Cross-Channel Integrated Planning

Ovative Trends and Performance Update: June 2021

The end of June marked the close of the first half of the year, and a shift to Q2/Q3 planning, including strategizing for the upcoming holiday season. Marketers should take advantage of this time to assess their strategies, analyze their performance from previous holidays and promotions, and test new tactics that could come in handy later in the year. 

June Macro Trends   

  • Heightened competition on Prime Day challenged retailers. Sales during the 2021 event surpassed $11 billion, which is 6.1% higher than last year,¹ and ad spend nearly doubled compared to 2020.²  
  • Marketers are interacting with consumers on emerging platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, and Hulu. Brands like Gap, Ulta, and e.l.f. cosmetics are always monitoring TikTok to find and capitalize on trends in their ads on the platform.³ Consumers are also increasingly using buy now, pay later (BNPL) services like Klarna and Afterpay offered by ecommerce brands, with a projected 21.5% of online shoppers using these types of services this year.⁴ 
  • Customers continue to feel more comfortable being in public, and consumer confidence is at its highest level since the onset of the pandemic,⁵ providing more opportunities for marketers to connect with their customers. While frequency of in-person shopping dropped over the past year, 57% of U.S. adults expressed excitement to get back to physical stores.⁶ 

What Trends Did We Observe Across Ovative Clients Last Month? 

  1. Prime Day

    Overall our clients saw varied performance across channels, with Paid Search, Paid Social, and Affiliate showing increased engagement and higher media costs: 

    PAID SOCIAL PRIME DAY TRENDS: (COMPARED TO PREVIOUS 6 WEEKS) 

    • Costs: average increased costs of 20%, with observed up to 27%  
    • Engagement: Ovative clients saw a CVR increases of +3%, with some clients seeing up to 80% increase 

     

    PAID SEARCH PRIME DAY TRENDS: (COMPARED TO PREVIOUS 6 WEEKS) 

    • Costs: average increased costs of 10% across, with highest increase of 30% 
    • Engagement: average daily click increase of 4% 

     

    AFFILIATE PRIME DAY TRENDS: (COMPARED TO PREVIOUS 6 WEEKS)

    • Costs: averaged increased costs of 11% with highest increase of 258%
    • Engagement: revenue was +16% due to increases in CVR (+17%) and AOV (+18%)

     

    From Prime Day through the week leading up to the 4th of July, Facebook CPMs were up 9% and Google CPCs were 12% higher than earlier in the month. This was also the highest week of spend for Google in 2021. In the week following Prime Day, we saw customer fatigue as CTR, CVR, and impressions all dropped significantly. To read more Prime Day 2021 insights from the Ovative team, read our full recap, “A Look Back At Prime Day 2021“.

  2. Testing Emerging Platforms

    We have seen increased interest from clients in conducting tests on emerging platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, Hulu, and Pinterest. One luxury retail client launched Snapchat this past month, and leaned further into TikTok to promote their Pride Month collection. On Facebook, our clients’ month over month spend growth slowed to just 4.3%, which is indicative of paid social budgets being allocated to other emerging platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest. To read more of Ovative’s recommendations on testing into TikTok, read “Should You Be Testing TikTok?“. 

Ovative Group, Cross-Client Insights Data, June 2021 

How Can You Turn These Insights Into Action? 

  • Think customer-first. Consumers are continuing to adjust to life as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, and this pent-up demand is creating opportunity for brands to regain sales lost during the pandemic. Shifting more focus to the in-store experience is a high priority for retailers, but marketers should not forget about additional opportunities to engage with customers, such as: 
    • Product: Highlight products that may have been less popular during the pandemic. Showcase back to work, back to school, and travel products as your customers begin to plan for their ventures back to the office, campus, or their favorite vacation spots. 
    • Message: Shift your messaging to welcome your customers back to your physical store, fitting the “get back to normal” theme, to match their desires as they transition to being in public more often. 
    • Placement: Tap into out of home (OOH) campaigns, and physically meet your customers out in the world, as they more frequently commute, shop, and dine out. 
  • Capitalize on testing opportunities before holiday. By conducting tests during the summer months, marketers have plenty of time to gather insights and prepare recommendations for planning holiday. Many brands begin holiday planning immediately following the 4th of July holiday, so we recommend getting in your highest priority tests now. Across our clients, we are seeing the most common tests on emerging ad formats like TikTok and Snapchat, and website experiences to improve the purchase experiences, like BNPL services. If you are considering testing TikTok, check out Ovative’s take.
  • Apply learnings from Prime Day to future promos. The increased competition surrounding Prime Day gives marketers a good benchmark for how competition may look and feel, and how costs may be impacted as we go into competitive holiday periods this fall. Marketers should review their Prime Day promotions and performance in comparison to competitors and make a plan for how they can standout this holiday season to capture increased shopper traffic and deal seekers. For more learnings from Amazon Prime Day, check out Ovative’s full recap. 

Based on June macro trend learnings and our client insights, marketers should take advantage of time to test emerging platforms ahead of the holiday season, apply learnings from Amazon Prime Day to future promotions and events, and keep their customer in mind as they adjust their in-store and marketing tactics post-pandemic.  

Ovative is a digital-first media and measurement firm seeking to transform the measure of marketing success. At Ovative, we help brands move the needle. We are curious. We value your brand. We want to see you succeed. Connect with us to learn more!    


Sources:  

1 | CNBC, Total e-commerce sales during Amazon Prime Day surpass $11 billion, Adobe says, June 2021  

2 | eMarketer, Ad spend on Prime Day nearly doubles compared to 2020, June 2021 

3 | NBC News, How do retailers know what will sell out? They check TikTok, June 2021 

4 | eMarketer, US ecommerce forecast revised upward, 18% growth expected in 2021, June 2021 

5 | The Conference Board, Consumer Confidence Survey, June 2021 

6 | Ad Age, A New Study of U.S. Shoppers Signals a Return of Confidence, June 2021  

7 | Ovative Group, Cross-Client Insights Data, June 2021 


Jake Galarneau

Analyst, Client Services

About the Author

Jake is an Account Analyst on the Client Services team. He joined Ovative Group following his graduation from the Carlson School of Management in 2020. He takes pride in his ability to build strong relationships, creating enjoyable and effective work environments. Jake is passionate about data, critical thinking, interpersonal relationships, and is always making a positive impact on his projects and peers each day.

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