September 11, 2013

Cyber Monday Tip #3

Cyber Monday does not happen uniformly, across channels. Not at all. Cyber Monday aligns with a specific customer who has specific interests.

This outcome is pretty common:
  • % Nov-Dec Phone Demand On Cyber Monday = 2.5%.
  • % Nov-Dec Online Demand On Cyber Monday = 7.4%.
  • % Nov-Dec Email Demand On Cyber Monday = 8.1%.
  • % Nov-Dec Search Demand On Cyber Monday = 8.8%.
  • % Nov-Dec Affiliate Demand On Cyber Monday = 9.2%.
What does this tell us about Cyber Monday demand?

Phone demand is usually catalog-driven, and therefore, was generated weeks prior. Catalogs mailed in early-mid November are largely responsible for phone demand on Cyber Monday. Or it tells us that old-school, 55+ rural customers don't care about Cyber Monday. Either way, they're not participating.

Online demand is driven from a mix of many activities. Overall Cyber Monday awareness yields a higher percentage here. Also - keep in mind, there are 61 days in Nov/Dec ... when you generate 7.4% of demand on just 1.6% of the timeframe, well, that's staggering. If profitable, this is good. If the sales are all discount-centric, well, this is potentially very harmful.

Email demand is at an even higher rate. I see this happen when the business promotes Cyber Monday via email. Too often, email buyers are already discount buyers, and are exactly the ones who are compelled to buy on Cyber Monday. We flush gross margin dollars out the door, not helping anybody but the journalists who crow about Cyber Monday.

Search demand is at an even higher rate still. Attribution lovers know that email campaigns drive customers online to search for the lowest prices and best promotions. Cyber Monday is a timeframe where email + search = big discounts.

And finally, Affiliate demand possesses the highest Cyber Monday demand rates. The customer hunts relentlessly for the best deal - I mean, who wants to pay 40% off plus free shipping on Cyber Monday, right? That's too much when you can find 50% off plus free shipping somewhere else!

So, tip #3 is to measure the share of demand in Nov/Dec that happens in each channel on Cyber Monday. If you see rates comparable to what we observe above, you'll want to flag Cyber Monday buyers in your database by channel, so that you treat them differently during the rest of the year.

Or, you can contact me (kevinh@minethatdata.com), and I'll do the work for you!