Our friends at Nest Commerce recently published their Readout for Jan 2023. In it, they discuss a number of trends they see impacting D2C. Their graphs comparing 2021 and 2022 performance on Black Friday caught my eye as they saw a considerable improvement in their clients’ results:
I really, really struggled to believe that the CVR increase they saw on Black Friday was universal/industry-wide so I focused there to start. We pulled our own data for the 2021 and 2022 periods but with a US focus (as far as I know Nest has more of a US/UK focus).
We pulled Black Friday data for 33 US-focused ecommerce ad accounts. The average spend on Black Friday was $14.2k with the top spender at $41k. Total spend was roughly flat year over year in aggregate. Critically, we standardized all of the data with a 7-day click attribution setting. These were our main points of comparison:
CPMs: 2021 = $19.8, 2022 = $27. That's a ~36% increase overall. To control for larger accounts skewing the numbers we also looked at average CPM increases. On average CPMs increased by 10% for the accounts in our sample. 11 of the 33 accounts saw CPMs decrease, and 22 saw CPM increases. This is more or less the opposite of what Nest's clients saw.
CVRs: 2021 = 2.86% on average, 2022 = 5.46%. The average CVR increase was 138%, and of the sample only 5 of the 33 accounts saw CVRs decrease YoY. That's a MASSIVE improvement and exactly the opposite of what I expected. Obviously, conversion rates are an incredibly tricky metric, as CVRs could change drastically simply based on product promotion/focus.
ROAS: 2021 = .97, 2022 = 1.95. Another massive, massive improvement. Again we saw an average improvement of 100% and for only 10 of the 33 ad accounts we saw ROAS decrease year over year.
At the end of the day, I think Nest + Thesis data is probably still too small to extrapolate too much meaning from BUT it really does seem like Black Friday this year was significantly better than it was last year (CPM differences aside) as both of our data sets strongly confirm that.
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