Ad-buying wisdom for high traffic holidays: Study

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BlueLithium Labs, a research division of ad network BlueLithium, released a report on Dec. 7 that examined the impact of higher traffic volumes on actual effectiveness of online advertising.

Using click-through rate, conversion and other e-commerce data from Black Friday and Cyber Monday versus the preceding three weeks in November, the study found that, while online traffic volume was, as predicted, high on the days after Thanksgiving, click-through rates were down. Conversion rates from online advertising were also down, by 8 percent, on Black Friday. However, on Cyber Monday conversion rates rose 30 percent higher than average.

"It's hard to project if this same data will apply to other time frames," said Dakota Sullivan, chief marketing officer of BlueLithium, Santa Monica, CA.

He said that from season to season and from year to year the number of shopping days and various economic factors impact the effectiveness of ads.

The study has significance, however, in constructing a picture of consumer behavior. It indicates that people are doing all online shopping Monday for what they may have missed at brick and mortar stores on Friday.

Mr. Sullivan said that impact of this data on marketers' behavior should be, to be more creative with their approach on busy shopping days.

"Marketers typically heavy-up on advertising and heavy-up on advertising on Friday and Monday, however they do this fairly uniformly," he said.

He said that tailoring ads to in-store information on Friday and online specials and shipping information would help marketers have more relevance for the consumer.

BlueLithium will be using the report to make recommendations to customers during the 2007 holiday season that will help them see high conversion rates.

"What underlies all of this is that online advertising is extremely effective on [Cyber] Monday," Mr. Sullivan said.

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