Rakuten Advertising’s network data reveals that Asia-Pacific consumers were well-prepared for a shopping spree ahead of Black Friday and interests in luxury products remains strong beyond Cyber Weekend. 

With eMarketer’s forecast for global e-commerce growth revised to 14% (down from 18%) in recent months, retailers throughout Asia-Pacific leveraged peak shopping days such as Click Frenzy, Singles’ Day and Black Friday to recoup sales that may have been lost as a result of the pandemic.

Consumers prepared for a shopping spree

Consumers are now more comfortable purchasing just about anything online. Retailers chose to capitalise on this and began their sales and promotions earlier than previous years to entice shoppers to make a purchase, and this tactic has proven successful.

This year, consumers were researching offers and promotions earlier to ensure they’re ready to purchase once the shopping event begins. According to data from our search campaigns, the days preceding Black Friday served the highest number of impressions, with Thursday doubling the number of clicks as compared to Cyber Monday. Our Asia-Pacific affiliate network data also shows that click activity peaked at the start of Cyber Weekend, while orders were made mostly at the end on Sunday and Cyber Monday.

Content creators more influential than ever

Throughout the pandemic, there has been a significant increase in content consumption as consumers spend more time in front of their devices. The impact of this was notable during Cyber Weekend in particular, with content publishers responsible for driving 11% of clicks from consumers across Asia-Pacific, outperforming deals sites. However, loyalty and rewards sites remain the most effective publisher model for conversion, driving over half of all orders on our network.

Black Friday outperforms Click Frenzy

Australians have been able to snag great deals with multiple shopping events this November, from Click Frenzy to Cyber Monday and everything in between. Although there has been many enticing deals throughout the month of November, our network data shows that Black Friday came out on top with sales soaring over 60% above Click Frenzy.

Luxury and Travel still on the radar for APAC consumers

Over both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Apparel & Accessories reigned supreme for advertiser verticals across APAC. Department stores came in second, followed by Health & Wellness. Looking at the chart below depicting click activity across our network over the past week, interest for High-End & Luxury stores is on the rise, making up a majority of all clicks on the network.

In Australia, the Travel sector is on the mend as interstate borders slowly open across the country. Ahead of Black Friday, the Australian government announced that Queensland will open its borders, resulting in the number of searches for “flights” eclipsing the number of searches for “gifts”.

Commenting on the success of Cyber Week, Stuart McLennan, Senior Vice President at Rakuten Advertising, said, “Consumers across Asia-Pacific continue to expect bigger and better deals leading up to the holiday season, making the most of multiple online shopping events across the month of November.

With physical stores remaining open across many countries in APAC, there is still ample opportunity for retailers to capture last-minute shoppers. Brands can continue to drive conversion beyond Cyber Week through online-to-offline (O2O) activity coupled with strong digital strategies optimised to drive conversion.”

To stay up-to-date with insights and trends from Rakuten Advertising, subscribe to our blog today.