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Digital Marketing News & Best Practices - Adlucent Search Pros(e)

The Results Are In: 2017 Holiday Weekend PLA Performance

Posted by Christin Evans on December 1, 2017

In a recent survey we conducted, 69% of consumers indicated that they planned to shop during the 2017 Thanksgiving weekend.  So now that one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year is behind us and we’ve emerged from our turkey comas, let’s take a moment to evaluate retailer performance data of our clients to see how consumers shopped during the official kickoff to the holiday season.  We chose to look specifically at Google Shopping data as this ad format has been a key driver in connecting shoppers to products in recent years.

From Thanksgiving Day through to Cyber Monday, we saw PLA impressions increase a robust 42% year over year.  PLA-sourced sales were up 27% year over year, and revenue by 35%.  And programs were growing at a steady pace, with return on ad spend (ROAS) up nearly 8% this year versus last year.  With the 5 shopping days driving such strong numbers, let’s dive deeper into the data and analyze it day-by-day.

Thanksgiving Day: Growing In Popularity Among Shoppers
While retailers like REI, Nordstrom and The Home Depot opted to shutter their storefronts on Thanksgiving Day, there was still a flurry of activity on their websites. For Adlucent clients leveraging PLAs, traffic grew at a rate of 27% year over year (YoY) while orders grew a healthy 19% over 2016.  Consumers were eager to check out the deals online and were enticed by what they saw.  While this is steady growth for Thanksgiving Day, we believe that many consumers began researching sale items on this day, purchasing deals they couldn’t pass up, and taking note of what they might consider purchasing before the end of the shopping holiday.

Black Friday and Saturday: Commanding Consumer Attention
Black Friday was our second highest traffic day this holiday season and consumer shopping interest showed a healthy increase over last year.  Black Friday 2017 generated 22% more sales than in 2016 and brought in 35% more revenue, too.  Saturday was a steady day with 26% more sales than last year and 30% more revenue YoY.  

Sunday: Growing in Revenue Performance
Sunday demonstrated the biggest growth in revenue of all the holiday shopping days, representing 44% YoY.  As Sunday signified the end of the weekend, it is possible that consumers wanted to cash in on the deals they had their eyes on before starting work on Monday.  For this reason, it’s important to keep ad visibility strong through the end of the holiday weekend.

Cyber Monday: Bringing Home the Bacon
Cyber Monday 2017 was one for the books, becoming the biggest online shopping day in US history.  According to our PLA performance data, Adlucent clients saw a revenue increase of 37% YoY and 32% more sales than last year.  Adding to this excitement, many of our clients have reported that sales still continue to remain steady after Cyber Monday—shaping us up for a robust holiday shopping season.  

Mobile: Catching Up With Desktop
During the busy holiday week, we’ve seen mobile grow at impressive rates over the last few years. This year is no exception.  While clicks from desktop dropped 7% from 2016, and tablet dropped 8%,  they increased a whopping 42% for mobile.  But consumers weren’t just poking around on their smartphones—they were buying, too.  Revenue grew 94% and sales by 46% YoY on mobile.  Knowing this, we recommend that marketers boost investment in mobile PLAs to reach these shoppers for the remainder of the holidays.

As a thought for next holiday season, with the adoption of Smart Speakers growing to 7% of the US population in just two years, it will be interesting to watch how consumers continue to evolve their mobile shopping behaviors.

Your business is unique, so your data may look a little different.  If you weren’t happy with your results this past weekend, rest assured that there is still time to make adjustments and take action to finish the holiday season off strong.  Looking for more insights? A great resource is our recent white paper, Seven Retail Paid Search Strategies to Capture More Holiday Sales.

Do you have any interesting insights to share? Tell us about them below!

New Data Show Consumers Research Online, But Buy Everywhere, Adlucent
Cyber Monday Becomes Largest Online Shopping Holiday in History, CNBC
The Smart Audio Report, NPR & Edison Research

Topics: 2017 holiday shopping data, Cyber Monday performance, Featured Post, pla, PLA holiday perfomance, product listing ads


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