Cyber Week 2017, Part 2: Hourly…

Cyber Week 2017, Part 2: Hourly Data

Part 2 of the Hitwise Cyber Week Insights 2017 Report

In “Cyber Week – Part 1”, Hitwise saw that online retail industry grew by 6% YoY to 1.4 billion visits.

In Part 2, Hitwise dissected what happened hour by hour. Our top headlines include:

– Black Friday is like no other weekday. Retail traffic at 12am was 82% higher than the previous day.
– The early hours of Black Friday were filled with Computers, Electronics and Video Games. This was then replaced by Apparel, Beauty & Toys in the late evening.
– Amazon trumped all other players over Cyber Week. Visits on Cyber Monday were 8% higher YoY, with Email spiking at 2am, 6am, 10am and 1pm.
– Pretty Little Thing saw 87% growth on Black Friday YoY. The fast fashion brand relied heavily on Social Media, seeing surges at 7pm and 11pm.

What Happened Hour by Hour

Online Visit sand Searches to the Retail Industry


Key Dates: Online Retail Industry

Black Friday is like no other weekday.

Retail traffic peaked at 8pm-9pm on the day before Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

UK Cyber Week 2017: Visits by Hour
Source: Hitwise Intelligence, Hourly Data. Industry: Shopping & Classifieds

In contrast, Black Friday saw 82% more visits at midnight, vs. the previous day. Retail sites also surged from 9am, which was 67% higher than the previous day.

Hourly Visits by Retail Vertical

Zooming into the sub-industries of Retail, we can see that category specialists peaked at different hours.

UK Cyber Week 2017: Peaks per Vertical
Source: Hitwise Intelligence, Hourly Data. Share of traffic per vertical, over Black Friday. * Table excludes Department Stores (i.e. multi-categories).

The early hours of Black Friday were filled with Computers, Electronics and Video Games. This was then replaced by Apparel, Beauty & Toys in the late evening.

Hourly Searches by Retail Vertical

The sub-industry peaks also correlated with searches per hour.

UK Cyber Week 2017: Search Peaks
Source: Hitwise Intelligence, Hourly Data. Share of search term, over Black Friday. * Table features terms from the Top 100 Searches to the Shopping & Classifieds Industry.

Searches for “Black Friday Deals” and specific retailers, like “Currys” and “Argos”, surged in the morning. Toward the end of the day, branded searches for supermarkets, apparel brands and retailers, took over.

The Top 5 Retailers

Amazon, eBay, Argos, John Lewis, and Currys


Hourly Visits: Top 5 Retailers

Similar to 2016, Amazon took 25.2% of all retail traffic on Black Friday.

UK Cyber Week 2017: Visits for Top 5
Source: Hitwise Intelligence, Hourly Data. Top 5 based on traffic to Shopping & Classifieds Industry.

This was followed by eBay, which accounted for 5.5%. Amazon’s dominance can be seen across all hours, with visits rising at 10am and 7-9pm.

Hourly Index: Top Retailers on Black Friday

If we look at hourly share within each retailer, we can see when retailers gained traffic compared to the industry.

UK Cyber Week 2017: Hourly Index Black Friday
Source: Hitwise Intelligence, Hourly Data. Hourly Index = Retailer’s spread of traffic over the day, compared to the Shopping & Classifieds industry average.

Argos and John Lewis had early morning peaks on Black Friday. eBay had a higher share of visits in the afternoon, compared to the industry.

Hourly Index: Top Retailers on Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday returned to the normal weekday, peaking in the evening at 8pm.

UK Cyber Week 2017: Hourly Index Cyber Mon
Source: Hitwise Intelligence, Hourly Data. Hourly Index = Retailer’s spread of traffic over the day, compared to the Shopping & Classifieds industry average.

Amazon & Currys experienced a different surge from the industry average. Visits to their sites took greater share at 5-7am.

Traffic Sources Hour by Hour

Search, Social Media, Rewards, Email, and Print Media


Traffic Sources: Top 50 Retailers, Risers, & Industry

Search was the top traffic source to the retail industry.

UK Cyber Week 2017: Traffic Sources
Source: Hitwise Intelligence, Daily Data. % Clicks per channel to the Shopping & Classifieds Industry, Top 50 Retailers and Top 50 Risers.

Compared to the industry average, the Top 50 Retailers had larger reliance on Social, Email and Print Media. The Top 50 Risers also had larger reliance on Rewards & Directories.

Traffic Sources for Top 50: Black Friday

Search was by far the largest traffic source on Black Friday, rising at 9am.

UK Cyber Week 2017: Traffic Sources Black Friday
Source: Hitwise Intelligence, Hourly Data. * Traffic Source to the Top 50 Domains in Shopping & Classifieds, as a share of All Categories per hour.

On a smaller scale, Social surged at 11pm-2am, whereas Rewards spiked at 7am. Email and Print Media saw a constant share from 6am-5pm.

Traffic Sources for Top 50: Cyber Monday

The rise in Search was delayed on Cyber Monday, occurring at 11am.

UK Cyber Week 2017: Traffic Sources Cyber Mon
Source: Hitwise Intelligence, Hourly Data. * Traffic Source to the Top 50 Domains in Shopping & Classifieds, as a share of All Categories per hour.

Cyber Monday also saw higher reliance on Social and Email. Rewards dropped in comparison to Black Friday.

Amazon: How was Email Used on Cyber Monday? 

Email was a key part to Amazon’s strategy on Cyber Monday, with channel reliance growing by 25% YoY.

UK Cyber Week 2017: Amazon on Cyber Mon
Source: Hitwise Intelligence, Hourly Data. * Clicks from Email, as a share of All Categories per hour. Screenshots from Amazon Emails.

The retailer saw several peaks throughout the day (2am, 6am, 10am and 1pm), which corresponded to emails that were sent in the early morning (featuring deals of the day) and at lunchtime (emphasising the end of deals).

Pretty Little Thing: How was Social Used on Black Friday?

Pretty Little Thing also saw explosive growth on Black Friday (+87% in visits YoY).

UK Cyber Week 2017: Pretty Little Thing
Source: Hitwise Intelligence, Hourly Data. * Clicks from Social, as a share of All Categories per hour. Screenshots from PLT’s Facebook, Youtube and Website.

The fast fashion brand relied on Social Media to promote discounts and flash competitions, particularly in the evening hours. To create urgency, PLT also featured a countdown on their site, with the percentage of discounts dropping by the hour.