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Data Insights: Black Friday 2019

This report reveals insights into shopper behavior on Black Friday 2019, and how it compares to behavior during Black Friday 2018. It offers retailers visibility into directional trends that are likely to impact sales for the remainder of the year and into 2020.

Bluecore gathered and analyzed the following data immediately following the end of Black Friday 2019. We reviewed shopper interactions and activity by 207 retail brands across apparel, beauty, footwear, home, jewelry, and technology.

The following insights are based on analysis of 720.9M shopper events on these brands’ ecommerce sites, including shoppers adding product(s) to cart, conducting keyword searches, viewing products and completing sales transactions. Bluecore derived this data from 103.5M first-party cookies, 87.8M cart events, 1.97M unique products, 8.23M orders and $4.1B in total sales. The complete methodology can be found in the Appendix of this report.

Question #1: Do retail brands see a lot of second purchases on Black Friday, or are most customers first-time buyers? More specifically, do those buyers come back during the Holiday season?

 

A significant portion of Black Friday shoppers become repeat buyers and represent significant potential revenue for a retailer: Getting 2,200 buyers (22% of 10,000 first time buyers) who purchased for the first time on Black Friday to purchase again throughout the year represents a $187K revenue opportunity for retailers that have an AOV of $50 and $374K for retailers that have an AOV of $100. This calculation is: Number of first time buyers * re-purchase rate * average number of orders placed after Black Friday * AOV. In this case: 22% repurchase rate * 10,000 first time buyers * 1.7 orders after Black Friday * $50 AOV (or $100)

Why is this important? Sixty percent of second purchases occur within 100 days after the first purchase. Following that first 100 days, the chances of a second purchase remain stagnant temporarily before ultimately dipping below 10%. With every purchase customers make, the likelihood that they will return increases. Retailers see the biggest jump in likelihood to purchase again between one-time buyers and two-time buyers, as the chances nearly double.

Question #2: How is site traffic affected by Black Friday?

 

  • Footwear and Home were the only industries that saw a slight increases in site traffic from Black Friday 2018 to Black Friday 2019. 
  • Footwear is among one of the highest “gifting” categories, so we can surmise that footwear is being bought as gifts for the upcoming holidays.
  • For the increase in Home, we can assume that this year, Home brands are finally getting caught up on trends like Black Friday where they had previously fallen behind
  • The slight decrease in site traffic on Black Friday for Apparel, Beauty, Jewelry and Technology brands can be explained by the growing trend among these types of retailers to extend offers in their Black Friday sales to the days before and after Black Friday; therefore, their surge in site traffic is spread across more days.
  • Overall, Technology retailers saw the biggest drop in site traffic on Black Friday 2019 compared to Black Friday 2018. One explanation could be that Technology retailers are prioritizing Cyber Monday deals this year.

Question #3: Are Black Friday purchases more likely to be planned or impulse buys?

 

The majority of Black Friday purchases (68%) are impulse purchases across all industries. This represents a huge opportunity for retailers, who, with relevant communications, can convert first-time buyers into repeat customers.

Thirty-two percent (32%) of purchases are considered or researched purchases (as indicated by shoppers viewing products, often more than once in the two weeks leading up to Black Friday).

Question #4: How does the average order value on Black Friday 2019 compare to that of a typical day?

 

While the average order value shows small increases for Apparel, Beauty, and Jewelry, these small changes equal millions of dollars for these industries.

Question #5: What percentage of Black Friday shoppers were first-time buyers and how does this compare to a typical day?

 

A large portion of buyers on Black Friday are first time buyers – for Footwear, Home, Jewelry, and Technology in particular, this is the majority of buyers. This represents a huge opportunity for retailers to drive more revenue by leveraging what they know about these buyers to encourage a second purchase.

APPENDIX

Detailed Methodology

 

Q1: Do retail brands see a lot of second purchases on Black Friday, or are most customers first-time buyers? More specifically, do those buyers come back during the Holiday season?

For 156 retailers (60 Apparel, 27 Footwear, 19 Home, 9 Technology, 8 Beauty, 6 Jewelry, 27 Other) in 2018 and 158 retailers (51 Apparel, 22 Footwear, 15 Home, 7 Technology, 13 Beauty, 7 Jewelry, 43 Other) in 2019, we calculated the following for each retailer and then calculated the median values for each industry:

  • Purchased again: the proportion of buyers who made their first purchase on Black Friday 2018 (11/23/2018) and purchased again in the following year (11/24/2018 – 11/28/2019)
  • Purchased again during the Holidays: the proportion of buyers who made their first purchase on Black Friday 2018 and purchased again during the 2018 holiday season (12/1/2018 – 1/1/2019)
  •  
  • Average number of days until next purchase: the average number of days between first purchase (Black Friday 2018) and next purchase
  • Average number of orders after Black Friday: Of those first-time buyers who purchased again, the average number of purchases made after Black Friday

Q2. How is site traffic affected by Black Friday?

  • 161 retailers (60 Apparel, 27 Footwear, 23 Home, 9 Technology, 8 Beauty, 7 Jewelry, 27 Other) in 2018 and 158 retailers (51 Apparel, 22 Footwear, 15 Home, 7 Technology, 13 Beauty, 7 Jewelry, 43 Other) in 2019
  • 52 retailers have < 20,000 cookies onsite on a typical day (‘smaller’), 69 retailers have between 20K-100K cookies onsite on a typical day and 37 retailers have > 100K people on-site on a typical day in 2019
  • A customer is considered on-site if one of the following retail-specific actions is taken: add to cart, viewed cart, viewed product, search, browse category, or purchase. As such, homepage visits are not included.

For each retailer, site traffic on Black Friday is compared to that of a typical day and the factor is calculated as: number of cookies on-site on Black Friday/number of cookies on-site on a typical day.

For each industry, the median factor is calculated and can be interpreted as described.

Q3. Are Black Friday purchases more likely to be planned or impulse buys?

For each of the 161 retailers (60 Apparel, 27 Footwear, 23 Home, 9 Technology, 8 Beauty, 7 Jewelry, 27 Other) in 2018 and 158 retailers (51 Apparel, 22 Footwear, 15 Home, 7 Technology, 13 Beauty, 7 Jewelry, 43 Other) in 2019, what proportion of Black Friday shoppers viewed a product within the 2 weeks prior to the day? For each retailer calculate the following and take the median values for each industry:

  • Average number of products viewed: average number of distinct products (as calculated using the product id field) viewed in the 2 weeks prior to Black Friday
  • Average number of views: average number of distinct views in the 2 weeks prior to Black Friday (a single product can be viewed multiple times) 
  • Proportion of Black Friday shoppers that viewed: the proportion of all the customers who made a purchase online on Black Friday that viewed at least once in the 2 weeks prior

Q4. How does the average order value on Black Friday 2019 compare to that of a typical day?

For each of the 158 retailers (51 Apparel, 22 Footwear, 15 Home, 7 Technology, 13 Beauty, 7 Jewelry, 43 Other) used for 2019, calculated the change in Average Order Value (AOV) on Black Friday 2019 compared to a typical day.

Q5. What percentage of Black Friday shoppers were first-time buyers and how does this compare to a typical day?

For each of the 161 retailers (60 Apparel, 27 Footwear, 23 Home, 9 Technology, 8 Beauty, 7 Jewelry, 27 Other) in 2018 and 158 retailers (51 Apparel, 22 Footwear, 15 Home, 7 Technology, 13 Beauty, 7 Jewelry, 43 Other) in 2019, calculated the percentage of first-time buyers on Black Friday and the change in percentage of first-time buyers compared to a typical day.