Analytics & Data

7 Ways to Analyze Black Friday, Cyber Monday Sales

Ecommerce marketers can gain many insights from analyzing sales activity on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The effort can greatly improve future promotions.

Ecommerce marketers can gain many insights from analyzing sales activity from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The effort can greatly improve future promotions.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are complete. Marketers should scrutinize the results for insights on future promotions. There are multiple approaches. In this post, I’ll review seven ways to analyze the results from Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Analyzing Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Profit. The primary metric is profit. How much did you make during the promotional period? Measure this year’s profit against your goals and previous year’s results. Did an overall sales lift translate to more profit? Actionable insights for future promotions can include focusing on popular products, identifying successful campaigns, and preparing targets for next year.

Promotion. Which campaigns performed the best? Knowing this will help with future promotions. For example, was 10 percent off more successful than receiving a gift with purchase? Be careful when judging promotions as timing, product type, and overall traffic often impact the result. Avoid this confusion next year by testing promotions across multiple times, products, and traffic periods.

Timing. Companies run promotions at different times — before, during, or after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Additionally, some offers, such as free shipping, run for a week or two, while others are for a single day. The timing of your promotions can make a big difference in profit. Thus it’s a good idea to analyze sales and profit performance per day, but keep traffic fluctuations in mind.

Channels. What channels drove the most sales and profits? Promotions on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are highly competitive. Most all retailers seek shoppers’ attention. Carefully analyze your usual marketing channels during this period. For example, the cost per click of Google Ads may have increased, which depressed overall profits. Email marketing, conversely, may have driven the highest sales and profits. Identify the best mix of channels, promotions, and products.

Customer acquisition. Your promotions may have generated immediate sales, but what about new customers? The number of new customers acquired during the holiday season can indicate future success. In my experience, waiting a few weeks or months can help establish the value of those customers. For example, a customer may have purchased a single item at a greatly discounted price via an expensive promotion. Likely that customer will not return or have a high lifetime value.

Additional purchases. What percentage of sales came from discounted items? Determining sales of discounted and non-discounted goods can help pair products for future promotions. For example, if shoppers must spend $99 to qualify for free shipping, you may find that 30 percent of items on free shipments were not discounted. Customers purchased them to qualify. You may also uncover shoppers who buy only when an item is on sale. This will help segment customers in the future for targeted promotions.

Offline vs. online sales. Multichannel retailers will sometimes run separate online and offline promotions. Did the percentage of online and offline sales change this year? Try to uncover trends in overall shopping behavior, such as average purchase amounts online vs. offline, and compare the profit margin of each.

Meaningful Data

You can slice and dice data from Black Friday and Cyber Monday in multiple ways. Weather, for example, can impact sales. Remember to gather enough data for any detailed analysis. Insights from hundreds or thousands of customers are much more accurate than from 10.

Anna Kayfitz
Anna Kayfitz
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