Vantage + The Advertising Research Foundation

What is ‘The Advertising Research Foundation’?

The Advertising Research Foundation or “The ARF” is an organization dedicated to creating, curating, and sharing objective, industry-level advertising research. We enable members with unique, research-based insights to make a true impact on their advertising and build marketing leadership within their organizations. Founded nearly 80 years ago, The ARF’s members today include more than 400 leading brand advertisers, agencies, research firms, and media-tech companies. Together, we challenge conventions and discover new, actionable insights through objective research at scale.


Okay, but what’s the ‘Innovators A-List’?

The ARF Innovators A-List is for high-quality startups that successfully demonstrate how their disruptive solutions solve the advertising industry’s most vexing challenges. Getting on the A-List makes your startup a strategic partner to the ARF and its members. Qualified applicants get a full year’s worth of benefits and support, and multiple opportunities to connect with the ARF’s 400 member organizations. This isn’t a competition. There are no contests or games. The Innovators A-List is your start to an ongoing professional relationship and an accelerated pipeline for new business.


How was Vantage chosen?

Vantage Analytics was reviewed by 10-12 curators from companies including, Colgate, comScore, Facebook, Havas Media, Kantar, Linkedin, Nielsen Catalina Solutions, Ogilvy Labs, P&G, Turner Broadcasting and selected by a final jury made up by judges from Evol8tion, Google and GCapital, Morgan Digital Ventures, Nielsen Ventures, Oracle Data Cloud, Pinterest, Revel Partners, Twitter and Unilever.

The Innovators A-List will be unveiled at the debut Workshop in New York City, the first in a series of programs across the country.

Workshops will feature speakers from Oracle Data Cloud, Unilever, Twitter, Nielsen Ventures, Evol8tion, and Foursquare. Session will offer new products, new ways to work, to help companies cultivate a startups mindset to the ways they solve problems.

Dates for The ARF Innovators A-List Workshops:

  • March 21, NYC New York Hilton Midtown Hotel, 12:30pm-3:30pm
  • April 6, Chicago, FCB Chicago
  • May 3, San Francisco, TBD

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By |February 23rd, 2017|News|0 Comments

Guide to Vantage Smart Campaign Facebook Ads

As an e-commerce business, you may have considered doing Facebook ads to build your brand and drive business, however, this may seem to be a daunting task that seems more of a hassle than it’s worth. One look at the Facebook’s PowerEditor and you’re outta there. When you think about it, there are more than a billion people on Facebook so it’s hard to ignore it’s potential for being an important vehicle for advertising. That’s where we come in.

Automate your advertising with our Smart Campaigns that use key data metrics from your store to promote your products to the customers most likely to make a purchase across Facebook and Instagram. How is this accomplished? 

  • Our Campaign Editor
    • Build campaigns in minutes with our intuitive drag-and-drop campaign editor.  
  • Custom Audiences
    • Pick from 9 custom audiences built from your own store’s data to highly target your ads to.
  • Automatic Ad Optimization  
    • Sit back and watch Vantage automatically optimize your campaigns for the best possible return on ad spend.
  • Multivariate Ad Testing

Now let’s get into some of the basic ‘need to knows’ regarding Facebook ads in general!

1. Types of Facebook Ads

There are three types of ads that Facebook offers, these are mobile newsfeed, desktop newsfeed, and right-hand side bar.

infographic of facebook ad placements

Choosing the right placement has everything to do with getting in the mind of your customer base. For example…

If you know that your target market frequently accesses Facebook through phone and you have a mobile-friendly site, then it makes sense to advertise on both mobile and desktop for maximum reach. By advertising on both, the Vantage platform uses multi-variate testing to determine which ads are clicked the most and optimize those only.

Desktop newsfeed ads and desktop right-hand side ads have a number of pros and cons. Newsfeed ads appear slipped into your regular newsfeed updates, making it appear more like a cool article from a page your follow and less like an ad. The right-hand side ad is static and appears below the fold but stays on the screen as the user scrolls through their timeline appearing more obviously as an ad. Newsfeed ads often have a call to action button such as “Shop Now” or “Learn More” which may further encourage your customer to click through.


2. Creating Facebook Ads: Choosing the Right Images

When you’re trying to decide which images to use, start with what is currently available in your store. It’s important to create consistency in branding and products between what a user sees on Facebook and when they click through to your site. Some important Facebook rules include:

  • Text must be kept to a minimum – up to 20%. When in doubt, don’t include text.
  • No nudity/porn, guns/weapons, or smoking/smoking related products.

For right hand side ads, since the size of the image is much smaller than on the newsfeed, you may want to tweak your pictures by cropping them, making the image larger, and placing it on the a white background. Avoid using small text as it will be hard to read, keep the picture simple yet eye catching.

3. Creating Facebook Ads: Choosing the Right Copy

Right Hand Side Ads

There is limited space for a headline (25 characters) and text under the photo (90 characters). The headline serves as your call to action. This can be anything from asking a question to a offering a coupon code. Make your copy as specific to your store as possible using product names or trends to grab your customer’s attention. Furthermore, your tone should be one that your customer would recognize. Here are a few generic examples:

  • Use code FB1 to get 20% off (based on your coupon code and discount that you have set)
  • Need a Father’s Day Gift? (you can switch Father’s day for Mother’s day Valentine’s day etc.)
  • Love the Avengers? (you can switch Avengers for anything – movies, music, theme, etc.)

For the text under the photo, you can continue talking about what your headline mentioned. Here are a few options:

  • Get ready for summer with our trendy swim suits, use the code FB1 and get 20% off! Wow!
  • Father’s day is just around the corner, get your dad a unique leather wallet he’ll love.
  • We’ve got them all, from Captain American to Ironman. Get your very own t-shirt now.

When you first start advertising, it’s important to create 6 different ads with different images and text. This is because typically a few ads will do better than others. With that in mind, on your second campaign, you can create variations of ads that did well. For example, if the image of the Captain America t-shirt was clicked on the most during your campaign. Then, in your next campaign, you’d want to change your images to that particular Captain America t-shirt image and change the copy for each ad using variations of the ad(s) that did well. These can be tweaked slightly through changing words, adding/subtracting punctuation or capital letters. Here is an example of tweaking copy.

“We’ve got them all, from Captain American to Ironman. Get your very own t-shirts now.” can be changed to “We’ve got them all, from Captain American to Ironman. Get your t-shirt before they sell out!”

For your second campaign, you may find two types of copy working the best with your Captain America t-shirt. You can repeat this process for other t-shirts and copy based on what you’re trying to promote.

Desktop Newsfeed Ads

Facebook offers 9 different campaign types (page post engagement, page likes, clicks to website, website conversions, app installs, app engagement, event responses, offer claims, and video views. The specific campaign type that is most relevant to an e-commerce store and the easiest to implement is “Clicks to Website”, the primary goal of this type of ad is to drive traffic to your website.

With newsfeed ads, you have more opportunity to explain your product offering in a larger image (with better text visibility on the image) and additional text under the image. From the example below, Sole Bicycle Co has used “Mystery Bike Sale $250 + FREE SHIPPING” as their text on their image and explained it in more, enticing detail in the bottom text.

ad placement 4

4. Tying it all together

Based on your data, we will recommend a campaign to either retarget your repeat customers and/or retarget your customers who abandoned their cart. Then, you can decide whether to customize the ad with specific images and text which match your current sales, coupon codes or specific themes. This customization can be done quite easily through the Vantage dashboard. All you have to do is upload your photos, type in your text to create your new ads and click “GO” to get started.

These ads will be reviewed by our team to ensure that they match Facebook rules and then approved! As a part of our campaign process, we will monitor the ads throughout to ensure the best ones continue to bring in leads and the weak ones are turned off. At the end of the campaign, we will send you a detailed report of how you did including your exact ROI.

Our goal is to help your e-commerce store grow, and if we can’t bring you a positive ROI then your campaign cost is on us!

Give it a try today! We are here to help.

By |February 16th, 2017|Vantage Smart Campaigns|0 Comments

4 Ways to Maximize Ecommerce Sales

In the ever-changing world of ecommerce, one element that remains constant is the desire and the need to maximize sales. Platforms, tools, techniques and concepts morph and evolve, but if your sales fall flat, your entire online business could be in jeopardy.

Here are a few valuable tips that you can easily implement to help you boost your ecommerce sales.

Social Media Marketing

Your social media outlets are great vehicles for increasing web traffic, building your brand and staying connected with your customers. Keep in mind, it’s important to use social media appropriately to get the best possible results.

Feedback Systems reported more than 60% of organizations that engaged in social advertising claimed it produced positive revenue growth, so taking control of your social media marketing may take your ecommerce sales to the next level.  

Don’t sell – Share and Interact

There’s no better way to leave your customers cold than to post nothing, but sales pitches on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If your posts contain valuable and shareable information, your followers will appreciate it and perceive you as an expert in your field. This is important for potential customers because you want to build a good rapport to not only entice potential new customers, but also maintain the relationship and bring back existing customers.

Make sure to engage in conversations by asking questions, responding to comments, compliments, and complaints. It’s another way to demonstrate that you care about your customers – not just sales.

Optimize Posts

When preparing your social media posts, be sure to optimize them for the platform. On Twitter, use appropriate keywords and hashtags that will help your post achieve greater visibility through search. A bit of online research will help you uncover some of the most common terms used by other ecommerce retailers in your field. This will give you a better chance at exposure and gain share-of-voice. Additionally, don’t forget to test your copy and imagery to find out what your customers are best responding to and driving to your store. Each channel has optimal post lengths and image sizes to create the optimal social experience, so be sure to follow their rules to gain the greatest exposure. 

Email Marketing

Now, let’s look at your email marketing initiatives. Successful email campaigns require some solid research and data to drive success.

A/B Testing

Before sending out your email to your entire database, run some tests with a few different variables to determine which is most effective. Some of the variables that you can comparatively test include the subject line, your call to action, the layout of your email and the messaging.

Note: It’s best to test only one variable at a time to best determine which change is delivering the greatest results. Through appropriate split testing of your emails, you could conceivably see as much as 10% improvement in your conversion rates or better!


By identifying customers’ interests through their previous purchases, and other data, you can introduce them to new products that may be of interest to them through cross-selling emails.

Timing is important, too. According to Hubspot, the highest clickthrough rate for email sends is 11 AM. When do you like to send emails to your list?


Setup email triggers to send based on purchase decisions, abandoned shopping carts, or time away from your store. Ma Make them personal! Show customers you’ve been paying attention to their actions, be helpful and always enticing.

Influencer Marketing

In an article published by Forbes regarding influencer marketing, it was noted that this was the fastest-growing and most cost-effective marketing channel available. Furthermore, businesses made on average $6.50 for every $1 they invested in influencer marketing. 

So what even is influencer marketing? In a nutshell, it’s a way of leveraging your fan base to generate and amplify positive word-of-mouth about your business and products. Search for bloggers, popular Instagram or Twitter users who are recognized as influencers in your field with significant numbers of followers and engagement. Initiate a relationship with them on social media and post some positive comments on their posts. As the relationship grows, you can eventually ask them to submit a guest blog for your site, and photos for your social channels among other things. Do some research on influencers in your store’s area of focus. If you sell baby oriented products, seek out popular mommy bloggers who may be interested in your products and post about it on their blog, YouTube channel, or Instagram. This way their mommy followers will see your product showcased, and hopefully drive traffic to your store!


Arguably, the most powerful tool at your disposal to boost your ecommerce performance is through the use of a retargeting campaign. Retargeting is a form of online advertising that places your ad content in front of visitors who left your website before completing a transaction. Visitors who have left your website and are subsequently shown retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert. Additionally, retargeted ads often have a clickthrough rate that is 10X better than regular display ads. This is tremendously important for ecommerce businesses looking to keep their products on the top of their customers mind – both prospective and returning. Retargeting is often the gentle nudge a prospective customer needs to return to your store and complete the purchase.

There you have it! With better social media engagement, improved email marketing strategies, some influencer marketing, and a retargeting campaign, you could soon see your online sales grow exponentially.

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By |February 12th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

How to Leverage Your Store’s Data to Help Find Customers

Your store’s data is a treasure trove of data that holds all of the key information needed to attract new customers. In order to gain insight into what your customers and audiences are looking for, leveraging your data is essential. You may be wondering the best way to access and convert your data into meaningful insights. That’s where we come in!

Data Informed Audiences

When targeting potential customers, you may think that you know who your ideal customer base is, but your data may suggest otherwise. Vantage designed our Smart Campaigns to help integrate your advertising targeting to your data. We connect directly to your store’s platform to analyze your data and calculate key metrics. From there using your store’s data, our platform develops customized advertising audiences for Facebook and Instagram of potential and current customers that have the highest propensity to visit /re-visit/purchase. We provide custom audiences for both prospecting and remarketing to assist your store in bringing in new customers while at the same time re-engaging past ones. Our platform takes the guesswork out of determining who your target audiences are, and ensures that data drives the development of your targeted audiences.

Data-Driven Audiences = Better Results

Vantage’s targeted audiences are designed to only include customers most likely to buy. No one customer will be in multiple audiences, as we map each customer to the audience that reflects their stage in the sales funnel. As mentioned, we offer prospecting campaigns to help your business attract new customers, and retargeting campaigns to bring past visitors back to your store in an effort to convert them into customers. The following are the audiences offered by Vantage for you to build Smart Campaigns with:



  • Top Customer Lookalike: Target audiences similar to your best customers to drive new traffic.
  • Dynamic Product: Create a carousel ad that shows potential customers products they have already viewed, but not purchased.
  • Website Visitor Lookalike: Target audiences similar to your website visitors to drive new traffic.
  • Website Visitors: Target anybody who’s visited your website, regardless of where they bounced.
  • Targeted Audience: Target audiences based on demographics, interests and behaviours online.
  • Upload List: Upload a .csv or .txt file of at least 500 customers with email addresses and we’ll target them.
  • Friends of Page Likes: Target friends of people who Liked your Facebook page.
  • Abandoned Carts: Target all of the customers who left the site before they finished making a purchase.
  • Around Me: Target Facebook users in the surrounding neighbourhood.
  • Top Customers: Bring your best customers back to your store.
  • Ready Customers: Bring back past customers who we think are likely to make another purchase.

Running both Smart Campaign types will fuel your sales funnel from start to purchase. We are the only platform in the industry that works continuously to bring in new business while at the same time persuading those who have already been to your store to come back and make a purchase.

Behind the Scenes

One of the most time-consuming aspects of advertising is constantly optimizing your campaigns to ensure you’re maximizing your efforts. Again we are putting your data to work by using predictive analytics and machine learning to optimize out bad ads and re-allocate the budget to the best ads, placement, and channels for optimal performance. The idea is to let the computers do what they’re good at, and let you focus on the real work, and actually, still have optimized campaigns generating you revenue.

Play with The Data

If you want a hand in the experimentation of your Facebook and Instagram ads our platform allows you to create thousands of variants of your ads with just a few clicks. Simply select the available product images from your store, or upload custom images and drag-and-drop copy onto each variation of the ad. It has never been easier to complete multivariate tests to uncover what drives your customers purchasing decisions.

Our Pièce De Résistance

Perhaps our greatest offering is the Vantage Stack, a self-reinforcing bunch of 5 highly efficient campaigns that touch customers with ads at every step along the customer journey. The campaigns bring in new customers and logically and methodically drive them through the sales funnel, recovering abandoned carts and ultimately retaining the best customers.

The 5 ad campaigns that make up the Vantage Stack include:

  1. Find New Customers: Target new customers based on characteristics of your best customers.
  2. Get Visitors Back: Retarget visitors that viewed the store, but didn’t look at products or add anything to the cart in order to bring them back.
  3. Close the Sale: Utilize dynamic product ads (DPA) to retarget anyone who viewed a product or added it to a cart, but did not purchase.
  4. Recover Abandoners: Deliver ads to people who got partway through the checkout process, but didn’t finish it.
  5. Retain Customers: Remind your best customers about your brand and encourage them to come back by showing them new products or customer favorites.

The structure of the Vantage Stack means you don’t waste money on bad ads or audiences, and we drive a higher ROI while continually growing your store’s customer base.

Discovering and converting new customers has never been easier thanks to Vantage! We’re committed to helping store owners identify business opportunities and grow revenue in an easy and data-driven way. Stop the guesswork, and let Vantage work our magic to deliver your data-driven advertising campaigns.

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By |February 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Ecommerce Marketing Calendar – Be There When Your Customers are Shopping!

There are so many important dates for an ecommerce business owner. While preparing for holidays and developing a sales plan with a competitive edge, the key to an effective marketing strategy is planning in advance. So, how do you go about this? With a comprehensive ecommerce marketing calendar.

By |February 9th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Why Online Ads Are Essential for Ecommerce

For ecommerce, it’s a no-brainer that the best way to reach customers and attract new ones is online ads. You want to reach potential customers in the places they spend most of their time and showcase items that are tailored to their interests. Don’t believe us? Let’s review the facts!

Drive Sales and ROI

Online ads have revolutionized the advertising industry for ecommerce businesses. They most definitely help drive up the metric that matters most to your business – revenue. With targeting getting more sophisticated by the day, ads are becoming more personalized and relevant to shoppers online. Over the past year, Vantage has seen an average 10X return on ad spend across our customers running online ads. That’s ten dollars in incremental sales for every dollar spent in online advertising. Not bad, eh?


Almost, Lauren Conrad, almost.

Targeting and Reach

By advertising online you can overcome barriers of time and distance. You’re able to sell goods in any part of the world without having to reach out to a local or international agency or other cumbersome (and expensive) avenues. That’s right, you’re no longer constricted by traditional means of advertising – the whole web is your playground. With today’s ad technology, there’s no reason that your cat costume store in Australia can’t connect with cat lovers from Norway or even Japan! Then again if you only want to attract cat lovers in a certain city, state/province or country, targeting and geo-fencing allow you to do so! Targeting and reach go well beyond simply location, though. You can target anybody who’s visited your store regardless of where they bounced, customers who abandoned carts, customers likely to make a purchase, or even audiences similar to your best customers! By employing these savvy tactics you can that drive growth, capture market share, and improve profitability.  


Growing Influence

It’s predicted that spend for online ads and specifically social ads will drastically increase in the coming years. Consider this statistic: social media advertising budgets have doubled worldwide over the past 2 years—going from $16 billion U.S. in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016. As for 2017, analysts have predicted a 26.3% global increase on spend for online ads. Advertising your ecommerce business online is truly becoming the norm and there’s no time like the present to get in the game. Just like Gretchen Wieners can’t help that she’s popular, you can’t help if your stores revenue skyrockets on account of your awesome online ads.


The Power of Facebook

Facebook joined the advertising game well after display and search ads had established themselves. Despite that, their desktop ads have 8.1x higher click-through rates and mobile ads have 9.1x higher click-through rates than normal web ads! The best part? Facebook ads are oftentimes much cheaper than other online ad alternatives. They’re incredibly user-friendly and make it simple to target you ideal customers based on interests, age, location and more. You done good, Mark Zuckerberg.


The Growing* Power of Instagram

Many ecommerce business owners haven’t yet considered Instagram as a viable advertising option. This is because the platform only introduced advertising in October 2015 ,so it’s a relatively new platform for advertisers to take advantage of. As a mobile-first social network, Instagram is in the perfect place to capitalize on the influx in mobile growth. As mentioned Instagram ads are still a rather new advertising tool, but keep in mind that the platform has over 500 million active monthly users. What’s more is that ad recall from Sponsored Posts on Instagram is 2.9x higher than Nielsen’s norms for online advertising. Just like Facebook their campaigns are user-friendly and offer a bevy of targeting options. Get in on a good thing and become an early adopter of Instagram advertising!


Even JLo knows the power of Instagram advertising.

Budget Friendly

We’ve saved the best for last, which is that online ads in general, are much more cost-efficient than traditional mass marketing and media. Online ads can be viewed by millions of people and are displayed 24hrs a day. The added bonus is that according to online advertisers, Facebook and Instagram ads in particular tend to be cheaper than other online ads. No need to fret though – just because you’re paying less doesn’t mean you’re getting less. Many have stated that they found Facebook and Instagram offered longer placement for text which can help significantly in introducing your business to your potential consumers. Plus, think about how many times you check your social media a day. Each time your preferred audience checks their feed you’re getting repeated exposure to your ads. More bang for your buck!



On top of everything mentioned, one great thing ads can provide is insight. You may be surprised at what you find out about your customer base and who is engaging with your ads and content. Through data and insight, you can refine your approach to how and when you execute your marketing strategy. Data-driven marketing gives marketers all the more confidence in their approach. AdWeek notes that 77% of marketers are confident in their approach, and 74% intend to increase their data marketing budgets this year. Consumers are now more digitally engaged than ever and there’s a greater need to carefully consider your approach in order to reacher your desired customer base with effective and personal messaging.

insight online ads


So what are you waiting for! Start driving revenue for your ecommerce store by launching online ads today.

If you have any questions or need assistance, we encourage you to reach out to learn more about online advertising.

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By |January 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Holiday Shopping Behavior All Ecommerce Owners Should Know

Gone are the days of holiday shoppers patiently waiting for the stroke of midnight on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to begin scouring for holiday deals. Retailers, specifically ecommerce, have undoubtedly caught on to the record spending levels of the holiday season and have turned two days into an entire weekend of sales to capitalize on the busiest time of the year. Let’s break down the data!

ecommerce stores

 About the Ecommerce Data

  • 731 stores in US and Canada, 418 Non-US/CA
  • All small-medium ecommerce businesses that have at least 3 years of historical data for comparison
  • Averaging ~30 orders/day on a normal day
  • Average store had approximately $1m revenue in 2016


Hourly Order Volume – Non-US/Canada

As you can see, right before Black Friday officially hits there’s a considerable dip in order volume. As per usual, order volume spikes right as the clock strikes midnight and then drops significantly. The order volume ramps up again around lunch time and then drops off in the evening where it remains for the rest of the weekend and even Cyber Monday. It appears that outside of the US and Canada Cyber Monday hasn’t become the phenomenon we experience.

In comparison to years past, you can see the overall hourly order volume has drastically increased since 2014. Additionally, it appears that people are pre-planning what they want to purchase or where from. There are spikes right as Black Friday hits, again at lunch time and then finally in the evening before tapering off and ultimately completely dropping off just before midnight.

black friday ecommerce hourly order volume

What You’re Looking at:
The graph pictured shows the hourly number of orders for all stores
418 stores based outside of the US/CA that have data for the past 3 years
Bands are Black Friday/Cyber Monday in GMT

Hourly Order Volume – US and Canada

This graph in comparison to non-US and Canadian countries showcases how different our shopping patterns truly are. Though we initially see a spike right at midnight on Black Friday as per usual, there’s an even more significant jump around lunch time that continues right up until midnight. People aren’t waiting with bated breath for the clock to strike midnight anymore, they’re taking their time.

Unlike countries outside the US and Canada, order volume remains high throughout Saturday and Sunday, substantially more than 2015 and especially 2014. Perhaps the most interesting point is the incredible swell in orders on Cyber Monday, most notably right before midnight. As you can see, the highest point in order volume on Cyber Monday well surpasses the peak on Black Friday. The key takeaway here is that people are taking their time, they’re not rushing to stores to be trampled and prodded. They’re taking their time from the comfort of their home or desk chair and pre-planning what they’re going to purchase before they pull the trigger.

black friday ecommerce hourly order volume canada us

What You’re Looking at:
Graph shows hourly # of orders for all stores
731 stores based in US/CA that have data for all 3 years
Bands are Black Friday/Cyber Monday in EST

Black Friday + Cyber Monday Increase in Order Volume 

  • 2016: 5.4 times baseline (baseline up 70% YoY, Black Friday/Cyber Monday up 80% YoY)
  • 2015: 5.1 times baseline (baseline up 44% YoY, Black Friday/Cyber Monday up 69% YoY)
  • 2014: 4.3 times baseline

Daily Order Volume

While we see a steady increase from 2014 to 2015 there’s a giant increase from 2015 to 2016 regarding daily order volume. 2015 peaked at around 70,000, whereas we can see that 2016 peaked at a whopping 150,000!

black friday ecommerce daily order volume

What You’re Looking at:
Same 731 stores except now we’re looking at daily orders

Daily Discount Percentage

It’s clear that from 2014-2016 the discounts offered on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are continually increasing. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the data is noting that retailers appear to have started offering bigger discounts earlier this year – as much as 15%! In previous years during this time period, we saw discounts sticking in the range of 5-7% discounted. 2016 also saw a new peak in daily discount percentage settling at an astounding 20%.

black friday ecommerce daily discount percentage

Key Takeaways –

Are Black Friday and Cyber Monday Important for your Ecommerce Business?

When asked initially about your impression of Black Friday and cyber Monday, you might be inclined to suggest shoppers are just looking for deals, only interested in making small purchases, and won’t make good long-term customers. On the contrary, Black Friday is a fantastic time to attract valuable, new customers. 2016 had one of the biggest holiday shopping seasons ever online. Though a surge in spending was seen across Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the spending definitely didn’t stop there. The data suggests that Black Friday is no longer a single day, but rather a multi-day event that seems to have swept both Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday deals up under its name. It might surprise you to know that spending increased on Thanksgiving Day and continued until 11:59 pm Cyber Monday.

Everything about 2016’s Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales were bigger and more aggressive than 2015. Previous years saw a clear lift in spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but now there has been a clear shift from a day of deals to a weekend long event. That means shoppers are no longer feeling the same sense of urgency to stay up late to score the sales.

Another key trend to note is the massive increase in discounts being offered by retailers. In 2015 discounts were only seen on Black Friday and Cyber Monday with an average discount of 14%. But in 2016, discounts were deeper, earlier, and spanned over a longer period, staying over 18% for a total of 5 days in a row from Thursday through Monday. While it’s clear that both retailers and shoppers have bought into the Black Friday experience, the days outside of Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday remain unchanged even though there were many Pre-Black Friday sales this year. Retailers have been trying to get shoppers to start earlier with zero results for their efforts except for lost margins.  We saw this again this year, with very little Pre-Black Friday shopping.  This is important for retailers to keep in mind rolling into next year; maintaining a sense of urgency with a start and end date will help you more than harm you.

vantage cto black friday What’s Changed in 2016

  • The discounts were bigger
  • The discounts started earlier
  • An increase in people and order sizes on Saturday and Sunday
  • Significant shrinkage in the gap between Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  • People started shopping earlier

What Didn’t Change in 2016

  • Hourly patterns of how people shop from Black Friday to Cyber Monday
  • Average order size
  • International stores still not seeing a big lift

Predictions for 2017

  • Start sales ahead of Black Friday (if you have the volume to justify it)
  • Keep selling and offering expedited shipping as close to Christmas as you can
  • Start telling people early about your sales, get your campaigns scheduled early


vantage ecommerce analytics and advertising

*** Data used in this analysis comes from looking at over 1,000 stores that use Vantage.  Data used for growth year-over-year order growth for US-based stores selling in USD that were in operation before 1 Oct 2015 and are still in operation today.

By |January 18th, 2017|Data & Insights, Events|0 Comments

Great Business Tools for SaaS Startups

The expansion of the Internet in the 90s saw the emergence of a new class of centralized low-cost computing called ASPs (Application Service Providers). ASPs could be less expensive because they offered highly specialized business applications (e.g., hosting) and spread the cost of their services across a broad number of clients that required said service.

Software as a Service is an extension of the ASP model, generally focused on delivering a specific piece of software (the service) and employing a partitioned multi-tenant architecture and distributed by the web.

From the moment of its inception, Vantage was always going to be a SaaS solution. It never existed as a client-server model nor could it have been managed by a 3rd party. We didn’t need to “Move To SaaS” as many companies are currently struggling to do.

As we built out our initial models for development and growth, however, we did turn to one specialist in the area of modelling SaaS growth. The folks behind Lean-Case thinking were instrumental in helping Vantage to understand growth models and how we could scale. As Lean-Case has developed, it has become a true world-class methodology, second to none in planning SaaS companies.

Now MoveToSaaS picks up where Lean-Case left off. Harnessing the business modelling and simulation, factoring in the financial planning and benchmarking, MoveToSaas even helps SaaS companies and startups to manage their Board-level communication. Standardization is key to scaling, but the team behind MoveToSaaS is helping companies of larger sizes with customized solutions as needed in a consultative process.

We have been extremely fortunate to have the support of the team behind Lean-Case and now MoveToSaaS.  I highly recommend that others try their tools as well.

What about you? I’d like to hear from you about your secret tools for success.

By |October 2nd, 2016|Data & Insights, How To, Resources|0 Comments

Vantage Delivers Growth

Announcing Lookalike Audiences by Vantage.


Lookalike Audiences by Vantage are great to help you grow your existing store. If you already have some visitors and customers and you are generating revenue, Vantage can help you find more visitors and potential customers just like your current ones. Who wouldn’t want more visitors, customers, and sales?

There are many companies out there that promise to help you grow your store, but Vantage delivers. At scale.

We have held back.

We didn’t want to offer Lookalike campaigns until we were confident that we would be offering the best in the industry. After all, who wants to be #2?

You may be wondering why Vantage seems to be focusing its energy on growth and helping brands and retailers to increase their exposure and revenues. The answer is simple:

  • We could have remained simply the best analytics platform for ecommerce.
  • We could have increased our reporting capabilities and helped a subset of our clients to create more and more reports.

But we didn’t want to satisfy the needs of the subset, the few people that had the time and energy and the inclination to really dive into more reports. We wanted to be able to enable more and more brands and retailers to succeed. It turns out that data and insight is only powerful if you can get away from reports and get into driving action and success.

Vantage delivers growth.

From the early days of our work advantage, it was very clear that above everything else that our customers wanted, the one thing that they crave the most was growth. We want every minute, every dollar that you invest in Vantage to be the best investment you make each day. Vantage delivers growth.

We’re ready to get you started today!


By |September 26th, 2016|Data & Insights, News, Vantage Smart Campaigns|0 Comments

Vantage Video Ads Outperform

The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words. If a one-minute video ad contains 1,800 pictures, then using video ads to showcase your store and products can say a lot to prospective and past customers.

We are pleased to announce the arrival of Vantage Video Ads. You can use videos from your Facebook page, to include them in your ads.




Video ads outperform. Several independent statistics companies have recently published some hard evidence of this. According to one such company, your customers are nearly twice as likely to purchase products after seeing videos. This is especially true of Millennials, who have grown up with high-content media, and consider it a baseline for advertising.

At Vantage, we’ve personally seen the success of our customers’ video ads. Stores with high quality videos are creating new interest and growing their sales. If you have video content, we highly recommend that you A/B test its effectiveness in ads using Vantage.

Why not run some ads with still images and compare against the ads that you run with video content? We’re happy to help you get started. Get started today!



By |September 6th, 2016|News, Uncategorized, Vantage Smart Campaigns|0 Comments