6 Black Friday 2019 insights for push notification, SMS and Facebook Messenger marketing

6 Black Friday 2019 insights for push notification, SMS and Facebook...

What is the single most effective way to prepare for Black Friday 2019? The answer is simple - go deep into the data on what happened last year. And that’s exactly what we have done with this short blog.

Firepush has comprehensive usage statistics on the period from Black Friday Cyber Monday 2018 (from 23rd of November to 30th). This is data set includes overall bounce rate and breakdowns of SMS, web push notifications and Facebook Messenger messages, all of which performed strongly in 2018. And we’ve done the hard work of making sense of these numbers to come up with 6 valuable insights that you need to bear in mind when preparing your Black Friday strategy for 2019. The 6 points we learned from our data, which covers over 7 million customer interactions and close to 1 million orders, are:

  1. Bounce rates lowest on BFCM
  2. Abandoned cart performs best
  3. Pushes and SMS have different strengths
  4. SMS performs best on surprising day
  5. Messenger best all-rounder
  6. Shoppers spend longer on BFCM

Let’s take a look in depth at each of these points. We’ll explain what the data says, and tell you how to prepare for this year’s BFCM based on these facts.

Insight 1 - Bounce rate is lowest on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

For the period from Black Friday through Cyber Monday and even on to the end of November in 2018, bounce rates were generally low. They averaged just less than 39%, and showing a strong performance from push notifications, SMS and Messenger. In fact, even at the end of the period considered, the bounce rate was less than 45%. Nevertheless, the bounce rates were noticeable the lowest on Black Friday, followed by Cyber Monday in second place. These two days offered the strongest bounce rates over the period.

The data

In fact, during the eight days starting on Black Friday, three days came in at a bounce rate of less than 40% – Black Friday itself, Cyber Monday and the Tuesday after it. Black Friday and Cyber Monday were at just over 37% and just under 37% respectively.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday bounce rates statistics

What this means for Black Friday 2019

With that knowledge, you can get ready for the coming BFCM season by planning to send a higher volume of messages on those days. Additionally, it is clear that the general strategy of making sure your landing page has a plethora of products and deals to click on and explore is sound, as shoppers are active and looking for deals.

Insight 2 - Abandoned cart messages get the best results across Black Friday

Another overarching point to take away from the data is that, out of all types of notifications over the period, it’s abandoned cart messages that result in the highest click-through and conversion rates. And they remain fairly stable at those high rates throughout the period of BFCM.

The data

In fact, with an average conversion rate for abandoned cart notifications of nearly 8% and an average click-through rate of nearly 13%, that’s 1 percentage point higher and 4 percentage points higher than the other types of notifications, respectively.

Average conversion rate for abandoned cart notifications statistics

What this means for Black Friday 2019

The message from this is clear. To put it bluntly, if you haven’t already, set up abandoned cart notifications. And if you have, then think about the timing of your messages to coincide with the high numbers of visitors and abandoned carts during this period. In fact, the period can be a testbed for getting your timing and offers right for even less busy times of the year.

Insight 3 - Web push has better conversion rates than SMS, but lower Click through

Considering how the numbers compare across all channels also reveals an important point comparing two channels. Specifically, the average rates for SMS compared to web push are reversed.

The data

It is clear from the bar chart above that while click-through rate for SMS is nearly 8% and the conversion rate is 5.5%, for web push the click-through rate is just less than 4% and the conversion rate is over 7%.

What this means for Black Friday 2019

This knowledge can form a basis for strategic preparation for the coming BFCM season. So, for web push, sending higher volume and target more broadly would best fit the stats. While for SMS, more targeted or personalized deals would match the click-through and conversion rate data.

Insight 4 - SMS performed best on Saturday after Black Friday

Delving into the specifics of the types of messaging, one important takeaway is that SMS messages, in terms of every measure—click-through rate, conversion and cost per order, performed best on Saturday the 24th after Black Friday in 2018. And the numbers are so significantly different, that it is most probably not an anomaly. Instead, it might just be that SMS is targeting those customers on a Saturday that feel like they’ve missed a deal not shopping enough on the web the day before, or other possible explanations.

The data

Whatever the reason, the stats show that the click-through rate of SMS messages on that Saturday, at 9.11%, was as high or higher than any other CTR for any other day or the other two types of notifications – web pushes and Facebook messenger. And the conversion rate for that day from SMS messages, at 9.31% was second only to web pushes on Black Friday itself at 9.46%. This resulted in SMS notably low price per message to get an order rate of $4.38 on the Saturday after Black Friday. Even the day after Cyber Monday was cost-effective at $4.94.

click-through rate of SMS messages black friday statisticsclick-through rate of SMS messages cyber monday statistics

What this means for Black Friday 2019

So I suggest that you should focus on SMS messages on Saturday and perhaps the day after any big shopping day.

I mean, omnichannel marketing is good practice anyway, but these numbers show that it could be a way to achieve your goals of effectively spending your ad money.

Insight 5 - Messenger has the best overall performance compared to SMS and Web push

The numbers for messenger as a channel also require some consideration. In short, messenger has the highest click-through rate and the 2nd best conversion rate.

The data

Looking again at the graphs above, for messenger, the click-through rate is a whopping 8.6%, and the conversion rate is a respectable 5.86%. And while these numbers should be somewhat tentatively considered compared to the numbers for SMS and web pushes due to the low volume, it can still form the basis for a test strategy.

What this means for Black Friday 2019

Put simply, try Facebook messenger as yet another channel, because the data shows that those who have are having success.

Insight 6 - Shoppers spend more time on sites on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Finally, it’s important to note that the numbers show what we all expect to be true; your visitors are going to spend more time on your shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday than on other days. They’re going to give your products and deals more consideration and give you more of that precious commodity time.

The data

In fact, the lead in days and those days themselves are going to have your customers there on each visit for as much as 15 seconds to even 1 minute longer than the average visit on other days, if this period is representative of a general trend.

Average customer visit time at black firday and cyber monday days statistics

What this means for Black Friday 2019

As you might expect and know from experience, those days where the durations are longer is where you can concentrate on cross-selling. After all, shoppers are on your site for longer, so aim to present more deals to them and bump up your average order value.

Summarizing the insights

So, delving deep into the data for Firepush performance for last year’s Black Friday Cyber Monday period reveals some important insights into how to prepare for this year. And while more could possibly be added to the list we’ve provided, these serve as a foundation for taking advantage of the period.

Overall, bounce rates are lower on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so focus volume and quality of messages on those days. And of all the types of messages, abandoned cart SMS messages performed the best during those days, so use them.

Additionally, Web push has better conversion rates than SMS, but lower Click through, so send higher volume and target more broadly for the former and set targets narrowly or personalize deals for the latter. And with SMS performing better after the big days, you should focus on SMS messages on Saturday or even the Tuesday after Cyber Monday. Likewise, because Facebook messenger gives the best overall performance compared to those two channels you should work its messages into your strategy.

Finally, since shoppers are spending more time on your site these days, give them the greater number of deals they’re looking for and get your average order value up.

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