6 must-see media quality stats from Black Friday

12/13 By Matt Engstrom

Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) online sales reached $6.6 and $5.0 billion respectively. According to Adobe Insights, those figures indicate the highest amount of revenue generated by online shopping during the BFCM weekend on record.

As retailers increase their BFCM digital spend year-over-year, it’s essential for marketers to better understand the unique patterns of ad fraud and viewability that emerge over the BFCM weekend.

We conducted a campaign analysis of 41 IAS partners in the retail sector to identify key BFCM media quality insights. Six of our most interesting findings are below:

1. Overall Black Friday fraud was 2.3% in 2017, down from 4.4% in 2016

Since the analysis focused on 41 specific retailers, the decrease in fraud doesn’t necessarily indicate an overall decrease in Black Friday fraud industry-wide. That being said, according to the IAS Media Quality Report, programmatic fraud has been trending downward for display. This indicates that the widespread adoption of fraud mitigation strategies is paying dividends.

2. Overall Black Friday viewability for 2017 was 60.5%, up from 51.6% in 2016

For the 41 retailers included in the analysis, there was an increase in average viewability across the aggregate of all measured campaigns, devices, and formats. A number of factors could be contributing to this change, including differing campaign strategies year-over-year, an improvement in format viewability, or an optimization strategy that prioritizes higher viewability on the side of advertisers.

3. Between November 18th and Black Friday on November 24th, retailer campaign impression volumes jumped by 72%

This illustrates how retailers leveraged digital media to directly blitz consumers before the BFCM weekend in an effort to drive greater impact. Brands likely focused their Black Friday strategies on driving consumer foot traffic to locations, while Cyber Monday was likely geared towards optimizing online conversions.

4. While display viewability remained relatively flat, video viewability improved for Black Friday reaching 74%, before dropping to 63% for Cyber Monday

This may reflect the differing strategies advertisers used to activate consumers on Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday. For example, it’s possible that advertisers leveraged video on Black Friday to drive last-minute sales in store; whereas, the placements on Cyber Monday were positioned to drive immediate online conversions.

5. Fraud rates more than doubled, up 116%, in the 6 days leading up to Black Friday

Fraudsters follow revenue; thus, were likely more focused on the high revenue opportunity presented by the rush of advertising in advance of Black Friday. This focus on a discrete period of higher revenue opportunity could result in the spike in fraud we observed.

6. Mobile saw a pronounced spike in fraud leading up to Black Friday from a low point of 0.5% on November 18th to 2.9% on November 22nd

Once again, the pronounced spike in mobile fraud was likely due to an increased effort by fraudsters to garner more revenue during a time period when online advertising volume increases and CPMs spike.

Source: IAS data platform, data based on 41 retailers, 2016 2017

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