The frenzied flurry of lightning-fire purchases and unbeatable, online deals have finally settled like a blanket of fallen snow. Consumers had their fair share of splurging and saving over cyber week, while commerce publishers witnessed some key insights developing. From low subscription price points to bumps in affiliate commerce commissions, bargain hunters have not seen the last of holiday shopping. It’s a lucky time for both parties in the purchase funnel, especially for marketers who are leveraging this extended promotional period. As yet another holiday cycle quickly approaches, we’re sharing everything publishers need to know about how the industry fared—and what is anticipated to change through the new year.
A lot of big things happened over the holiday weekend, but arguably the biggest was a new online sales record. This year’s Black Friday numbers revealed that the retail festivity exceeded $9.1 billion in online sales. Many commerce publishers felt the impact, with incredible year-over-year increases. Hearst Magazines’ product sales saw a 50% year-over-year increase, and content on Future’s website generated over 130,000 transactions in one day. Not to mention publishers who are newly focusing on e-commerce content like Immediate Media saw a 20% plus year-over-year growth. This shows us that you don’t need to have years of experience to succeed in commerce growth.
And while these numbers are notable, the previous cyber cycle offers opened up another opportunity for publishers experimenting with subscription growth. As a result of extended promotional periods, the average subscription price dropped by 17% on Cyber Monday to $0.079 per day. During that time, 48% of publishers offered different types of subscriptions for $1 or less. Hopefully, long-term conversions will be plentiful after the promotional period, a similar sentiment shared by the 22 publishers that leveraged Black Friday to promote their extended offer periods.
The long weekend was also kind to marketers who were wrestling with higher ad prices on Meta. Between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, the median CPM on Facebook averaged 16% lower as compared to the previous year. After an unpredictable year, it’s likely that adopting features like Reels might have something to do with the positive change. This uptick is expected to sweep the industry in 2023, as predicted by company media agency analysts GroupM and Magna. Both agencies predict global advertising to grow between 4.8-6.5% in the coming year. Regardless of a bright outlook, it could be a rocky January or smooth sailing onward in 2023. No matter how the new year kicks off, publishers have so many opportunities for expansion.