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The 2015 Holiday Season on Facebook: A Forecast For Ecommerce Advertisers

Written by: Carolyn Berk, Content Marketing Associate

What performance trends can Facebook advertisers expect this holiday season? We took a look at ecommerce advertiser CPMs, CTRs and ad spend on mobile and desktop from Q4 of last year, in order to help marketers develop their Facebook advertising plans for this November and December. Read on for three valuable takeaways:

1. Expect big shifts in CPM for desktop

Our holiday preview report shows that it’s hard to go wrong when advertising during the holiday season. Regardless of the hour of the day or device targeted, marketers will achieve more purchases for every ad dollar spent during the holidays compared to the rest of the year.

Purchases per ad dollar by hour - Ad Spend Changes 2015 Holiday shopping season

However, there are factors that influence the cost of driving purchases:

Desktop cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) is impacted dramatically by the holiday season. Amongst Nanigans ecommerce advertisers, the cost of targeting female desktop shoppers shot up 236% during the holidays. Increased marketplace competition also drove up costs of reaching males on desktop by 125%. In comparison, CPM costs for both males and females on mobile only increased modestly during the 2014 holiday season.

CPM Mobile Desktop - Ad Spend Changes 2015 Holiday Shopping Season

2. Ad engagement will increase – on desktop

Click through rates (CTRs) also vary depending on the time of year, but targeting plays a key role in just how much. Our report showed that Q4 ad engagement rates rose substantially on desktop, with CTRs for females doubling during the holidays and CTRs for males exhibiting a more modest increase of 33%. Mobile was a completely different story, with CTRs for both males and females remaining virtually the same throughout the year, regardless of the holiday season.

Desktop mobile CTR - Ad spend changes 2015 holiday shopping season

3. More ad spend moves to mobile; however…

Smart marketers know they need to adjust their ad spend to adapt to changing customer purchasing behavior. This especially holds true during the holiday shopping season, when many consumers are traveling to visit loved ones. Advertisers had mobile on their minds in the last few months of 2014, which caused the share of ecommerce ad spend targeting mobile devices to jump to more than twice the amount spent throughout the rest of the year. Yet that still wasn’t enough to beat out desktop ads, which commanded 67% of holiday ad spend. Desktop ads historically have driven a greater share of ecommerce purchases, influencing advertisers to continue to use them as the main channel to influence holiday shoppers.

Spend by device - Ad spend changes 2015 holiday shopping season

For more Facebook trends that could impact your holiday ad performance in 2015, read our holiday guide:

Download the 2015 Facebook Holiday Advertising Trend Preview For Ecommerce!

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