** Also read our full analysis of Black Friday 2016**

Hot on the heels of our Black Friday analysis post is today’s deep dive into the numbers from the single biggest online shopping day of the entire year: Cyber Monday. And oh boy, was it a big one. The biggest, in fact, according to a published report by Adobe that shows a 10.2% year-over-year increase in overall online sales, totaling up to a massive $3.39 billion in ecomm sales in just one day. Yes, that is billion with a B, all in 24 hours.

So, how did the affiliate channel perform within that overwhelming number? Get ready to crunch the numbers from a network perspective!

Average Order Value (AOV)

2015: $131.57

2016: $121.33

AOV Decrease: 7.7%

What does that mean? This significant AOV drop is impossible to attribute to one individual factor. Better sales, discounts and promotions, increasingly discount-savvy consumers, buyers holding off on Black Friday purchases for better Cyber Monday deals- all factors that could contribute to a drop in 2016’s AOV.

Click-through Rate (CTR):

2015: 6.29%

2016: 8.89%

CTR Increase: 2.6%

What does that mean? Much like the point above, this one is hard to boil down to a single cause. The analysis above also called out online consumers that are becoming increasingly better each year at researching discounts and finding the best deals, which was like one of the biggest factors in this huge 2.6% CTR jump. Why? With more online research from these savvy consumers, more clicks naturally follow to accomplish that research.

Conversion Rate:

2015: 9.1%

2016: 7.8%

Conversion rate decrease: 1.3%

What does that mean? Again, this number is explicitly tied to the prior metric. With a big increase in clicks, the number of sales that follow must also increase to maintain a high conversion rate. If consumers are clicking more to accomplish the same number of purchases, the conversion rate will naturally fall.

Mobile Sales %:

2015: 21.4%

2016: 28.4%

Mobile Sales Increase: 7%

What does that mean? Despite a big 7% increase from 2015, mobile sales were lagging behind Black Friday’s impressive numbers. Unlike Black Friday were deals occur both in-store and online, Cyber Monday is exclusive to the digital realm. Consumers likely gravitated towards PCs for the easiest deal discovery and online purchasing.

New Customer %:

2015: 32.8%

2016: 35.1%

New Customer Increase: 2.3%

What does this mean: As we had mentioned in yesterday’s article, the average new customer rate through the affiliate channel for the month of October was 31.5%. Cyber Monday clearly doesn’t have the big increase in new customer acquisition that Black Friday has produced in the last two years, instead staying pretty much inline with typical averages. This is likely due to merchants pushing Cyber Monday deals through channels that existing customers have “opted” into, like internal emails and retargeting, along side with their affiliate pushes.

Top Tools By Sales Volume:

2015

  1. Banner/Text Ads (66%)
  2. Custom Links (25%)
  3. Datafeeds (3.66%)
  4. Affiliate Link Encoder (2.5%)
  5. Dynamic Deal Feed (1.15%)

2016

  1. Banner/Text Ads (59.5%)
  2. Custom Links (32.5%)
  3. Datafeed (3.33%)
  4. SnapLinker (2%)
  5. Affiliate Link Encoder (1.25%)

What does that mean? This hierarchy of the most productive tools used by affiliates differs only slightly from Black Friday. Again, a dramatic rise in custom link usage paired with huge drop in banner ad reliance indicates affiliates are becoming better with how they integrate specific deep custom affiliate links into their content, opposed to relying on brand-level banner ads to attract and convert visitors.

Busiest Shopping Times On Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday 2017 Affiliate Traffic

What does that mean? Unlike Black Friday, the bulk of Cyber Monday shopping came through in the evening, presumably after consumers got home from work. The traffic spike at 4pm MST is clearly indicative of this, with the absolute peak occurring between 8-9pm MST.

Chad Waite
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Chad Waite

Marketing Manager at AvantLink
Chad first got involved in the affiliate space in 2010 as an AvantLink network rep and has seen every facet of the industry since. Besides online marketing, he enjoys mountain biking, trail running, spending time with his wife and kids, any movie with Harrison Ford, and the "Random Article" button on Wikipedia.
Chad Waite
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