Blog Post

Email Marketing and Search Played Major Roles in Record-Breaking Thanksgiving Weekend


By Alanna Smith

The Thanksgiving holiday shopping season might have had mixed results for brick and mortar stores this year, but e-commerce sales skyrocketed. In fact, Cyber Monday smashed previous records by generating about $2.04 billion in sales, which is up 17% from last year. According to comScore, this year's Cyber Monday represented the heaviest online shopping day in history, as well as the first to pass $2 billion in sales.

So what was driving this year's historic day of shopping?

Custora, a predictive analytics platform, broke down the factors that pushed holiday weekend sales this year by tracking a sample of over 100 U.S. retailers and 100 million online shoppers:

  1. Email Marketing: According to Custora, email marketing drove the majority of sales over the holiday weekend, generating 27.3% of online orders on Black Friday and 23.9% on Cyber Monday. For the weekend as a whole, email marketing accounted for 23.1% of online sales
  2. Free Search: Free/organic search accounted for the second strongest sales conversion rates. Free search generated 18% of orders on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and 19.4% of orders for the entire holiday weekend.
  3. Paid Search: Paid search came in third for the holiday weekend, driving 18.5% of Black Friday sales and 16% of Cyber Monday sales. For the weekend as a whole, paid search generated 17% of online sales
Mobile also came in strong this year. An impressive 30.3% of Black Friday online orders and 21.9% of Cyber Monday online orders of were made on a mobile device. The Cyber Monday number is up 15.9% from Cyber Monday 2013. Apple devices brought in 78% of mobile sales, while Android only brought in 21.6%.

If there was a loser for the weekend, it was social media marketing. Social media platforms only accounted for 1.7% of online sales during the entire holiday weekend, according to Custora.

Conversion data for individual businesses, however, may be quite different. If you haven't already, consider signing up for Google Analytics or a similar program to see what worked for your company this year. You'll be able to identify where your leads are coming from and which marketing methods actually led to conversions and sales.

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