Cyber Monday couldn’t have been more of a boon to online and brick-and-click retailers. This fast-growing, can’t-miss shopping event raked in $2.29 billion in sales and now stands as the biggest online shopping day ever, with 16 percent growth over Cyber Monday 2012. Here are some other staggering facts and figures:

  • Tablets dominated mobile conversion, accounting for 12.7 percent of total online sales. Mobile overall garnered $419 million in sales.
  • Who shopped from their phones? People in Alaska and Hawaii. In those states, 27 percent of sales were driven by mobile versus an 18 percent national average.
  • Contrary to the early morning crush of Black Friday, peak buying times were 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST on Cyber Monday, when sales hit $150 million per hour.

But here’s something else to consider now that the Cyber Monday dust has settled: retailers used this mission-critical day to test.

In my November 11 post, I talked about the importance of testing and working responsively during the holiday shopping season. For retailers, it’s the optimal time to try out new messaging and innovative promotions and to react to the patterns evolving in real time. My takeaway was that retailers shouldn’t fear taking chances during the holidays. The data emerging from Monday’s buying frenzy wholly supports that Adobe clients, in fact, adopted this “take the risk” strategy in the end.

Not only were sales off the chart on Cyber Monday, but at Adobe we saw an overwhelming utilization of Adobe Target, with traffic spikes more than 50 percent higher than preholiday levels. The per-second requests were record breaking, indicating that Adobe customers kept testing during a period that could make or break their entire year. They tested offers. They trotted out promotions. They delivered targeted digital content to consumers. They made an effort to squeeze as much conversion potential out of Cyber Monday as possible, from both new and existing customers. They didn’t just weather the storm, they harnessed its power and went into full testing and optimization mode this Cyber Monday—and it paid off. Not only were Cyber Monday conversions off the charts, but this innovative best practice is a critical step in the development of both ongoing and future holiday—and evergreen—data-driven marketing initiatives. It also lays the groundwork for deep, meaningful access to broader audience bases, segmentation exercises, and for optimizing revenue goals as countless retailers charge toward the December 25 finish line.

Cyber Monday was one for the record books. But, if you missed out from a testing perspective, the pace of holiday shopping continues to be fast and furious. It’s not too late. Now, too, is an ideal time to roll out your latest and greatest from promotions to brand messaging, content delivery to targeted outreach. Test, react, optimize, and prepare to count yourself among this season’s success stories.

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