** Also read our full analysis of Cyber Monday 2016**

Black Friday 2016 is in the books! But the success and scale of what is widely regarded as the “starting line” of the holiday shopping season can be a little bit hard to gauge. Doubly so if you’re in the trenches preparing for Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, all remaining shopping days before guaranteed Christmas gift delivery expires and flipping the switch to a 2017 shopping experience.

Don’t have time for in-depth analysis just yet? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered with all of the major data points from Black Friday 2016. In no particular order, here they are:

Average Order Value (AOV)

2015: $141.61

2016: $152.86

AOV Increase: 8%

What does that mean? Everyone likes to see an AOV increase! More consumer spending means more commissions for affiliates. Whether it’s due to better marketing by affiliates, better BF prep by merchants, higher site-wide product price averages, more sales through mobile devices or many other variables is hard to say. It’s certainly a combination of those elements, and a trend everyone hopes to see each year.

Click-through Rate (CTR):

2015: 4.97%

2016: 6.59%

CTR Increase: 1.62%

What does that mean? Any CTR rate can be misleading as to determine a CTR you first need an ad impression to weigh the click through against. 2016’s CTR increase could be caused by two situations. The first is that consumers simply clicked on more ads than they did last year. And while that’s entirely possible, the second situation is more plausible. Instead of more clicks on banner ads that also log an ad display, affiliates used more deep-linked custom links than ever before. Custom links will track the click through, but not a display count.

Conversion Rate:

2015: 7.2%

2016: 6.5%

Conversion rate decrease: 0.7%

What does that mean? Between a higher AOV which may have indicated largely higher average prices on consumer products and Cyber Monday hot on Black Friday’s heels, it’s not surprising that conversion rates slipped slightly for 2016. Conversely, we fully anticipate to see a higher conversion rate for Cyber Monday 2016 than that of 2015.

Mobile Sales %:

2015: 26.5%

2016: 31.6%

Mobile Sales Increase: 5.1%

What does that mean? Almost one-third of consumers made their purchases from a mobile device instead of a personal computer. Merchants are offering better mobile buying experiences while affiliates are getting better at advertising to their visitors on mobile devices. Additionally, the buying behavior of consumers is continually moving towards a “check the price online while you’re in the store” method of purchasing. If the consumer finds a better Black Friday price online over the in-store price, they can make that purchase from their phones from the store floor.

New Customer %:

2015: 40.6%

2016: 45.7%

New Customer Decrease: 5.1%

What does this mean: A lot of new customers are drawn in by Black Friday savings, promotions and deals. For comparison, the average new customer rate through the affiliate channel for the month of October was 31.5%.

Top Tools By Sales Volume:

2015

  1. Banner/Text Ads (62%)
  2. Custom Links (29%)
  3. Datafeeds (4%)
  4. Affiliate Link Encoder (2.5%)
  5. SnapLinker (1%)

2016

  1. Banner/Text Ads (58%)
  2. Custom Links (33.5%)
  3. Datafeed (3.5%)
  4. SnapLinker (2%)
  5. Affiliate Link Encoder (1%)

What does that mean? A significant decrease in banner/text ads and rise in custom links indicate that affiliates are working harder and harder to integrate advertising into their content via handcrafted custom links. Well done affiliates.

Busiest Shopping Times On Black Friday:

Black Friday Traffic

The two busiest points of Black Friday, as measured by traffic through clicks, were between 9-10am MST and 5:30-6:30pm MST. The graph above represents the traffic volume through out the entirety of Black Friday (graph is in CST).
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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