What seemed like minutes after Black Friday ended, I received a great report titled, "Coremetrics Benchmark Black Friday Report 2009," which analyzed how this year's Black Friday compared to last year's, and found some interesting trends. For those outside of the U.S., Black Friday is known as the biggest single shopping day of the year in the U.S. and falls the day after Thanksgiving. It's known as Black Friday because it can make or break a retailer's year, often pushing them into the black (profit) for the year.
Coremetrics, a Web analytics tool provider, takes data from more than 500 leading U.S. retailers (aggregated and anonymized) to understand general patterns in what it calls "peer-level benchmarking." It has the data across a number of different retail industries and is able to quickly look at changing trends. In its report, it uncovered a few industry trends out of its retail client base.
The most interesting included the following:
The last set of bullets indicates that consumers know what they're looking for and enter the site with specific intent, and if they don't find what they're looking for at the right price, they quickly move on. The biggest surprise to me was the jump in the bounce rate from 22 percent to nearly 31 percent. That means that nearly one in three visits to the site, landed on the site and immediately left without viewing more than one page. While that might be a common number for sites with heavy media driven traffic (arguably less qualified), what's surprising is the change from last year.
So now, if you don't generate interest when consumers land on your site they will leave faster than ever. Consumers know they have choices and can very easily find alternatives. If this isn't a good argument for the importance of customized and targeted landing pages, I'm not sure what is.
Getting this data quickly and seeing some of the trends got me thinking about a number of other things:
I'd like to thank Coremetrics for sharing this and for pulling it together so quickly. As mentioned, this is a great example of taking a very important day/campaign/initiative and quickly analyzing what's happening and sharing it. While this was done at a macro level (across hundreds of companies and shared to the public), it's a great example of what retailers everywhere should've been seeing this weekend based on their own companies' performance. But that analysis, of course, would have been more focused on recommendations to improve things going forward.
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As president of the Americas regions for the digital agency POSSIBLE, Jason is responsible for leading the long-term stability and growth of the region. Jason has 20-plus years experience in digital strategy. He is a long-time advocate of using data to inform digital strategies to help clients attract, convert, and retain customers. Jason supports our clients and employees in driving new engagements and delivering great work that works.
Jason speaks frequently about helping marketers take advantage of data to make smarter business decisions and improve the success of their organizations. He is the co-author of Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions.
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March 19, 2014