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Black Friday Has Transformed Into Black November

Online holiday shopping has changed dramatically in recent years. Gone are the days when brands simply released their best deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday and hoped shoppers would take advantage. Now, brands are capitalizing on the entire month of November — and it’s fundamentally changing the holiday shopping landscape.

At Curalate, we crunched the numbers from our partnerships with 850 of the world’s most-recognized brands and one thing became clear: Black Friday has turned into Black November.

Curalate distributed 850 million pieces of intelligent content between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday in 2016. Those shoppable photos and videos led to plenty of purchases, but the action we noticed before Black Friday really opened our eyes. While Curalate’s impressions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday were up 40% and 56% respectively year-over-year, total November impressions before Thanksgiving surged 95% higher. The findings are consistent with one truism about today’s e-commerce landscape — Black Friday and Cyber Monday are becoming less important for customers and the savings period has expanded considerably. In fact, between Nov. 1 and Nov. 23 (the day before Thanksgiving), shoppers spent $27.2 billion, a 4.3% increase over the same timeframe in 2015, according to Adobe, which analyzed data from 23 billion visits to retail websites. Check out the interactive graph below:

Action in the week leading up to Thanksgiving is also telling. For the four days before Thanksgiving, impressions were higher than average and were up year-over-year — suggesting that people are researching deals, then making purchases when deals are released.

We can also conclude that an increasing amount of consumers are using Instagram to get ideas for holiday gifting. At Curalate, our Like2Buy product transforms a brand’s Instagram marketing strategy by turning the feed into a high-quality traffic and revenue driver. Impressions on our client’s Like2Buy imagery surged in lockstep with e-commerce traffic over the Black Five-Day period — showing that modern consumers increasingly view Instagram as a must-look destination for discovering shopping gift ideas.

Unsurprisingly, we saw clear spikes in impressions when the clock struck midnight and the bulk of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals were released. In fact, we saw three such bursts, corresponding to 12 a.m. in Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones. The biggest spike, however, came on Cyber Monday between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Eastern, showing that people did plenty of shopping after work. Check out the interactive graph below:

We also saw some interesting data regarding Fanreel, our tool that seamlessly brings photos from customers, store associates and brand influencers onto our clients’ websites. Clients who have had Fanreel deployed for at least one year are seeing a 20% year-over-year increase in revenue from those shoppable images. For those brands, Fanreel is clearly a major touchpoint in their customer journey.

Brands are eager to extend the holiday shopping season. Whether they’re doing it to compete with deep discounts at big box stores, to promote their brand or just to quench the insatiable thirst of shoppers looking for holiday deals, brands have fundamentally changed the e-commerce landscape. If it keeps up, we’ll have to change the term Black Friday to Black November.

Methodology: At Curalate, we help our clients make their images and videos “intelligent” — meaning they’re aware of the products or services inside them. We then help brands distribute that intelligent content on a number of consumer touchpoints to connect discovery and purchase. For this study, we examined item impressions for more than 850 brands during November 2016.

Curalate powers consumer discovery for the world’s smartest brands — turning pics and videos into portable, actionable content assets. It enables consumers to purchase your products wherever they discover your brand — social, ads, blogs or anywhere else. Get a demo now.

Curious about how a brand turns Instagram into revenue? Learn how Stila Cosmetics used Curalate to exponentially increase purchases and outbound clicks from its Instagram feed.

See how Curalate can help your business grow.

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