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Strong Consumer Demand Marks the Countdown to Cyber Weekend

4 MINUTE READ | November 19, 2021

Strong Consumer Demand Marks the Countdown to Cyber Weekend

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Abby Long

Abby is PMG’s senior managing editor, where she leads the company’s editorial program and manages the PMG Blog and Insights Hub. As a writer, editor, and marketing communications strategist with nearly a decade of experience, Abby's work in showcasing PMG’s unique expertise through POVs, research reports, and thought leadership regularly informs business strategy and media investments for some of the most iconic brands in the world. Named among the AAF Dallas 32 Under 32, her expertise in advertising, media strategy, and consumer trends has been featured in Ad Age, Business Insider, and Digiday.

There’s one week until Cyber Weekend (the weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday after Thanksgiving), and already, millions of consumers are making purchase decisions, as analysts noted major retailers are well-stocked and consumer demand is strong, despite rising prices and lingering supply chain woes. This blog post features a round-up of the latest retail news and performance trends shaping the buildup to Cyber Weekend.

Almost all retailers in PMG’s portfolio already see an increase in revenue year-over-year, with many hitting aggressive demand goals early. With meticulous planning and hyperfocus on remaining agile in market, retail brands are seeing revenue growth as they capture market share and take advantage of early shopping patterns. Interestingly, Gift Guide content is growing in popularity as consumers seek inspiration for their gift-buying decisions, with retail brands seeing average dwell times on gifting content hover between 35 to 45 seconds, ten to 12 seconds above benchmarks. 

Notable pre-Cyber Weekend portfolio trends include: 

  • As of early November, investment in brand media and awareness media outpaced performance media as brands sought to pull forward holiday shopping with broader media campaigns. 

  • A handful of product categories are seeing outsized increases in revenue and click volume in paid search, with Outerwear leading the way. 

  • CPCs continue to creep up year over year as Cyber Weekend shapes up to be the most competitive season for digital advertisers ever.

  • Collection, rich media creative units are seeing strong interactivity, demonstrating their role in assisting shoppers with product discovery and more acquisition and purchase intent strategies. Retail brands utilizing these tactics are seeing engagement rates 4X greater than baseline. 

  • In social, CPMs are up roughly 30 percent year-over-year, a slightly reduced acceleration than anticipated, and up only six percent week-over-week. Additionally, PMG continues to see CPC efficiencies across retailers that will ideally fuel strong retargeting opportunities during the Cyber Weekend. 

PMG’s Q4 Customer Outlook Survey findings show that as of November 10, shoppers have officially ramped up their holiday purchase behavior and are feeling a growing sense of urgency to shop, with availability and convenience more of a priority than ever. Twenty-nine percent of consumers surveyed are in the purchase phase of their holiday shopping versus just 19 percent of consumers surveyed seven days earlier. Concurrently, the number of consumers who are still in the inspiration phase of their holiday shopping dropped to 22 percent, down from 33 percent one week prior.  

Though many consumers are making decisions surrounding their holiday purchases, there is still an opportunity for marketers to influence those not as far along in their purchase journey. Fifty-nine percent of shoppers have still not decided what products to purchase (down from 72 percent two weeks ago). Additionally, sixty-seven percent of consumers have yet to decide which brands to buy from this season, representing a huge opportunity for marketers to impact buying journeys and capture share of mind and wallet with the right messaging and outreach. 

“With the most competitive advertising days of the year right around the corner, brands should be ramping up as much as possible ahead of Thanksgiving to generate buzz, consumer interest, and sales before costs reach their peak, said Julieanne Manoogian, senior director of engagement consulting at PMG. “With product availability at the forefront of consumer minds, we continue to anticipate strong momentum of customers entering into the purchase phase before the traditional peak calendar retailers have focused on in years past.”

Dive into the latest holiday insights, predictions, and thought leadership from the PMG team, including:

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