With under two weeks to go under the main event, Skimlinks experts have taken a look at the trends we are already witnessing as the Black Friday phenomenon starts earlier than ever.
As retailers worldwide are recalibrating their strategies to accommodate the changing dynamics of consumer behaviour, this blog serves as a valuable resource for publishers seeking to optimize their Black Friday-related commerce content.
Delving into the global and regional perspectives, we unravel emerging trends, highlight consumer behaviours, and spotlight the trending verticals that are shaping the landscape leading up to the pivotal weekend. Join us on this insightful journey, as we provide the key insights you need to fine-tune your content strategies for the upcoming Black Friday frenzy.
In this article…
- Global Overview
- US Insights
- UK Insights
- Australia Insights
- Taiwan, Hong Kong & Singapore Insights
- The Rest of EMEA
A global overview
Consumers have responded well to many Publishers creating Black Friday content earlier than before and jumped on the opportunity to start their deal browsing ahead of time.
As expected, sales have begun soaring a week following the first spike in clicks. However, unlike previous years where we have seen an initial spike then and drop until the weekend, sales appear to be remaining consistently higher (+35%) than 2022 over the past two weeks.
Holiday shopping timetables in the US continue to shift earlier every year, and this trend has persisted in 2023. Across the Skimlinks network, US Managed Publishers’ Cyber Week content has experienced year-over-year uplifts in terms of traffic (+24%), commission (+17%) and order value (+22%) over the past two weeks – proving shoppers are getting another holiday head start and that retailers are meeting consumers where they are by launching early Cyber Week promotions.
52% of the top 100 Cyber Week article URLs from the past two weeks contain the name of a single merchant, signalling that early bird shoppers are specific in their holiday promotion searches and making purchasing decisions with intention. Sport & Fitness is an early standout vertical, with sneakers, treadmills and athleisure emerging as recently trending products. Consumers have also converted across the Kitchenware vertical, with cooking tools, appliances and drinkware driving the greatest uplift in publisher commission.
Echoing the trends of our neighbours across the pond, Black Friday spending is starting earlier and earlier every year. During the first two weeks of November, Black Friday-related articles have seen uplifts in sales (+106%), order value (+96%), EPC (+75%), and traffic (+52%). As retailers continue to embrace the trend of early Black Friday promotions, the data speaks volumes about the consumers’ enthusiastic response. It is evident that there is a growing eagerness among shoppers to capitalize on these extended savings opportunities.
Of the top 100 Black Friday articles from the past two weeks, 51% contain a single brand name, suggesting consumers are looking for particular items in anticipation of the best deal and thus are likely to convert. Additionally, of the remaining cohort of articles in the top 100, overall deal round-ups were the most common article type. This alludes to two types of UK consumers this Black Friday, those who have been waiting for this period to purchase their big-ticket items and those who are perhaps in need of more inspiration and guidance from Publishers to sift through the mayhem. Publishers can create content to cater for both of these shoppers.
Clothing and Beauty are the standout verticals amongst UK consumers, with a +114% and +190% increase in conversions over the past two weeks, respectively. Bedding, Kitchenware, and Christmas all have seen uplifts in both browsing and conversions over the past two weeks. It is interesting to note the likeness in consumer behaviour that continues to build year-on-year between the US and UK consumer behaviours.
In the lead-up to Black Friday in Australia, November 6-12 saw an impressive surge in online shopping metrics vs the previous week. Black Friday URLs witnessed a +83% spike in clicks and a remarkable +203% increase in publisher commissions. Sales, EPC, and order values all experienced significant boosts, with WoW performance jumping by +232%, +65%, and +142%, respectively.
Sports and Fitness has been a recurring top performer, as we have seen a surge in interest in the first two weeks of November (+37% traffic). This surge is evident in both vertical trends and top-performing article themes, featuring deals on activewear, wellness products, and popular sportswear brands.
Other trending verticals include children’s fashion, with notable increases in clicks (+32%) and publisher commissions (+44%). Hotels, flights, and luxury items have garnered attention, indicating a diverse array of consumer interests this Black Friday amongst Australian consumers.
As for the rest of the top performing themes, “Brand Deals” showcasing exclusive Apple, Dyson, and Samsung offers and “Deals Roundup” ensure readers are well-informed about the latest Black Friday offers across various categories. As the numbers suggest, Black Friday 2023 is an extraordinary shopping event, with publishers and consumers actively participating in the digital shopping extravaganza.
Hong Kong, Taiwan & Singapore Insights
In Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore, November marks the peak for shopping enthusiasts. From the kickoff on Singles’ Day, November 11, to the crescendo of Cyber Monday on November 27, the endless deals permeate the entire month. This is evidently reflected in major uplifts in key performance metrics including traffic (+2,709%) and conversion rate (+241%), which demonstrate just how lucrative this shopping period is for these markets.
The divergent trends in Singapore and Hong Kong/Taiwan’s top-performing verticals paint a vivid picture during this period. Singapore thrives on Technology, Marketplace Retailers, Travel, Sports Apparel, and Beauty. Trending items over the past two weeks within Black Friday content have included laptops, vacuum cleaners, staycation hotel deals, and the Black Friday Edit Cosmetic Gift box valued at over S$243.
Conversely, Hong Kong and Taiwan favour sports apparel elegance, luxurious fashion statements, travel opulence, nourishing healthy foods, and jewellery exclusives. Trending products in these regions include yoga wear, 25% off designer clothing, 5-star hotel buffets, probiotic supplements, and exclusive discounts for pure gold jewellery.
The diverse array of trending products reflects the unique market landscapes across different regions: Direct-to-C merchants take the lead in Hong Kong and Taiwan, while major marketplaces and online department stores dominate the market in Singapore.
The Rest of EMEA
Whilst the Black Friday phenomenon is starting earlier and earlier for most markets that seem to be following in the US’ footsteps, the same can not be said for other Western European markets, notably Germany and France. There has been little to no browsing or sales related to Black Friday throughout the start of November. However, this is expected as the sale period is still contained to the main weekend bookended with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Therefore, we anticipate more Black Friday related articles to start being published over the next week.
We look forward to seeing how these trends evolve across the globe as we head into the main event next week. Stay tuned for more insights on the shopping event of the year!