Pausing advertising campaigns on Cyber Monday because one brand struggled with processing nearly 800 orders per minute wasn't in the plan -- but that's what Janel Laravie, co-founder of Chacka Marketing, had to do to keep up with clients' online orders and fulfillment. The precaution was intended to ensure the Web site wouldn't go down.
The campaigns consistently ran the same message across email, Facebook and paid search, Laravie told Search Marketing Daily. Great brand, cross-channel promotion and Cyber Monday created the perfect storm, she says.
"Having to pause campaigns due to higher-than-expected demand is a great problem to have but it's still a problem," says Aaron Goldman, CMO at 4cinsights.com. "The key to handling these situations is to have automated technology in place that can allow you to quickly react before too much budget is wasted."
This Cyber Monday confirmed the need to build advertising into a brand's operations strategy. A report from Adobe estimates out-of-stock rates hit an all-time high with 14 out of 100 product views showing an out-of-stock message online, more than two times the normal rate, as shoppers clicked their way through $3 billion in sales on Cyber Monday -- up 12% compared with the prior year.
Overall, Adobe reports that the average order value (AOV) reached $133, slightly lower than the $137 on Black Friday and $162 on Thanksgiving Day. Large retailers with average sale revenue of $25 million saw 12% growth on Cyber Monday. Online sales for small retailers with an average sales revenue of $100,000 rose by 6% YoY.
Products with the highest out-of-stock risk ranged from Star Wars figures and video game bundles like PS4 Disney Infinity and Battlefront Bundles to Xbox One Fallout 4 and Halo Bundles, LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar and Fisher-Price Imaginext Supernova Battle Rover.
"Gauging product interest via social media buzz is a best practice for retail marketers to help avoid out-of-stock incidents and keep hot products adequately stocked,” says Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst at Adobe Digital Index.
Amazon, which continually gauges consumer interest through recommendations, reports a record weekend for its device division that supports Amazon Fire, Fire tablets and Echo, with more than three-times sold, millions, compared with 2014. Overall the site sales grew 21.1% year over year, according to ChannelAdvisor.
Adobe estimates the first 18 days in December will bring in $1 billion sales days. Brick-and-click retailers saw the strongest growth in sales YoY with 18%, reversing the trend of Cyber Monday being an online-only retailer day.
"Google managed to merchandise the space on the search results page," Laravie says, by the way the paid search, shopping and organic listings are positioned in the query results on desktop.
Desktop searches are shrinking as an overall percentage, but they're still growing, she says. Desktop impressions rose 2.7%, but because of the way paid search ads appear on the search results page, the clicks for these ads rose 11%, compared with Black Friday 2014.
Mobile impressions for Black Friday 2015 rose 370% for Chacka's unnamed client, compared with the same day in 2014. Clicks for mobile impressions rose, but not nearly at the same rate. Mobile conversions came rose 32%, compared with the prior year. Desktop impressions rose 2.7%, but because of the way paid-search ads appear on the search results page, the clicks for these ads rose 11%, compared with Black Friday 2014.