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Black Friday shoppers took six days to complete online purchases…

Shoppers in the UK, US and Australia took a total of six days to complete their online Black Friday purchases, according to analysis compiled by Rakuten Marketing.

Analysing display, attribution and affiliate data factors, the research found the purchase journey generally commenced on the previous Saturday and, although Black Friday tends to cause a 20 hour cut in the total time taken to convert compared to an average weekend, shoppers still took an average of 142 hours to finalise transactions; from their first online interaction with a brand to the checkout stage.

Furthermore, shoppers took to discount publishers with their searches for the best deals, even when brands offered discounts on their websites directly. Rakuten Marketing saw 42 per cent of its conversions on Black Friday through cashback sites such as TopCashBack and discount sites including VoucherCodes.co.uk. 

Megan Dado, regional senior director of Rakuten Affiliate Europe at Rakuten Marketing said: “Although there’s certainly a shorter journey to purchase, shoppers are less impulsive on Black Friday than brands might think. Like every other day of the year, they are still researching products and where they’re going to find the best deals in advance. Shopping sites like ShopStyle perform well because publishers optimise the consumer experience in accordance with these key dates.

“Black Friday only means big sales if brands have a complete view of a customer’s journey. Armed with insights about where shoppers are discovering their brand and where they eventually purchase, marketers can work out how to distribute their marketing spend effectively.”

A shortened customer journey around Black Friday is most apparent in the number of online advertisements consumers viewed before making a purchase. Whilst the average number of impressions across retail sectors including fashion, technology and beauty is just over 22 during an average weekend, Black Friday consumers view less than five ads before transacting.

The biggest difference can be seen in electronics and jewellery. Although it usually takes the average consumer as many as 54 ad impressions before making a technology purchase, the number of ads they need to see on Black Friday drops by a staggering 90 per cent to six impressions. For the jewellery sector, the drop is 86 per cent from 30 impressions to only four.

On average, consumers in the UK took 16 per cent less time in reaching the point of sale during Black Friday week, whereas this is only a 14 per cent drop for the US.