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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.