Personalization for Black Friday hit an all-time high with 55 billion rich media requests

Personalization for Black Friday hit an all-time high with 55 billion rich media requests

Despite inflation, online shopping set a record for consumer spending with $210.1 billion this holiday season. What we’ve seen is retailers overcoming the economic downturn by using rich media techniques to stand out and capture consumers. Some retailers are leveraging AI and automation to generate more content for personalization, saving them millions of dollars. They’re also implementing optimization strategies to deliver rich media through multi-devices. Finally, we’re seeing retailers adding emerging media to their personalization content strategy to generate more engagement, such as video or 3D.

Consumers are becoming savvier with online shopping, and we’re seeing rich media play a big role this holiday season in capturing buyers’ attention.

Holiday shopping reminds me of how, in years past, my dad would devise an elaborate plan to get the best deals during the holidays. He’d spend time going through catalogs and newspapers to get organized, but in more recent years, personalization and automation have saved him time since coupons or deal announcements are now being sent to him from the stores that he’s planning to shop at. In addition, stores know what he’s viewing online and they’ll send him videos on those products. Now, he doesn’t have piles of newspapers and catalogs at home anymore. Instead, I see him shifting through this phone, bookmarking favorite deals. So how do retailers stand out to reach consumers like my dad who are ready to buy but conflicted by all the choices?

Retailers that saw success on Black Friday used automation to save millions of dollars

It could potentially take an average of 12 days to create and go to market with one single piece of content. At the same time, personalization is driving more demand to generate content variations that are tailored to your consumer's needs. Imagine that you have several marketing segments to target for your brand or product. You’ll have to create specific content variations for these targeted segments if you want unique experiences. The challenge is that we still need to address reducing the 12 days to take a piece of content to market before we deliver the scale personalization requires. So how do you do more with less?

Retailers are using AI and automation to cut those steps in between creation and experience. For example, retailers are using Content automation as a content generation engine to scale asset production and delivery. By ingesting one file within a digital asset management (DAM) system, it will generate millions of content variations that can then be tailored to many marketing segments. We’ve seen retail customers save millions of dollars using a simple smart crop and dramatically reducing days to a matter of minutes for creating and uploading their images and videos. Intelligence and automation will not only help you scale any custom work, but it can alleviate those manual steps in between the asset lifecycle.

Retailers that saw success on Black Friday optimized across devices and accelerated performance

This Black Friday, Adobe Experience Manager’s Dynamic Media data saw 2x traffic come from mobile vs. desktop. The performance of running these images at speed through multiple devices becomes key when the goal is to drive higher conversion rates. Research shows conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time. Rich imagery is one of the heaviest loads on a site, so optimizing that imagery can accelerate page load speeds, help websites conform to Google Core Web Vitals for better website search rankings, and improve overall user experience and conversions.

So how do you get all that at the same time? With the power of smart imaging. Smart imaging delivers modern image formats (including AV1 image file format, also known as AVIF) that optimize the size and quality based on client browser capabilities. The beauty of smart imaging is that it helps reduce page weight, improves conversions, lowers bounce rates, fully integrates with the best-in-class premium content delivery network (CDN) service, and can reduce image size down to 70%. In fact, our Dynamic Media data shows smart imaging saved 800 terabytes of bandwidth for our customers on Black Friday.

Retailers that saw success on Black Friday enriched shopper experiences with emerging media

Images are crucial for marketing campaigns, but we’re seeing customers incorporate emerging media as well to enhance the shopper’s experience. For example, including video on your site can increase conversion by more than 80%. Images are great, but consumers are looking for a more immersive and engaging experience. They might think, “How can I see myself using the product? How do I use it? What are some hidden features I should be aware of?” These are all things consumers may ask themselves as part of the buying psychology. Video is an asset retailers should be tapping into in order to drive revenue.

Another emerging media we’re seeing utilized in retail is 3D as customers are experimenting with as they are exploring possible mediums in the metaverse. This year, Adobe Experience Manager’s Dynamic Media data has seen traffic with 897 million requests coming from video and 3D formats.

Adobe can help

Data speaks volumes. And in the case of content, Adobe Experience Manager Assets processed a magnitude of content this Black Friday with 55 billion requests and 2.1 PB bandwidth, all while maintaining an average response time of less than 25 milliseconds from our Dynamic Media data. Inflation and economic slowdown hindered purchases this year, but sales broke the record with shoppers spending $5.29 billion on Thanksgiving Day, up 2.9% from a year ago.

This holiday season, retailers leveraging techniques are seeing the greatest return on their investment with customers interacting with personalized content and turning browsing into buying.

Adobe Experience Manager Assets will be at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show this year. Visit us at the “Content Drives Revenue” booth to learn more.

Learn more about how retailers can create customer engagement with their brands by checking out these resources:

Shelly Chiang focuses on Experience Manager Assets product strategy and marketing for content automation and immersive experiences, bringing creativity and personalization at scale, all within the DAM. Before Adobe, she led go-to-market strategy in the low-code automation and analytics space. She is passionate about connecting customers to information that brings better experiences.