This post was contributed and sponsored by Bazaarvoice.
Consumers’ fascination with personal tech will continue to make the holidays a critical shopping window for marketers in the consumer electronics category. So, what do marketers need to know about this category in order to convince and convert? We dove into our unique shopping data from the 2016 holiday season on our network to unearth the biggest takeaways for consumer electronics brands and advertisers this year.
Consumer electronics saw its first spike on November 11th, on which date pageviews were 1.5X greater than the typical shopping day. Holiday shopping for consumer electronics began to consistently rise the week before Thanksgiving, with online traffic 93% the average for the entire month of October on November 17th.
Let’s dive a bit deeper, and take a look at the findings for specific consumer electronic products. Television and gaming research, specifically, began a week prior (around Nov. 10). Pageviews on this date were 49% greater than market average for gaming and 73% above market average for TVs. The spike in gaming traffic is likely a factor of five new games launching on that date, as well as the release of the PlayStation 4 Pro gaming console.
The spike in TV traffic may be attributed to most major retailers releasing their Black Friday ads from Nov. 8 to 10. These major ad campaigns undoubtedly sparked shoppers to get started on the consideration phase of their holiday shopping. In addition, these same large retailers offered limited-time “early bird sales” on or around Nov. 10. For example, Target offered a 25% discount on all Apple TVs purchased through the retailer’s website on Nov. 9 and 10. Walmart ran an “Early Deals” campaign that began on Nov. 10, offering $50 off Apple TVs and half-priced Hitachi 65-inch 4K TVs.
Traffic on Black Friday was 52% higher than it was on Cyber Monday; together, the two shopping holidays saw 7.1X more traffic than a typical non-holiday shopping date.
With the exception of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, pageview traffic was highest on Thanksgiving Day and the following weekend. These three days (Nov. 24, 26 and 27) had 129% more pageviews than the standard holiday shopping day.
A Checklist for Advertisers and Marketers
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still king. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the focus of retailers and consumers alike for most industries, online traffic was particularly steep for consumer electronics. Across what is normally a very stable vertical in terms of traffic, these two days in 2016 pulled in 710% more pageviews than the typical non-holiday time frame, and rose by 34% between Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
Advertisers should be mindful of just how much more weight Black Friday and Cyber Monday hold for consumer electronics. With Black Friday sales starting about two weeks before Thanksgiving, advertisers should ensure they are campaign-ready in the days leading up to peak research and shopping season.
Research begins early. While last year’s holiday shopping was in full swing by the week of Nov. 17, research for certain electronics began to increase as early as Nov. 1. Over the past several years, retailers with famously popular holiday discounts have launched their high-volume advertising campaigns around Nov. 10. However, these retailers went a step further during the 2016 holiday season by offering “early bird” Black Friday discounts for a limited time only up to two weeks prior to the actual sale.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday electronic sales beginning nearly two weeks earlier than past years, it’s imperative that advertisers are in-market with their campaigns early in the fall to influence consideration before heavy shopping begins.
The market is constantly advancing. The growing popularity of smartphones, tablets, laptops, portable music players and other mobile devices has led to a consistently high demand for consumer electronics. During the 2016 holiday season, 23% of gifts purchased were consumer electronics. An additional 33% were books, CDs, DVDs and video games, which heavily affected the sales of consumer electronics that are necessary in order to utilize the aforementioned products. While most electronics come with basic accessories like headphones, the expanding number of audio and video apps encourage consumers to replace these basic accessories with newer, higher-quality models.
Due to the ever-changing nature of the tech market, it’s important that advertisers are ahead of the curve by clearly messaging the benefits of their product innovations to consumers.
Reviews are a priority for consumers. While brick-and-mortar stores account for 74% of all tech gift purchases during the holidays, more than half of consumers reported that they researched extensively online prior to purchasing in-store. In fact, every dollar influenced by online reviews translates to $4.85 spent in-store.
Advertisers should leverage review content in their creative to resonate with the shoppers who place a high value on product reviews, and make sure that reviews are constantly updated to reflect new products coming to market.
Check out our “Holiday Headquarters: An Overview of Consumer Electronics” for additional insights on this popular product category. This infographic will help you learn more about this important season and how Bazaarvoice can help.