We’ve made it through another Cyber Five (the fancy term for the shopping bloodbath between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday) and the MAKA Digital team is breathing a sigh of relief and catching up on our ZZZs. Though Cyber Five was crazy, as always, it was also the best one yet—revenue numbers were higher than last year nearly across the board, and we gained worthwhile insights and learnings to be applied next year, the best of which we’ll share here.
Insight 1: Launch Campaigns Earlier to Compete with Large Retailers
Most of our clients’ campaigns launched at 12:00 a.m. on Black Friday in their respective time zones. But those who launched days before, or even just hours before, saw powerful revenue numbers come through before the clock even struck midnight. One client made 6% of their total Cyber Five revenue on Thursday night just by launching around 10:00 pm Pacific rather than 12:00 am Pacific. Our major takeaway here: As the biggest retailers, both online and brick-and-mortar, push their Cyber Five campaigns earlier and earlier into the week, other companies are smart to follow suit and launch their campaigns on Thanksgiving or even test launching on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Insight 2: Make Mentions of the Sale in Homepage Meta Descriptions
It’s a common strategy to include mentions of Cyber Five sales in paid search and shopping campaigns, but another channel that can benefit from this practice is organic search. During Cyber Five we ran a test for one client in which we updated their homepage meta description to mention their weekend sale, and this updated text received a click-through rate that was a full percent point higher than their traditional meta description. A word of warning, though—updating meta descriptions is dependent on Google’s bots and how fast they can crawl your website and update the new text in Google’s search results. Reverting back to regular text after the sale is also dependent on Google’s bots again crawling the site in a timely fashion, which leaves the potential for the sale-themed meta description to still be live after the sale is over. The best way to combat any confusion this may cause is to emphasize the timeframe of the sale within the text, such as “Shop our biggest sale of the year, through Cyber Monday,” or something similar. You can also force Google’s bots to crawl your site through the “Fetch as Google” link in Google Search Console, though it’s still not a complete guarantee that all text will be updated immediately.
Insight 3: Holiday-Themed Imagery Performs Better Than Traditional Imagery
Within the social media campaigns that ran over Cyber Five, we saw stronger responses to any imagery that was holiday-themed. If you’re not sure which holidays your customers celebrate, feel free to stick with a general holiday aesthetic—gift wrapping, lights, snow, pinecones and berries, or even just a red, green, gold or blue color scheme work well. Anything that’s outside of your traditional creative imagery will signify to viewers that this ad is something special and worthy of their attention. For us these holiday ads generated click-through rates that were roughly double our traditional ads.
Insight 4: More On-Site Payment Options
The option to check out with PayPal is ubiquitous across the internet by this point, but there are many other payment options that are worth considering if they’re not already implemented on your website. Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and Google Pay are some of the big players in the space, and the options will only grow as digital eCommerce expands. Though there are fees with any third-party payment tools, they can help to increase both checkout conversion rates and customer trust, as a study by Bounteous showed that 40% of shoppers feel more secure purchasing from a site with multiple payment options.
In addition, if you carry products with high price points, consider offering financing options on your website, such as paying for the product in multiple installments. This will cause the product to appear cheaper and can help overcome any reservations customers may have with the pricing.
Now that we’ve shared a few insights, we’d love to hear what you learned this Cyber Five. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and in the meantime, we’ll be gorging ourselves on sugar cookies and peppermint bark. From the team at MAKA Digital, happy holidays.