With Labor Day just a month away, now is the time for online retailers doing business in the U.S. to wonder what to expect from this year’s holiday – especially in light of the major shifts in consumers’ shopping habits that we’ve seen since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
Based on the trends we’ve seen in the summer there are some encouraging signs. In most industries, we have seen online sales numbers this summer significantly surpass last summer’s numbers. Following the major jumps in eCommerce traffic and online sales between March and May, in June 2020 we saw a 28% increase in online sales as compared to June 2019.
Can we learn anything from Labor Day 2019?
Labor Day 2019 (September 2nd 2019) showed us that there is a reason to be optimistic.
Comparing our U.S. data from Labor Day weekend (August 31 through September 2, 2019) with the numbers from the previous weekend (August 24 through 26, 2019), these four industries saw the biggest increases in online conversions:
- Home products +43%
- Apparel and fashion +30%
- Health and beauty +18%
- Office supplies and electronics +8%
But while numbers like these give us plenty of reason to be optimistic about eCommerce over Labor Day weekend, we have also seen increases in Customer Journey Hijacking – a costly problem that cuts into online sales revenue year-round. Addressing this threat is one key way retailers can adapt their approach to eCommerce in light of today’s trends, enabling them to boost their online conversion rates with minimal effort.
Customer Journey Hijacking occurs when consumers visiting an eCommerce website are targeted with unauthorized ads that are displayed when they visit an online store. These ads are designed to entice users to click away from the online store they are visiting and shop on another site – in most cases, to a competing online store. Most often, the ad injections that display these ads are installed discreetly when a consumer downloads freeware, such as free browser extensions or mobile apps.
What do the Customer Journey Hijacking numbers show us?
Typically, we see that injected ads appear during 20% of online shopping sessions, driving retailers’ overall online conversion rates down by between 1.5% and 5%. With eCommerce on the rise this year – and specifically with more online shopping sessions taking place – we have similarly seen more attempts to inject ads as consumers shop online.
How should we expect Customer Journey Hijacking to impact online sales numbers this Labor Day weekend?
One useful source of insights is our data regarding online traffic to our clients’ websites in the U.S. from last Labor Day. While our Customer Hijacking Prevention solution blocks injected ads targeting visitors to our clients’ online stores, it also allows us to calculate the frequency with which ad injectors try unsuccessfully to hijack customer journeys.
Looking at the top 4 industries with the biggest increases in online orders last Labor Day weekend, we can see that all of them saw major increases in hijacked site visits at the same time:
Of course, last year’s numbers don’t tell us exactly how active traffic hijackers will be this Labor Day weekend, but so far this year, we have seen major year-over-year increases in online sales numbers among a number of industries, including consumer electronics, health/beauty, apparel, and supermarkets. And, given the correlations we consistently see, it’s typically safe to assume that if a store’s online traffic goes up, so will attempts to hijack its customers.
That brings us to an important question:
How effective is Customer Hijacking Prevention?
How much revenue are we talking about? Looking at our data from this summer (between June 21 and July 21), we can see which of our clients’ industries achieved the biggest boosts to their online sales revenue by eliminating ad injections. Here’s a breakdown of the top 5 industries and the amount of revenue they recovered through Customer Hijacking Prevention over this month:
If there is one thing 2020 has taught us about eCommerce, it’s that trends can shift rapidly and sometimes unexpectedly – creating a reality to which retailers must adapt quickly in order to stay successful. The impact of this Labor Day on online sales will vary from industry to industry and from company to company, but delivering an optimal eCommerce experience is no longer optional for retailers, especially given the challenges they face as a result of COVID-19.
With Customer Journey Hijacking driving down online conversion rates, blocking injected ads is one key step retailers can take toward maximizing their eCommerce revenue ahead of Labor Day. It’s far from the only way they can boost their conversion rates, but it is a quick and sustainable solution proven to help online stores bring in sales revenue they would otherwise lose.
Ready to stop losing your sales revenue to injected ads before Labor Day? Request a demo