one-time buyers, at 85% YoY, of the 5-day period, while it saw the fastest growth across the 5-day period in revenue from repeat buyers, at 58.4%, surpassing even Cyber Monday. And while the overall growth in revenue from one-time buyers surpassed that of repeat buyers 2 to 1, Black Friday emerged the day with the largest weighting of revenue from repeat purchases.
Based on the statistics above, our guidance to online retailers in 2013 will be to place a larger emphasis on marketing to repeat buyers than one-time buyers on Black Friday, and to focus a larger portion of acquisition marketing dollars on Cyber Monday sales, and to focus on converting one-time buyers acquired prior to Thanksgiving 2013 into repeat buyers on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.