As online retailers take stock of 2015’s Cyber Weekend, incorporating Black Friday (BF) & Cyber Monday (CM), Optimus Performance Marketing wanted to demonstrate how a well-planned affiliate marketing strategy has seen their clients outperform the market during these key sales days.

The British Retail Consortium reported a mixed picture of overall November trading with shoppers holding out for reductions on the much-hyped BF and CM events.  They reported a 25% uplift in trading compared to the beginning of the month – with sales of furniture and large electrical equipment up on 2014.  Total November sales in all stores increased by 0.7% (compared to 2.2% in 2014) – with online sales of non-food items up 11.8% on 2014 – pointing to a further move online in consumer spending.

Against this backdrop Optimus can report that out of the 140 affiliate programmes they manage (globally), their UK clients (90 programmes) showed the following averages for BF and CM sales combined*:

  • Total Sales Revenues – up 43%
  • Total Sales by Volume – up 80%
  • Black Friday represented 60% of sales
  • Cyber Monday represented 40% of sales

This shows an increase in sales in excess of the market trend, driven by various initiatives including sponsored posts, increased exposure, offline-to-online promotions and discounts. Client sales by sector showed the following trend*:

  • Fashion – Sales up 36%
  • Home and Garden – Sales up 57%
  • Travel – Sales up 76%

Optimus also looked at patterns across both days in terms of spending and volume and it is notable that there was a substantial increase in online daytime spending on BF over 2014 relative to 2015. The peak hours were between 10am and 2pm, which recorded higher volumes than in the evening. This was less prevalent on CM which had its peak between 8 and 10pm in the evening.

We believe that the strong sales growth seen by our retail clients was the result of a well-considered marketing approach to the Cyber Weekend. With the media hype surrounding this period, customers increasingly expect to see deals and offers.” said Mark Russell, CEO of Optimus. “Last year retailers learned a lot about the downsides of this period and were better prepared for 2015 in terms of what they offered as well as drip feeding communications to spread the load on their sites more evenly. This is shown by the amount of purchasing we’ve seen across the day as opposed to large spikes on interest.” he continued.  “In conclusion, what we have seen is retailers managing the cyber weekend better, which has delivered consistent improvement in their online sales.

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(*Source: Optimus Aggregated Client Reporting Data 2014-2015)

Author: Alem Al-Khamiri

The head of SEO, PPC and digital content at Optimus-PM, Alem is Google AdWords certified and has years of digital marketing & website management experience.

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