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Cyber Monday Stands Out as Winner of DTC Holiday Sales

The holidays may be in the rearview, but brands and retailers are still examining their past performance for clues to future success.

Thanks to their digitally native strategy, direct-to-consumer brands fared favorably over the holiday shopping season.

Stitch Labs Inc., an inventory and order management software company, released insights stemming from its clients’ Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) sales on Tuesday.

According to the firm, the average DTC brand generally pulls two-fifths (40 percent) of its annual revenue from BFCM weekend alone, and 2019’s peak shopping season did not disappoint.

SalesForce reported record-breaking online sales during 2019, reaching $31 billion just in the U.S. That number represents a 15 percent increase from 2018, as shoppers continue to gravitate to e-commerce.

Stitch Labs’ top clients (which include popular DTCs like Thinx, Taylor Stitch, Outerknown, Diff Eyewear, Sunski and others) saw a median revenue increase of 28 percent on Black Friday and 20 percent on Cyber Monday.

What’s more, the average order value increased by nearly three-quarters (74 percent) on Black Friday. Notably, DTC brands saw Black Friday sales orders spike at 11 p.m. PT, with a slight lull between 1-8 p.m.

Once treated like a precocious younger sibling to Black Friday, Cyber Monday has blossomed into a holiday all its own. Stitch Labs’ top clients averaged a staggering 400 orders per minute throughout the day, beating Black Friday in volume.

Cyber Monday’s sales orders followed different trends in timing, with a high volume of sales occurring between 9-11:30 a.m. PT. A consistent decrease ensued during the afternoon, punctuated by a small spike in traffic between 10 p.m.-12 a.m.

According to Stitch Labs, the biggest hurdle for DTC brands is ensuring their sites run smoothly during the high-volume holidays. Even quickly resolved crashes can cost brands thousands of dollars in revenue, and can have irreparable effects on consumer confidence.

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“We began making preparations for the 2019 holiday season way back in September,” the firm’s product marketing manager, Steven Keyes, wrote in a blog post.

“As is typical for a software company, we implemented a code freeze for the most active sales period, mid-November through mid-December,” he added. A code freeze stops any new features from being implemented that may change or alter existing processes or workflows.

The effort paid off, according to Owen Wendland, Stitch Labs’ chief technology officer.

“The fact that nothing happened on Black Friday and Cyber Monday that prevented our customers from processing and fulfilling orders is a massive win,” he said in a statement. “The team put in a huge effort shoring up our back-end infrastructure to support the expected volume increase.”