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 the Chief Performance Marketing Officer for POSSIBLE, Jason supports the agency's global Marketing Sciences and Media Services programs.
His primary role is to help POSSIBLE teams and clients use data to craft digital strategies that attract, convert, and retain customers - maximizing ongoing ROI across paid, earned, and owned channels. He believes that brands can better serve their customers by understanding audience behavior, and that messaging should be targeted to individual customers through the use of testing, behavioral targeting, and CRM initiatives.
Jason has written extensively about digital analytics, optimization and digital strategy, including an ongoing column at ClickZ.com. He is the co-author of "Actionable Web Analytics: Using Data to Make Smart Business Decisions," which is one of the leading texts in the field of digital analytics. His client roster includes Microsoft, Nike, Nokia, Dell, Ford, Sony, PayPal/eBay, P&G, Alcoa, Expedia, Mazda, Intel, and Motorola, and more. Jason is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars around the world ranging from the Cannes Lions, Adobe Omniture Summits, eMetrics, SES, ad:tech, BazaarVoice, and many other WPP events.
Follow him on Twitter @JasonBurby.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT