Large online retailers—like furniture giant Wayfair Inc.—and small ones—such as four-year-old Feat Socks—had a lucrative Thanksgiving weekend, posting strong year-over-year online sales increases.
Web-only retailer Wayfair reported a 58% increase in online sales for the five-day peak shopping period Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.
Wayfair said its sales were highest on Cyber Monday, but Black Friday posted the largest year-over-year increase in online sales.
At Benefit Cosmetics LLC, online sales increased 40% during the Thanksgiving weekend compared with last year, says Cindy Shen, vice president of global e-commerce and customer relationship management.
Updates to its mobile site have helped boost sales, and nearly 80% of BenefitCosmetics.com traffic was via a mobile device, Shen says.
“Traffic growth has been strong, but where we’re really seeing pick up is in our conversion rate,” Shen says. “We’ve optimized our product mix and merchandising with very clear messaging to customers, we made mobile user experience and performance improvements, and our efforts are paying off.”
Unlike some retailers who experienced a more even distribution of sales throughout the Thanksgiving weekend, Benefit says the bulk of its online sales were on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. “Our customers still seem tied to purchasing on the traditional buying days,” she says.
Mobile also boosted sales growth at LeftLane Sports, says Erik Fialho, chief operation officer.
The outdoor gear and adventure travel package retailer operates a handful of e-commerce sites. On its SeshDay.com site, the conversion rate increased 90% on Black Friday through Cyber Monday compared with this time period last year, Fialho says. He attributes the increase in conversion and LeftLane Sports’ overall sales increases to site redesigns and particularly the retailer’s work on its mobile shopping cart.
“Faster site speeds, better filtering technology and Instant Checkout—all launched within the past few months—has led to nearly 400% increases in mobile conversion rates across some of our websites,” Fialho says. Instant Checkout allows shoppers to purchase an item in one click.
Across all its sites, online Cyber Monday sales increased 30% over last year, and that day was its largest sales day ever, Fialho says.
Mobile sales also punched a win for peer-to-peer marketplace Poshmark Inc., which had an “all time high of mobile shopping,” says chief marketing officer Steven Tristan Young. Overall sales over the weekend exceeded expectations and increased 60% year over year, Young says.
Sock e-retailer Feat Socks doubled sales from last year and generated $500,000 on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, says co-founder Taylor Offer. About half of the sales were from new customers and half from existing, he says. Influencers, Facebook and Instagram were the largest sources of traffic to its site during the weekend, Offer says.
Cosmetics and subscription-box retailer Birchbox Inc. offered discounts for more than a week, running Nov. 20-28. Cyber Monday was the best day of the Cyber 5 period with the highest sales, new subscriptions and traffic, followed by Black Friday, says a Birchbox spokeswoman.
Overall, Birchbox had more customers and a higher average order value during Thanksgiving week 2018 compared with last year, she says. Subscriptions also were a bright spot this Cyber Week, the spokeswoman says. “We’re beating our targets by more than 50%,” she says.
Within the past year, Birchbox made it easier for shoppers to buy a gift subscription, which has helped this increase, she says. Plus, more shoppers are signing up for six- or 12-month subscriptions, instead of the shorter three-month subscription.
“We’ve been focused on this higher-tenure strategy all year and we’ve been driving outsized performance during Cyber Week,” the spokeswoman says. “We’ve seen the biggest year-over-year increase in sales of 12-month subscriptions.”
Tortuga Backpacks took a different approach to the peak weekend and did not run any promotions. In general, the travel backpack merchant doesn’t run sales unless it is retiring a product, so Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t as large of shopping days for the brand as they are for other retailers, says Taylor Coil, Tortuga Backpacks’ marketing director. Still, Tortuga had “very strong revenue days” through the Cyber 5 period, Coil says.
“We do see a bump in revenue every year during this time, but it’s not a ‘make-the-whole-year’ kind of bump,” Coil says. “We’re more interested in stable revenue than frenetic spikes.”