Online shopping on Cyber Monday was the biggest online shopping day in history with an 8.5 percent increase in online sales. Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday was popular too with overall online sales up 12.6 percent.
Acceleration Partners’ data mirrors these trends with the Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday weekend persisting as the busiest shopping days of the year to date for e-commerce companies.
For the full holiday weekend, Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, affiliates reported strong sales growth, increasing by 83 percent over 2013. This year, Cyber Monday affiliate sales were 27 percent higher than Black Friday. The largest year over year growth in sales was on Black Friday, up 96 percent with Cyber Monday a very close second, up 93 percent. While Cyber Monday has traditionally been the marquee day for online shopping, more people are shopping online on Black Friday to avoid crowded stores and busy parking lots.
Ad costs typically rise during the holiday season as a result of increased demand. According to our data, affiliate commissions only increased by half as much as sales, demonstrating the value and effectiveness of the affiliate channel. This is particularly true when programs are closely managed, ensuring that affiliates are paid commensurately with the value of the traffic they drive. Affiliate commissions rose 50 percent Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday as compared to a year earlier. Black Friday commissions increased by 68 percent and commissions were up by 59 percent on Cyber Monday.
If you are a marketer still looking to cash in on holiday sales, don’t fret. Here are three tips to make the most out of the rest of the holiday season
- Provide compelling offers. Ensure your holiday sales offers are competitive throughout the holiday season so affiliates are compelled to promote them. Shoppers are price-aware and may be holding out until later in the holiday season to get the best deals. It’s a competitive market so you can’t let up for an instant.
- Offer incentives. Incent affiliate partners by offering bonuses for hitting sales thresholds. This can help to cut through the holiday clutter and inspire affiliates to promote your holiday offers throughout the season.
- Feature the right products. One of the most important decisions you can make for your holiday affiliate campaign is selecting the right products. Affiliates are always interested in hearing about best-selling products that convert at the highest rates. And as holiday shipping deadlines approach, consider promoting products that can be shipped to arrive by Christmas and gift cards that can be delivered electronically.
As more and more brands compete online during the holiday season, the need to stand out is even more crucial. Few marketing channels for digital marketers are as effective for driving conversions as affiliate marketing. At the end of the day, affiliate marketing is incredibly effective at not only driving incremental sales, but also delivering an impressive return on investment for your brand.