Purchase Behavior by Day and Time

Overview:

In this study, we analyzed thousands of ticket purchases across campaigns to look at various factors that are effecting ROI. It’s important to monitor external factors on top of campaign-specific factors (ad creative, messaging, call-to-action). We decided to take a look at the time of day and the day of the week to see how these factors effected our conversion rates and ultimately our ROI.

Methodology

In this test, we looked at ten different event based campaigns, which ran in various markets across the country, at different times throughout the year. These were primarily based around major music festivals, but data does also include beer festivals as well. Our data only looks at direct conversions, we did not use any view-thru conversion data, as that data would focus more on when people are buying in general, versus when a consumer is more likely to buy a ticket after recently engaging with an ad. Our focus was on festivals where the majority of the ticket buyers would be within the same time-zone as the event, to ensure the hour-by-hour data was not skewed by people purchasing tickets throughout the country. In addition, even though the festivals did occur in different time-zones, all data has been normalized to the local time of the event. Our sample size consisted of over 7,500 unique conversions (ticket purchases).

Results

Hour of the Day

In looking at data based on time of day, we looked to challenge speculation that people are more likely to purchase tickets in the evening, when they return home from work. Our data showed that late morning into middle of day (10am – 2pm) was actually the strongest performing time, in regards to volume of conversions, cost per conversion and conversion rate. The hour from Noon to 1pm, provided the most conversions, at the best conversion rate and the lowest cost per conversion. The theory here is that people are more likely to purchase tickets during their lunch break at work. Conversely, the worst time of day was from 11pm-8am. Here, not only did we see less volume in terms of conversion, but also worse conversion rates and higher cost per conversions. Users overnight are less likely in the state of mind to be making big purchases and are more likely to be passively browsing.

Day of the Week

Across all the campaigns we looked at, weekdays outperformed weekends in all key metrics. Some potential reasons for this disparity include a higher likelihood of passive browsing on the weekend as people are often on-the-go and distracted by increased activity Additionally, on the weekdays, it’s more likely that organically the events will be giving new info about the events and posting about them, which will in turn help online campaigns. Within the weekdays, our data is not conclusive saying that particular days are the best, but we saw slightly better results on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Takeaways

Across a wide array of ticketing campaigns, we have found that the most important time of the day to be active is the middle of the day. If you are trying to keep your cost per conversion as low as possible, campaigns should not begin before 9am, with the exception of core search. In addition, waiting to reach people when they get home from work will also prove to be ineffective, as you will miss out on the valuable lunchtime buyers. If the campaign has a limited budget and a long flight, it its beneficial to focus on the weekdays from the middle of the day on.

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