November is a key month in e-commerce and retail, and we’ve been busy crunching the data to look for meaningful trends and unique insights based on the 1.2 billion customer records we’ve analyzed for our clients.

The sheer volume of data is staggering, and we’re lucky enough to work with some of the world’s leading brands and most innovative businesses, who are really driving global commerce. I stress the word global, as we’re very fortunate to work with clients across the world.

Key Wins on Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Black Friday 2016 saw Emarsys send 333 million emails in a single day, a 30% increase on last year, but also personalize hundreds of millions website, email, and mobile interactions with 99.9998% uptime and availability whilst processing billions of data points.

Black Friday shopping frenzy broke online sales records in the US, with $3.34 billion spent online and a 17.7% increase over last year’s sales, with more than $1 billion spent on mobile devices. We’ve also seen more countries adopt “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” as key events in their marketing calendar, driving up the revenue we’re seeing from clients, as well as the volume of marketing activities.

In Nigeria, our clients Konga have created their own event in November, “Yakata” to coincide with Black Friday, Konga CEO Shola Adekoya said:

“Last year we made over 1 billion Naira (≈ $5 million) in sales for the period. This year for Yakata and the 25th we made 3.5 billion Naira in sales, and processed 155,000 total orders.”

Elsewhere, in China, total gross merchandise value of goods sold on Alibaba’s marketplace on Singles Day (November 11th) was $17.8 billion, compared to $14.3 billion in 2015. A staggering 80% of this was driven by mobile devices!

Here at Emarsys, globally, we saw the median share of Mobile Open and Clicks of email campaigns drop to just below 50% (48.9%), but hit 58.3% for top performing campaigns.


The Importance of Customer Lifecycle Marketing & Retention

Diving a little deeper into purchase information, we see a more interesting pattern in the importance of customer lifecycle marketing and great retention. Across all channels, we’ve seen the share of revenue from existing customers increase year-on-year, and looking at conversion rates it’s easy to see why. New Leads converted at a median rate of 3.84% in the month of November 2016, Active Customers (defined by our customer Intelligence platform on an individual client basis) converted at a median rate of 44.3%, meaning you are 11 times more likely to get a purchase from an existing customer as you are a new lead, even during sale events.

conversionratesPlanning for a Conversion-Filled Future

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Singles Day are often seen as great periods for new customer acquisition, but the data demonstrates you’re actually more likely to convert from Inactive Customers (median 6.1%) or Defecting Customers (median 16%) than New Leads. This is a key piece of information when planning future sale events or stock clearance campaigns in the new year.

However, we have not seen a big increase in the average number of purchases per customer during this period of heavy promotion, nor in the average basket value per client, which would seem to suggest that if people are spending more, they’re doing it across a number of different brands rather than buying a lot from individual brands (with the exception of clients like eBay, or marketplaces like Amazon or Alibaba).


Final Thoughts

November was a record-breaking month, and we hope a lot of the marketers and businesses out there will be taking a well-earned rest following the holiday season, to start again in 2017!

Learn more about Emarsys’ B2C Marketing Cloud and how we can help you turn contacts into loyal customers.