We’ve made it through another “Cyber 5,” and this year’s official kickoff to the shopping season exceeded all expectations. Adobe Analytics reports that US shoppers spent a record $35 billion online during Cyber Week, with more than $11 billion of that total coming on Cyber Monday alone.
Rising inflation means that while consumers are spending more, they’re probably getting less for their dollar — so deals and promotions are more important than ever. From now through year-end, publishers will need to optimize constantly if they want to capitalize on purchase intent — so it’s critical to monitor what consumers are buying and when.
To help you understand the season’s biggest stories, we’ve been crunching the numbers and analyzing holiday trends. Here are three key takeaways from Cyber Week to help you plan and prepare for success through the remainder of the holiday season:
- Deep discounts: As expected, brands pulled out all the stops to offload excess inventory — and entice consumers to buy. Salesforce found that average discount rates during Cyber Week topped pre-pandemic levels, reaching 27% globally and 30% in the US. Discounts were even higher in key categories like apparel, accessories, and health & beauty.
- A spike in deals — and spending: Holiday promotions started earlier than ever this year, but consumers were holding out for more (as evidenced by the lukewarm reception to early events like Amazon’s October Prime sale). Adobe’s holiday shopping report shows that discount rates increased slowly through October and November before peaking during Cyber Week. Consumer spending followed suit, remaining largely flat until late November with significant spikes on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Increased earnings: Perhaps the best news for publishers is that affiliate earnings were also up during the Cyber 5 shopping period. Our data shows that EPCs (earnings per click) were significantly higher than the same period in 2021, due to a combination of strong commission rates, good conversion rates, and a high average order value. When consumers are buying, everyone wins!
If you’re looking for insights from your own affiliate program, look no further than our real-time analytics dashboard. This new resource within the Sovrn platform will help guide your commerce strategy through the holiday season and beyond.
The right affiliate partners can help maximize holiday earnings
Whether you’re ahead of your holiday goals or trying to play catch-up, there are still plenty of opportunities for smart publishers to drive revenue this holiday season. With data and insights from Sovrn Commerce, you can make informed decisions to boost your affiliate earnings through the holidays and beyond.
Categories to watch:
Certain retail categories are reliable winners for the holiday season, because they offer great gift ideas for a variety of recipients. During the Cyber 5 weekend, our data shows that the top performing categories remained unchanged from the first half of Q4 — although the order shifted slightly:
One other interesting note: revenue in Consumer Electronics and Sports & Fitness has grown dramatically over 2021 levels (212% and 161% respectively). Consider increasing your promotions in any of these top retail categories over the next few weeks, if they align with your brand and appeal to your audience.
Merchants to target:
Now that Cyber Weekend is over, discounts will likely start to drop off. Deals are still out there, but they may not be as deep or as plentiful — so it may be smart to focus on commission rates rather than promotions when choosing your affiliate partners. Here are some of our top merchant picks for the rest of the holiday season:
- Nordstrom Rack
- Coach/Coach Outlet
- Marc Jacobs
These merchants are currently paying commission rates of up to 10% and more.* Keep in mind, you can only earn affiliate revenue with Sovrn if your site has been approved for Commerce, and commission rates change frequently. You can also check the Preferred Merchants tab in the Commerce dashboard to see which merchants are offering the highest commission rates at any given time.
*Rates were current at the time of posting. Check the Sovrn Commerce platform for current rates from your approved merchants.
Optimize your holiday strategy with insights from Sovrn
This holiday season has been exceptionally challenging for publishers — and it’s not over yet! But you’re never alone when you partner with Sovrn. We have all the tools and resources you need to make 2022 your best year yet.
- Our Approved Merchants dashboard has been enhanced with new Preferred Merchants functionality, new filtering capabilities, and new reporting options — all designed to maximize your affiliate earnings.
- Our Merchant Promotions spreadsheet highlights deals from Top 100 merchants, and it’s updated in real time to ensure you always have access to the most current promotions.
- Our Q4 Commerce newsletters include a Christmas Guide and a Last-Minute Shopping Guide to help you keep up with shipping cutoffs, featured merchants, top deals, and more.