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Black Friday: Marketers Reap the Rewards with High Customer Conversion Rates

December 5, 2014

Black Friday lived up to retail expectations by delivering an 85% increase in customer conversions, according to The Exchange Lab, the world’s largest programmatic digital media marketplace which benchmarks price across all the major media trading platforms.

Originating in the US, Black Friday (28th November) is now regarded as the start of the Christmas sales period with many online retailers offering substantial discounts and targeted promotions to drive consumer purchases. The most-up-to-date figures on digital media trading, from The Exchange Lab, show:

Key findings:

  • A significant spike in customer conversion rates, while the price of media (CPM) remained relatively static
  • Customer conversion rates increased by 85% compared to the Friday before (21st November), while CPMs only increased by £0.02
  • A conversion rate of 0.13% was also recorded on the Thursday (27th November) leading into Black Friday. This was a 57% increase on the Thursday before
  • By Saturday (29th November) customer conversions had returned to the levels expected for this time of year
  • The price of CPMs stayed static throughout the weekend which is unique to media – with any other traded commodity prices would increase in line with demand
  • The figures show the benefits of taking a multi-platform programmatic approach to media planning and buying
  • Employing a multi-platform strategy on one of the busiest trading days of the year means clients have access to inventory at scale, without a significant impact on price

The data also provides insight into user engagement by device and time of day. During the first half of the day most consumers were using desktops. By the afternoon users gradually migrated towards smartphones and tablets, which were then used predominately from 4pm onwards.

Interestingly, despite more consumers turning to mobile devices later in the day, desktop users still converted at a higher rate during this time.

James Aitken, CEO at The Exchange Lab, said: “These media trading insights demonstrate the scale of the opportunity for brands to engage consumers through programmatically-driven advertising campaigns during this key retail period. While Black Friday is a relatively new phenomenon in the UK, it has clearly delivered ROI for advertisers. The marketers that took a multichannel approach to media trading successfully accommodated changing consumer habits throughout the day, and achieved the best prices.”

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