EP155 - Cyber-5 Recap w/ Adobe's Tamera Gaffney.
Tamara Gaffney (@tamarag) is the Adobe’s Principal Analyst, Experience Index. Tamera joins us to discuss the holiday e-commerce results from Black Friday through Cyber Monday (Cyber 5). Tamera has access to anonymous, and aggregated data from more than 5,000 companies worldwide that use the Adobe Digital Marketing Cloud (including Adobe Analytics formerly known as Omniture), which represents one of the largest samples of the overall e-commerce industry available. Her team publishes useful insights based on that data throughout the year.
Adobe 2018 Holiday Forecast and Realtime Holiday Dashboard
Adobe Digital Insights
Adobe CyberMonday Press Release
Long time listeners will remember that Tamara first appeared on Episode 60 with Holiday Predictions for 2016, and Episode 109 for a recap of 2017 Cyber-5.
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Episode 155 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Wednesday November 29, 2018.
Jason: [0:25] Welcome to the Jason and Scott show this is episode 155 being recorded on a Wednesday November 28th 2018 I'm your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I'm here with your co-host Scot Wingo.
Scot: [0:40] Hey Jason welcome back Jason Scott show listeners well folks we are past the cyber-5 or turkey 5 or whatever phrase you want to use for those magical 5 days that we plan all year for in retail and and this is part 2 of our three-part halftime check in for Holiday 18 we are excited to have back on the show for the third time you may remember her from episode 6109 and here she is on 155 tomorrow Gaffney. Tomorrow is adobe's principal analyst for the experience index welcome back to the show for the third time tomorrow.
Tamara: [1:18] Hey it's getting to be a trend it's great to be here thanks for having me.
Jason: [1:23] I like it when the data animats recognizes that it's a trend that switch it. Tamara super excited to have you back you're in rare company is a three-time guess I think you might be only our second three-time gas.
Tamara: [1:37] Oh my gosh that's like do I get it do I get it like a metal or a hat or something.
Jason: [1:43] Oh my God all the propagandas in the mail to you right now.
Scot: [1:47] I'm thinking a turkey had I've seen these turkey hats for 35.
Jason: [1:51] No no no no I knew gift became available today which is exclusively the only gift I'll be giving out this Christmas season Bob the singing bass now Alexa enabled.
Tamara: [2:03] Oh my gosh really that is just that that's just perfect but it should be a thing in Turkey.
Jason: [2:12] Yeah that would be more thematic by the couple years ago a guy hacked one of the singing Bass with an Alexa and now there's apparently an official product so I'm buying them in bulk just in case anyone needs it.
Tamara: [2:23] I think it will be a collector's item.
Jason: [2:25] You are probably right so one fun thing about the show as we keep collecting more and more audience so for the audience that may not have heard the last two shows can we get like the brief version of your background and how you came to it.
Tamara: [2:40] Okay well the brief background was a long and winding road but basically I love data I do a lot of stuff storytelling with data and in the case of adobe which most people don't know this and maybe some of your listeners don't those who've been here while I figured out that it will be as more of than Photoshop and acrobat PDF we actually have, the infrastructure the we called the experience cloud and it runs in behind the scenes it pretty much runs a lot of the internet of all the way from the websites to how people track their data on the web for in their mobile applications or even I mean this was really kind of cool you know there was Coke machine that you go up to and you you select what you want or call the freestyle machine some of our technology is even on that screen as well and so you know a baby has tons and tons of information and put in particular retail information or a trillion business to retail sites that are 55 million excuse which basically means Unique Products during 80 of the top 100 Us online retailers so that's a lot of data we've been doing this a long time and to track what's going on by my tail so that's what's coming up out of this report and how we got to it.
Jason: [4:04] Awesome and in that experience Cloud there's things like Adobe experience manager which runs a lot of the websites there's there now is Magento which is a e-commerce platform that our lives would be familiar with but in particular there's a web analytics platform that was formerly known as I'm not sure which is, near and dear to a lot of our hearts.
Tamara: [4:27] Yeah.
Jason: [4:28] My assumption is a lot of this Pacific Holiday retail data were talking about, comes from aggregating all of the the omniture clients out there a my my generally right on that.
Tamara: [4:41] You're generally right although many of them have only been around since before and after that your name was retired which was over / what 8 years ago good news Alex cloud is finally getting more search term. Then on the trailer is after 8 years it was a very good brand so and that yes that's where the date is coming from for this type of information. And it's your last day. I'm going to be quoting.
Jason: [5:12] Awesome and I know you're not the product manager so I'm not teasing you about this Technically when you retire a name you should change the url and since most analysts metro.com get their data that's it somewhat it's not officially retired in my mind.
Tamara: [5:27] How details.
Jason: [5:31] I'm at I'm just having fun and magenta was a pretty new acquisition are you starting to get data from them as well.
Tamara: [5:39] We are starting to but we've been really very light touch this particular holiday season because they are e-commerce platform company and so obviously this is their busiest time of year so disturbing them information was was not something we wanted to do right in the middle of Black Friday when they need to make sure the systems are all running at perfect chub fish.
Scot: [6:06] Colts so I have a burning question based on the freestyle machines what's the most popular flavor of grade can you.
Tamara: [6:12] I have no idea I'm going to go ahead and guess it's just flat-out cook.
Scot: [6:21] Yeah my favorite is when kids sit there and they put every little flavor injection and it takes like 2 hours.
Tamara: [6:30] It comes out like this really you know being or something like that.
Scot: [6:36] But seriously back into the world of e-commerce let's talk about holiday 2018 it, thirty thousand foot level what did you guys expect coming in and how are we shaking.
Tamara: [6:47] So what we expected for the whole season was about a 14.7% growth rate Which is higher than the growth rate we had last year at 14.3% and anyone who understands stats knows that when you have a higher growth rate on top of the higher number the absolute growth is quite a bit more and I'm so that was surprising and we looked at Labor Day which turned out to be the first-ever to billion dollar online day outside of the holiday season and that's happened this Labor Day and we had over 25% growth on Labor Day so we were heading into the holiday season really trying for it to be big and so with the prediction was that it was going to be her gross than last year and and then going through the first part of the Season it was looking I'm even bigger and what we had predicted up until then cyber-5 days we were at 58.5 billion dollars which was a 19.9% growth rates our expectations and then we were looking at what was happening during the the Cyber 5 and it was starting to come in much higher than our predictions so we're definitely seeing.
[8:15] Very strong season so far.
Jason: [8:18] Yeah so that was the one of the first things that jumped out of me is is November December you know somewhat aggressive week calling for 14.7% growth and then you get 19 almost 20% growth rolling into the cyber-5 in the average over the Cyber five I want is some place in the order of magnitude of by 28% truck so I guess I was curious. What is that kind of expected and it just feels like more of the the sales are aggregating in that like Peak shopping time and we're going to see much more modest growth the rest of the, the holiday. Or is there a chance we're going to blow away that 14.7.
Tamara: [8:58] Yeah that's a really good question and normally does cyber-5 is a 20-plus percent growth and so that wasn't as much of a blowout I'll go Black Friday was higher than we expected it to be and you know that's actually been a trend in the last 5 years that we weave under-estimated Black Friday Friday's came in within 1% of what we expected the first 5 days of Thanksgiving to be and so we're at a point now where either if we see a law happening and we did start to see a pitiable also Cyber Monday grew at 19.3% it was a 7.9 billion dollar day and I remember reporting numbers when we were first hitting two billion on Cyber Monday and now we're almost at 8 and so there are definitely seen a really consolidation along this weekend but the very beginning part of the season was definitely up so if we don't see a Slowdown in the next couple of weeks. We will probably be higher than our overall she's an estimate.
Jason: [10:11] Nice and then one inside baseball thing I think there's one more day in the holiday. This year than last year right so.
Tamara: [10:17] Serious and I was taking into account interesting little factoids and and some of this information what we're trying to reading now is that is about a 280 million dollar increase in online sales just to have one more day and I think if you correct me if I'm wrong cuz I'm not sure if it is it's the longest the season gets is it going to go back just too short next year I think it might.
Jason: [10:42] I noticed you're shorter that you can keep Stephanie I I can't sit here and defend it to be say this is the the longest of the total calendar cycle.
Tamara: [10:52] I think it is I think this is the longest it gets and then what ends up happening is that it locks off like a whole week next year and so, that costs about 280 million dollars a day just because retailers have pegged to the shopping to start on a day that, isn't necessarily. Yeah the same distance from Christmas and that's it that's a really big challenge for them next year this year it's a big chest so. That's what we we saw that we predicted that into our findings and what we saw actually a couple years ago before we exported the notion of Black Friday over the pond to Europe wish now is a very big day in Europe but it didn't used to be and what we discovered before we had steam Black Friday get exported was that Europeans started their shopping earlier and so what retailers have done by creating Black Friday is delay shopping although this year it looks like there wasn't as much of a delay people got on it. Elise online a lot faster than the normal.
Jason: [12:04] I like it so as lazy Americans are even exporting are are lazy shopping habits I love it.
Tamara: [12:09] Well yeah and they're both they're all shopping and in London on Black Friday and have absolutely no idea where they're shopping.
Jason: [12:19] Yep yep I totally get it in side note it does feel like there's. Pretty darn favorable consumer macroeconomic conditions this this year and you know there's that the there's personal income tax benefits this year that go away next year and all these things. The shorter holiday next year and the super favorable climate this year I do sort of feel bad for a lot of retailers they're going to have to comp against this year or next year is going to be a little rough.
Tamara: [12:46] Yeah I know they're probably going to head into January starting to think how on Earth am I going to get what I got out of this season next year.
Jason: [12:55] Exactly but that's tomorrow's problem.
Tamara: [12:57] It is and you're a little fun fact for you about cyber monday us consumer spent 11 Thousand Years shopping online on Cyber Monday.
Jason: [13:08] 11000 man years.
Tamara: [13:10] 11000 man years I know right.
Scot: [13:14] Well it wouldn't be a Jason Scott show if we didn't talk about Amazon and if you don't want to talk with Amazon that's fine we can talk about any interesting retailer trends that you You observe that you want.
Tamara: [13:28] Well I guess I don't tend to talk specifics about retailers in part because you're getting the permission to aggravate findings you don't want to really call any of them out per se but one of the interesting findings that I will talk about is what they call. B o p i s b o p i s.
[13:57] And that was a huge increased 65% increase in that on Cyber Monday and so, it really gives you a lot of. Concept around why did Amazon buy Whole Foods and why are pure play retailers setting up pop-up retail locations or or something for people to try to go and physically interact so it's funny because in the past the idea was you didn't have the extensive having any kind of physical location but the reality is is it really is a benefit and so that is a big trend for retailers and it also helps extend the back end of the season so, in the past we saw shopping pretty much ground to a halt around the 16th or 17th of December and now we will see shopping all the way up until Christmas Eve and that's because you can pick up in store. And so that's that's what I would say is the most interesting retail Trend that we track this year.
Jason: [15:08] Yeah yeah for sure in in side note if you're in Europe instead of saying bopis you say click and collect which sounds more more of sophisticated.
Tamara: [15:19] Doesn't it there always been so much more sophisticated you know.
Jason: [15:21] Exactly Timber instead of what they have all kinds of. What is the use and everything I thought I saw another interesting stat along with the in the omni-channel category were you seeing. Retailers that had a break-in Wonder presents outperforming sure play retailers am I remembering that right or am I making it up.
Tamara: [15:47] That was in the prediction and we didn't put out anything yet on whether or not that's that's coming true but it was a part of our prediction.
Jason: [15:57] Okay, we will look forward to hearing how that plays out in increasingly omni-channel thing to me is how customers are behaving on mobile phones because. There there you know in addition using his mobile phones at home a lot there they're using them in the store until I'm particularly interested in, mobile played out this holiday and so can you share any insights in terms of like traffic or number of orders or a retinue on. A mobile vs. desktop.
Tamara: [16:34] Yeah that's the cool thing about our our dataset is that we can see visits from any kind of device and track what type of device it was, by the way those people who came with an iPhone or much more likely to purchase and those came with an Android I'm an Android User so I'm feeling a little bit and now I don't know maybe you got to have an iPhone to be at the pool all the time, the mobile shopping what ended up happening was Cyber Monday brought into .2, billion dollars of the 7.9 off of mobile devices that's at 55.6% versus last year so apparently starting to figure out and is jealous the majority of the shopping list starting to figure out how to get, that actual sale Austin last year over 50%, work on a mobile device but much lower percentage of did of the final sales, that's growing tremendously and I think it has a lot to do with a number of improvements to the experience of shopping on mobile.
Jason: [17:49] Yeah I know you probably should have digital index year-round I don't want to put you on the spot to memorize a bunch of numbers but. Is The majority like across the whole index is the majority of traffic now on mobile or is or is when it goes over 50% in holiday is that a seasonal Peak.
Tamara: [18:12] Yeah that's a seasonal Peak those are the most mobile days that we have ever seen and it has a lot to do with the fact that people during that high-volume visit. Aren't you at home. And so you'll see really high Mobile on Christmas day you'll see it on Memorial weekend you know the typical times when people are out and about or on vacation is when we start to see mobile heading over 50% but it's not enough of the year yet to be over all over 50%.
Jason: [18:47] Got into it's interesting to me is my clients tend to be very large retards at the top of the echo system and the number of them are like. Basically experiencing year-round 50% rates now which not surprising their the most likely to have. In Avid mobile app user base in all these things but the problem we always run into is we're seeing more and more traffic go to mobile but the conversion rates on mobile have historically lagged and the aovs on mobile hey black and so you have this big gap. We're more traffic shifting to mobile but the mobile is in generating the same Revenue that the desktop is it used to. And my my hypothesis is that is we all get better at mobile experiences that Gap is starting to naira or can you confirm or deny that from, from what you're seeing this holiday is is there less of a gap between traffic and revenue this year than there was last year.
Tamara: [19:43] There is very still look at but it is closing and in particular is closing on these very high shopping days a large part of that is coming from an email click map of the mobile device and I talked about this maybe in your in the last episode we did together but there's this notion of rolling over here not even out of bed yet and starting your Black Friday shopping on the phone before you know you've even put your slippers on and so, the combination of those people who are willing to buy off of their mobile devices through email is becoming much more. Prevalence and there's less friction the biggest friction points in this is from data that we did several months ago the biggest Russian points are really around the size, I love the picture of you will see what you're shopping for so you will not see as many higher-end device things not just general you know gifts to the mobile device but it isn't necessarily affecting every kind of retailer the same.
[20:57] Shop retailers have super high-end luxury goods and people want to see those maybe a little bigger and that's that's one of the big challenges has gotten much easier and being able to zoom in you know at least a c text larger it's gotten easier, and I should point out that none of this information includes mobile app shopping because that isn't coming through to Adobe analytics in the same way. And I can be a very big percentage especially for large large retailers.
Scot: [21:41] Got its that could be maybe if we included mobile app we could be kind of over 50% on a consistent basis I guess.
Tamara: [21:47] Yeah and mobile apps would research shows us that what happens when the holidays sometimes people will install a retailer app and then uninstall it in January or Adele really keep you recharge staffs but not very many.
Scot: [22:04] So sounds like holiday at least from a top line perspective is doing well can you tell how promotional it is so anecdotally you know I'm finding the Shoppers in my family are finding, it just feels like better deals this year which implies you no more of a percent off and could be a worse bottom line is as this kind of is revealed if you want you have any. Directional guidance.
Tamara: [22:31] Well I'm looking at the discounts televisions were at about an 18.9% discount computers were about 17.9 and Toys R Us 30.9. What word seeing overall look very similar to what we saw last year toys have a little bit more discount this year than they did last year last year but overall the discount percentages look very similar maybe what you're seeing is a particular, decline in prices overall and so they don't need to Discount to television as much because it's it's list price was lower than it was last year.
Jason: [23:09] Interesting well that that's potentially good news is I was sort of the line with with Scott antidote Ali it felt like a very promotional season but I will be glad to find out. That we didn't give away too much margin I think you guys also look at the percentage of free shipping and is that pretty consistent this year from last year are we giving away more shipping.
Tamara: [23:30] We look at free shipping in our production and it is a factor but it is looks like it's very similar tablet has been in them in the past with the exception of the click and collect to be the more elegant European term is is helping retailers to not have to give away as much free shipping and so I think that will will see is that the shipping expense will start to decline overall as resellers find a way to avoid a lot or express shipping.
Jason: [24:05] Yeah for sure related to my earlier mobile question I'm I'm also kind of curious if so. One of the things I think as a lot of friction on mobile as it's not very much fun to take your credit card information into a mobile phone. But increasingly there's better Utilities in North America for digital wallets like there's more users on PayPal Apple pay is getting more traction you mentioned Apple users are spending a lot more than Android users are you able to see, any data around payment methods and are there any interesting friends coming up this holiday season in terms of payment method.
Tamara: [24:40] You know that is a part of the data said that we could look at it but we tend to stay away from looking at anything close to how people are paying just know we don't have any personal identifiable or any six your data in the system so it's really very Anonymous but we feel that if we kind of start putting out a lot of information around how people are paying and might feel creepy and so what we're doing is just kind of, taking that piece the data out of all of what we look at.
Jason: [25:10] . so you're saying even if I turn off the mic you can't tell me what Scott's credit card number is.
Tamara: [25:16] If I did I would have gone shopping with myself that's a joke friends.
Jason: [25:25] I'm right there with you we. Heavy not your data set is like one of my favorite datasets around this holiday because I sort of feel like. You guys are at the broadest view the widest range of different different. Types of retailers that use your products and therefore you see their data there are a bunch of vendors that published their own data and some of it's interesting because they show me niches like I'm always curious. Like what Shopify says they're doing this year because I think of them and started a long tail, 11 manner that published by the date of this year is a Salesforce what used to be the old demandware, Commerce platform in one of the things that surprised me about their data set over this holiday is you have sort of them obituaries me to expect Cyber Monday to be the biggest day and Black Friday to be a big day but not as big and it sounds like a customer. Black Friday outsold Cyber Monday when I was just curious if that surprises you or what like what how you interpret that.
Tamara: [26:36] Yeah well LOL just say this about. They know what their methodology is I can't speak to their methodology but, astrology with 80 of the top 100 retailers I feel like it, very large dataset it does maardata said does tend to skew towards the larger Enterprise retailers and so, is possible that for smaller retailers that there might be a different pattern but. I don't think that that represents the actual true dollar spending because of the large retailers way outperforming smaller retailers in the gap between large and small is getting larger and larger as digital. Digital experiences require quite a bit of investment and it's getting harder for smaller businesses to keep up with that level investment that's part of the reason why some of them have closed down and also. Acquired by the larger Enterprises so that they can get their experiences online to be as good as what needs to be that's cuz you're expecting more.
Scot: [27:50] Wrinkled so we're getting right up to time so I wanted to ask kind of a three-part question I'll sneak in their number one.
Tamara: [27:57] Spider-Man.
Scot: [28:00] Is there trick once we get.
Tamara: [28:02] Fish now.
Jason: [28:04] One more push up one more push up.
Scot: [28:06] So parte you talk about email as kind of a referral for mobile any interesting referral trends like social up or down or PVC up or down like that, number to anything else you want to highlight the data and then number three maybe we wrap with any punches case should you have about the rest of holiday.
Tamara: [28:29] Okay so as far as the demand sales drivers what we saw was just typing it and going directly to a retailer was the most and by the way that also includes jumping in from an email that looks like you typed it in directly, and paid search was at 21.6% of the traffic and that is up 6.2% year-over-year interesting made from another report that I did that isn't related to this it was a survey report I asked people where they like to find out about new things so we're still. Using search we don't really like it if you tell her she don't really like it and I really like it but it's kind of where we are the other thing natural search was down social media is about the same. At about 1.3% at the flicks coming from social media so not a whole lot of change a little bit more potential earnings power for our friends at Google other than that I can't really nothing nothing super shocking about that.
Scot: [29:47] Second question was was raining in the data that we haven't asked about where you you said I really need to talk to Jason and see.
Tamara: [29:54] Warriors are something that I think is interesting on the toys on that on area toys and this isn't maybe you guys you know we all have kids so maybe you can help figure out why this is a surprise gifts, things that come in little packages like you know those toys you get like one or two time at the counter and you don't really know what's going to be in it but it's. Something bad, those types of things and the LOL surprise kind of packages r r a trend. I don't understand why kids today want not only a gift which is a surprise in and of itself, to be a surprise even after they open it I just crave getting surprised nowadays.
Scot: [30:55] Yes it's on the Big Star Wars fan and this is been in the collectible world forever and we can blind boxes that usually vinyl blind boxes and is collector you like it cuz it's kind of a fun game to try to collect them all and I think it's kind of leaked out of the collective world and into the mainstream. I'm so see you at the the law surprise is probably going to be you know, this year's last year they had the finger links was in the hatchlings were hard to get this year you see him everywhere and you can't find the loss of so so I just think it's kind of moved into the mainstream in it it's just going to add some onion and. You know surprise to Holiday.
Tamara: [31:33] I just wonder what that whole Collectibles mindset amongst gen Z or the guy like to call them crackers are creators because I hate it's so boring but I just wonder if that's going to change their generation in some way and they will change the whole idea of. Collectibles as being a much bigger thing as they go into adulthood I don't know.
Scot: [31:59] Yeah I think instead of going and buying them all to get them I think that Generations more into kind of like trading and so I think it's going to be kind of like it's collectors you don't really trade him unless you get extras cuz you're trying to all inclusive and get a full set so but I bet you know it'll be interesting to see I think they're designed with more of a trading angle versus a you got to get them all have an angle.
Jason: [32:21] Yeah I know I do. I do think that the notion for these kids of scarcity, is going to be very different than previous generations right so you know it in Scottsdale he only had to be the person in his circle of friends that got the cool Star Wars thing out of the blind box and there weren't like perfectly efficient markets if in one one pool of of Star Wars collectors there were too many of something in another pool at something was super scared now all these markets, super efficient and you know when you have something you need it has to be unique amongst your ten thousand friends on Instagram not just your, your 50 friends in real life in so that you know I do think. Unique and scarce is going to equal like through limited editions of things and you know more personalized things. For this generation in past but it's going to be interesting to watch.
Tamara: [33:16] You know I just thought of a new business idea we need to sell parents and sort of x-ray machine that they can take to the store and see which of the surprise boxes are the unique ones that their kid really want.
Scot: [33:31] Unblind box Tech.
Tamara: [33:33] Is the unwinding Jewel.
Jason: [33:37] That's a sad thing is of course kids would figure out how to use it way before the parents would so. The defeating factor and that's probably going to be a good place to leave it because we have used up our lot of time for this holiday quick-hit edition, but it was hers have any follow-up questions or want to continue the discussion as always jump on her Facebook page and will continue the dialogue there. And of course if you enjoy this show we sure would appreciate it if you jump on iTunes and is a holiday gift us Cotton-Eye you can give us that five star review.
Scot: [34:10] Two are thanks for joining us working folks find you online if they want to come and follow things through the rest of the holiday.
Tamara: [34:16] Well I'm Twitter I'm at tomorrow G wish I had I got in pretty early on that name and you can actually find us on sorry to shut up because you guys look like you're having way too much fun and so I wanted to have more fun and have a little podcast you so I'm not a podcast is call J & T data talk and that's on Android and on iTunes and so I'll be a good way to to keep track of what's going on but you can always contact me on Twitter message.
Scot: [34:48] Awesome so after you listen to episode 155 switch on over to that podcast and check it out.
Jason: [34:56] Thanks again for coming on the show and until next time happy commercing.