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Sneak Peek into Holiday 2016 Benchmarks

Across the global CJ Affiliate network, Holiday 2016 followed many of same rules we’ve come to expect: Black Friday and Cyber Monday dominated and early to mid-December was the next, most lucrative sales period. As we compared the 2015 and 2016 retail order trends, it revealed how the US election season impacted ecommerce sales in early November and how shoppers in all markets rallied the last weekend before Christmas.

A full analysis of the network’s retail holiday sales performance will be released by CJ Affiliate in May. Until then we’ve prepared some highlights and benchmarks to assist our clients with their post-holiday reflections and analysis.  Read on for an overview of the findings, or download the full holiday performance benchmarks.

Holiday 2016 Resulted in Global Revenue Growth

Revenue in CJ’s global network of publishers and advertisers is up 16% YOY, with an average 4% increase in the number of orders. The US and German markets led in terms of revenue growth (partly due to overall strong growth in basket value in the US), while the UK and German markets together experienced the strongest YOY growth in orders—12% and 218%, respectively.  CJ Affiliate’s revenue growth in the US was +5 points higher than the ecommerce growth released by Adobe Digital Insights

US Election Impacted Sales to US Retailers

In the US, shoppers had their mind on other matters during the first week of November. Total orders during the days leading up to and directly after the election were down 9% YOY. Election Day (November 8) saw the greatest decline with orders down 24% YOY. Sales began to rebound on the weekend following the election.

Sales in Eastern Europe Drove Growth in CJ’s German Market

Growth in the publisher network managed by CJ’s team in Germany resulted in strong holiday season sales in the Department Stores, Malls, and Women’s categories. Sales from shoppers in the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria increased 53% YOY. Black Friday promotions drove sales to their highest levels of the holiday season in this market.

UK Catches Up to Black Friday & Cyber Monday Trends

This year, the UK’s growing adoption of Black Friday and Cyber Monday brought shopping demand on these days near parity with the US. Cyber Monday growth in orders reached 76%. In addition, UK retailers jumped on the holiday season a bit earlier and stronger than other markets, resulting in a stronger start to sales.

Free Shipping Day Delivered a Mid-Season Sales Boost

Free Shipping Day (December 16) brought a welcome boost in sales and conversions to US retailers. Conversion rates for US programs on this day averaged 5.6%—the second highest of the season after Black Friday (6.1%).

Search and Ad Network Publishers Achieved Highest Revenue Growth 

Advertisers saw their greatest growth in revenue driven by search and ad network publishers, followed by email and incentive publishers. Revenue from coupon sites increased by 7% and orders were down 13% YOY. Clicks from ad networks increased 53% YOY, followed by 31% growth in clicks from content publishers.  

Stay tuned as we will release a complete analysis of our network 2016 retail holiday sales performance in May.

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You mentioned how the election greatly affected retail sales, I believe the instability caused by the election has slowed spending overall - home buying definitely. Good read!
As others have said, it's really interesting how the US 2016 election had a notable impact on retail sales. I wonder if data can be compiled around which states experienced the biggest decline in retail spend and if trends can be identified in Trump Vs Hillary states. It would also be good to see an article as to if/how other significant political events over time around the world have impacted spend e.g. Brexit in the UK. I wonder if having sales around this would boost spend back up e.g. "Election Sales" or if people really are too preoccupied to think about spending money at that point in time. Thanks for sharing these insights!

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