Cyber Week 2019 was another record setter in the US. Purchases from the top 50 US retailers rose +6% YoY during the Cyber 5, Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, according to Hitwise. Last week, we looked at winners from the biggest retail event of the year from a global perspective. Taking a deeper dive into the US market, which retailers, brands and categories saw the most YoY growth? Which channels worked for different retailers?
For a preview of what’s to come in our Holiday Unwrapped webinar, check out the insights below.
Clothing Retailers & Beauty Brands Generate Highest Growth
In our last article, we determined which retailers and brands had the highest visit share during the Cyber 5, but which ones had the most growth year-over-year?
ASOS, a leading fast fashion retailer, grew visit share by +188% this year. As the UK brand’s popularity continued to grow in 2019, Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals became a larger opportunity for the retailer this season. Other fast fashion retailers, such as Shein and Dolls Kill, also saw significant growth this year.
Aside from fast fashion, brands like Converse, Fabletics and Everlane, and retailers such as Marshall’s, also grew their visit share this season. The +168% growth in visit share for a brand like Converse shows the impact of effective direct-to-consumer advertising to engage shoppers as they holiday shop.
Jeffree Star Cosmetics had the highest rise in visit share of any brand with +175% growth. The beauty influencer released the Conspiracy Palette in early November and sold over 1 million palettes on launch day, prompting further visitation to the site during the Cyber 5. Established beauty brand, Estee Lauder also generated most visits this season, as did Dermstore, a skin care website for buying beauty products online.
Fastest Growing Retailers & Brands – Cyber 5 2019
11/28/19 – 12/2/19
Source: Hitwise, US. YoY growth of top Shopping & Classified sites, 11/28/19 – 12/2/19.
Electronics Leads the Pack with a Surge from Amazon Devices
The growth of fast fashion retailers above shows how difficult the battle for apparel will continue to be for Amazon. Of the top 15 categories, only Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry declined YoY by -8%. Despite launching dozens of new private-label lines this year and putting heavy investment into Amazon Fashion, the ecommerce retailer still struggles in this area.
The electronics category on Amazon produced the highest number of purchases on Black Friday with nearly 20% share among the top 15 categories. Along with Home & Kitchen and Toys & Games, the top three categories each sold over 1 million products on Black Friday 2019.
Although a smaller category, Grocery & Gourmet Food increased purchases by +49% YoY, likely a result of Amazon’s expanded grocery offerings through its partnership with Whole Foods. Amazon Devices sold +38% more units this year, especially of the Echo Dot (3rd Generation), which was the top selling item on Amazon on Black Friday. With new products, like the Echo Show, and new acquisitions, such as with Ring Doorbell, Amazon continued to draw in consumers with smart devices.
Top Categories by Purchases on Amazon
Black Friday 2019
Source: Hitwise, US. Total purchases and YoY growth of top categories on Amazon, 11/29/19.
Most Amazon Buyers Visited 7-13 Times During November
While the top 10 retailers did a fair job of converting hundreds of thousands of shoppers during the biggest sales of the year, some had more compelling offers that kept consumers coming back for more.
31% of people who made a purchase on Amazon on Black Friday visited the retailer 7-13 times during the month of November. On top of that another 26% of Black Friday buyers visited over 14 times in November. Amazon had deals throughout the entire month that prompted 57% of their Black Friday buyers to visit at least 7 times, which shows a strong engagement strategy from the ecommerce giant.
eBay had the highest share of Black Friday buyers that were Ultra-High frequency visitors. This makes sense for eBay since consumers have to keep checking back in to bid on their items, but it also speaks to the rise of eBay as a growing retail destination during the holidays.
The other eight retailers had the highest share of Black Friday buyers that were low frequency visitors. While it’s great to have customers who keep coming back, it bodes well for a company like Lowe’s that 62% of their Black Friday buyers only needed to come to the site that day to make their purchase decisions.
Distribution of Black Friday Buyers by Visit Frequency in November
Source: Hitwise, US. Share of visit frequency in November among Black Friday shoppers by retailer, week ending 11/30/19.
Social is a Strong Channel for Clicks to Amazon, eBay and Etsy
While it’s no surprise that search generated the highest share of clicks from Black Friday buyers, how did Amazon and eBay generate such high engagement that week? Both retailers had strong rates of social clicks with over 15% downstream share from each. Etsy was the only retailer that had more click share from social media than from search with 2.3% more clicks from social.
Kohl’s had the highest share of clicks from affiliates, which makes sense given that consumers need to use a discount code to get even bigger discounts from the retailer. Most retailers, like Amazon and Walmart, build the discounts into their carts automatically.
Home & Garden retailers, including Home Depot, Lowe’s and Wayfair, had the highest share of search clicks from buyers with at least 25%. Optimizing for search is the surest way to convert buyers on Black Friday, but the data proves that social, email and affiliates can be just as tactful.
Channel Mix of Black Friday Buyers
Week Ending 11/30/19
Source: Hitwise, US. Downstream traffic share from channels to top 10 retailers, week ending 11/30/19.
What to learn more about Holiday 2019 winners and the channels & campaigns that drove online success? Sign up to our biggest webinar, Holiday Unwrapped, on January 28th, 2020.