Defiant shoppers breaking Black Friday stranglehold to buy gifts when they want

CJ Affiliate’s Holiday Intelligence Report reveals when high sales conversion periods occur during the holiday season

Despite increasing hype, consumers are not holding out for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals as much as in previous years, new research has revealed. According to CJ Affiliate’s Holiday Intelligence Report, consumers are starting their Christmas shopping from the first week of November.

The study shows that the beginning of November experienced increases in its share of holiday revenue and double-digit growth, particularly in the second week of November, where year-on-year order growth increased by almost a third (29%).

The share of revenue for the weeks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, on the other hand, decreased from 2016 to 2017. These weeks saw the least amount of growth for the whole of the 9-week holiday season – year-on-year order growth was only 14%.

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday did still both prompt a spike in sales last year, but their control over consumers is decreasing,” commented CJ Affiliate’s Regional Vice President, Jules Bazley. “This report shows that other weeks are emerging as critical time periods for marketers to release promotions. If they are to maximise their returns during the Christmas period, marketers must consider these changing consumer shopping patterns and execute strategic campaigns that target consumers during the high sales conversion periods, and not just around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.”

While some consumers are starting their shopping earlier, others are waiting until just before Christmas to complete their purchases. The new study revealed that the third week of December accounted for the greatest increase in converted sales, alongside the second week in November, showing a split in consumers between last-minute panic buyers and those who favour ‘planned buying’. Conversion rates for both of these weeks increased by 18%, with the third week of December also witnessing year-on-year order growth of 29%.

“With sales becoming more evenly spread throughout the Christmas period, this shift in consumer behaviour highlights the importance of needing to track consumer buying habits. For many, it seems it’s not about getting the best deals but it’s becoming more about convenience – consumers want to buy their Christmas gifts when it suits them. Marketers need to be aware of this to ensure they promote their products at the right time this Christmas season or lose out to savvier competitors,” concluded Bazley.