Retail Marketing Insights Report
Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2022
Every Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Bluecore gathers data to track movement in the retail industry and get insights into how shoppers are changing the way they interact with products and brands.
These insights offer retailers visibility into trends that will not only impact sales for the rest of the year and going into 2023, but also demonstrate fundamental changes in retail and retail marketing.
Bluecore derived the following data on Black Friday from 171 million first-party cookies, 1.3 billion shopper events, 4 million unique products, 6 million orders, and $728 million in total sales across 138 retail brands (57 apparel, 10 consumer electronics, 11 footwear, 9 gifts and floral, 7 health and beauty, 16 home goods, 9 jewelry and luxury, 19 sporting goods and outdoor).
The report is broken down by overall performance, shopper behavior, and shopper lifecycle measures per vertical. The complete methodology can be found in the appendix of this report.
How site traffic has changed from Black Friday 2021
- Overall, site traffic is up year-over-year by an average of 11%. Traffic increased for every retail vertical, with the exception of consumer electronics and footwear.
- This year, shoppers have been getting back into stores, likely resulting in a smaller year-over-year increase in traffic to ecommerce sites.
- Shoppers are prioritizing self-care and luxury purchases this year with millennial “revenge-spending” — spending on high-ticket items, like jewelry and luxury, that they can afford since interest rates and the housing market have put home purchases out of reach. They’re also spending more on themselves within categories like health and beauty, which could explain the increases.
- The large increase in traffic over a typical day reveals that shoppers are still influenced by discounts they’ve come to expect on Black Friday.
- The decrease in home goods and consumer electronics year-over-year could indicate a shift in priorities for shoppers for different reasons.
- For home goods, as shoppers fully emerge from COVID-19, they may be less likely to invest in home spaces and more likely to invest in experiences.
- For consumer electronics, the decrease could relate to the fact that shoppers in the $50,000 to $99,999 annual income range are most affected by inflation and may be less inclined to take advantage of deals for high-ticket items on Black Friday.
How site traffic has changed from Cyber Monday 2021 to Cyber Monday 2022 and from Black Friday 2022
- Cyber Monday traffic is up 8% year-over-year, but down 8% from Black Friday
- Nearly all verticals had higher site traffic on Black Friday, with the exception of consumer electronics and gifts and floral
How average order values and total orders have changed from Black Friday 2021
- Shoppers have remained resilient this year, as illustrated by their continued spending, despite the rise in inflation and macroeconomic trends, including layoffs.
- Brands began discounting and offering Black Friday deals earlier than in previous years, but order values and number of orders still increased on Black Friday — maintaining the day’s status as the primary shopping holiday.
- Notably, site traffic was up year-over-year, but the number of orders and order values did not move in parallel. This could be because, though shoppers were seeking deals for Black Friday, some of those deals may not have been enticing enough to convert shoppers under the rising pressures of inflation.
- We see from this finding — particularly for health and beauty — that shoppers seem to be focusing on self-care and appearance.
How average order values and total orders have changed from Cyber Monday 2021 to Cyber Monday 2022
- Overall, order values did not change, but the total number of orders increased by 5% from Cyber Monday 2021
- Health and beauty saw the highest jump in orders from Cyber Monday last year, likely because shoppers are spending more on self-care
Average order values throughout Cyber Weekend relative to Cyber Monday
- Average order values remained steady throughout Cyber Weekend.
- Consumer electronics experiences a peak in orders the day before Black Friday, which may indicate that shoppers took advantage of early sales when prompted.
Total sales throughout Cyber Weekend relative to Cyber Monday
- Total revenue was highest on Black Friday overall, relative to Cyber Monday
- Footwear and apparel drove more revenue on Black Friday than Cyber Monday
- Gifts and floral and jewelry and luxury both drove more revenue on Cyber Monday than Black Friday
How many times shoppers viewed products before completing their purchase, and how many times they viewed them
- During the weeks leading up to Black Friday, shoppers viewed an average of 6 products 12 times each before purchasing on the day of Black Friday.
- Since shopper dollars are not going as far as they used to due to inflation, shopper consideration plays a much larger role, as each purchase represents higher stakes.
- For retail verticals with more buying options, shoppers show more discovery and consideration before making a purchase. For retail verticals like apparel (which has traditionally been — and remains — a window-shopping category) and particularly health and beauty, there’s higher consideration because there are more alternatives for shoppers to explore before they complete the purchase.
- Consumer electronics and gifts and floral have the lowest number of views before purchase.
- For consumer electronics, this is likely because there are fewer options, and shoppers usually have a specific item in mind they want to purchase.
- For gifts and floral, which are less likely to be self-purchases, this is likely due in part to having fewer options and alternatives to explore than in other retail verticals.
Why is this important? This demonstrates how important it is for brands to captivate shoppers on site and capitalize on the “window of intent” quickly to keep speed with shoppers. Shopper discovery and consideration might also take a longer time than usual with inflation, so it’s important to surface products and product recommendations consistently to shoppers to remind them of the products they loved (and researched) on your site.
How many shoppers viewed a product in advance of buying, and how many bought on impulse
- Six percent (6%) more shoppers researched their purchases in advance of Black Friday compared to last year.
- With price increases resulting from inflation — and the mounting financial pressures on consumers — shoppers might be more cautious about where they’re spending their money.
- Shoppers were most likely to make impulse purchases when buying sporting goods and outdoor items, as well as gifts and floral. Impulse purchases in sporting goods might be the result of people booking travel experiences and hesitating less when it comes to purchasing items they need for corresponding outdoor activities.
- Shoppers might also be more opportunistic when it comes to sporting goods and outdoors, considering that many of those items are more expensive, making it more important to snag a deal.
- The home goods category has the highest number of shoppers planning these purchases, due to home goods often being higher ticket items — and requiring more research since they must match the context of the space they’re entering.
Why is this important? Brands need to have multifaceted strategies designed to meet each and every kind of shopper at the right moment for them. Shoppers that require more time to consider their purchase in advance of buying will require a different approach than shoppers who act in the moment. Being able to read and react to shoppers browsing in advance — and capture them early — is a big opportunity for brands. If you have the right communications and triggers set up, you can get shoppers to buy more in advance, opening the door to valuable repeat buyers.
Shoppers that moved from anonymous to identified on Black Friday 2022
- The overwhelming majority (74%) of shoppers that visited an ecommerce site on Black Friday remained unidentified by retailers — and brands were only able to identify an average of 2% of the total new shoppers they encountered.
- Footwear, apparel, and consumer electronics were the only retail verticals to identify more than 1% of new shoppers on Black Friday.
- Apparel and health and beauty have the highest rate of identified shoppers. This is likely a result of those retailers driving higher loyalty among shoppers, with more investments in loyalty programs and benefits to staying subscribed with that brand.
- This year, shoppers have become more protective and aware of their data privacy than in years past, with cookie disclaimers appearing on more ecommerce sites. These serve as a reminder to maintain data privacy, thereby making shoppers less inclined to share their details and more inclined to clear their cookies consistently to mask trackability and move anonymously on ecommerce sites.
- This may demonstrate that site pop-ups aren’t offering compelling enough discounts to warrant shoppers giving up their email or phone numbers. This is especially true on Black Friday, when pop-up discounts are overshadowed by active Black Friday deals, and don’t reflect individual shopper preferences.
- Additionally, consumers have stated that they are willing to extend their identifiers to brands for high-quality experiences in return — it may be off-putting for brands to receive over-communication.
Why is this important? Retailers need to be able to communicate with 100% of the traffic that lands on their site to drive conversions quickly. Having onsite triggers ready to capture emails and phone numbers — and having onsite campaigns that recommend products to shoppers to convert in-session — are critical. Additionally, taking advantage of high-traffic shopping holidays is critical in playing a long game with the holidays. If your shoppers don’t make a purchase during the holidays, then capturing the ability to communicate with them in the new year extends the opportunity.
How many shoppers were identified by brands by the event they took site — adding to cart, viewing products, and searching products.
- Brands fail to identify 42% of shoppers that are adding products to cart.
- Health and beauty has the highest identification rate across the board, which could be due to their loyalty programs, at 69% identified.
Number of repeat shoppers that brands had on Black Friday 2022
- Across verticals, first-time buyers comprise the largest percentage (an average of 37%) of brands’ total shoppers on Black Friday. Notably, fifth-time buyers and beyond make up the second highest group of shoppers, accounting for 31% of Black Friday purchases.
- Apparel and health and beauty have the highest percentage of fifth-time and beyond buyers (32% and 50%, respectively) returning for Black Friday. This demonstrates how these verticals have prioritized loyalty, data, and predictive personalization activation to drive deeper relationships with shoppers this year — through measures like cross-category buying and loyalty programs.
- During inflation, we expected shoppers to shop primarily with brands they trust and know — rather than branching out to test new brands with their shopping dollars. While the first-time buyer trend remains, the number of deeply loyal shoppers is as strong — and in some cases stronger.
- Gifts and floral also have a high number of repeat buyers. This indicates that shoppers may rely on the same brands to deliver gifts to friends and family for the holiday season.
- Consumer electronics and jewelry and luxury have the most first-time buyers, as those are not everyday purchases, and shoppers may be waiting for discounts to convert from those retailers.
- Consumers are generally spending more on apparel and health and beauty than they did last year, likely because they are looking to buy clothes for experiences and travel, they are also prioritizing self-care, and — as we indicated earlier — they are looking to spend with brands they trust.
Why is this important? First-time buyers represent a key opportunity for brands. The more a shopper buys from a brand, the more likely they are to come back. In a year that we predict will be defined by profitability over growth, increasing the bottom line by nurturing existing shoppers will be key — and all of these new first-time buyers is a great place to start.
Change in repeat shoppers that brands had from Black Friday 2021 to Black Friday 2022
- While first time buyers decreased by an average of 5% compared to last year, the portion of shoppers buying for the fifth time or beyond increased 17%.
- Health and beauty shoppers tend to be cult loyalists, as demonstrated by 4% more of them making fifth-time-and-beyond purchases on Black Friday this year. This might be because they are more willing to spend with the brands they know and trust, while in other verticals, shoppers are more willing to give new brands a shot.
- Consumer electronics sees the highest increase in second- and fourth-time buyers, reaffirming that shoppers are likely waiting for Black Friday discounts to restock on higher ticket technology items. Consumer electronics also experienced an inventory shortage last year, so they have more products and discounts, giving shoppers a stronger reason to come back this Black Friday.
- Brands have made loyalty much more of a priority this year, with huge rises in the percentage of third- through fifth-time buyers across the board. Brands are rethinking customer relationships and actively considering which shopper subsets are most valuable to engage with in light of the high expense of acquisition and the rise in digital advertising costs.
- This trend toward repeat purchases could also be due to the fact that shoppers are more willing to spend with the brands they know and trust this year, rather than risk their limited spend on new brands.
Why is this important? Tracking the year-to-year change in each buyer type gives critical insights into how shoppers are either deepening their loyalty with brands or trying new brands. It’s important to understand shoppers’ individual cadences as well, knowing when shoppers are at risk or lost so you can win them back.
How average order values change by buyer type, from 1st-time through 5th-time buyers
- Whether first-time or repeat buyers, average order values remain relatively consistent across verticals — with an average value of $128 for first-time buyers and ~$118 for second time buyers and beyond.
- Consumer electronics and home goods were outliers with fifth-time-and-beyond and first-time buyers accounting for the highest average order values ($493, $289), respectively.
- The major spike in AOV from third- to fifth-time buyers on consumer electronics could indicate that consumer trust is an important factor when spending on high-ticket items.
- Home goods shows a steady decline in average order value from first purchase to fifth and beyond, likely because shoppers are starting with higher ticket items and then branching out into lower priced items like home accessories as they “complete the look” of a room or upgrade other areas of the house.
- We also noted a striking consistency among average order values across buyers in both apparel and health and beauty, which could be explained by shoppers seeking to meet free shipping minimums.
Why is this important? Knowing which buyer type is driving the most revenue for each vertical, gives insights into how much shoppers are willing to spend depending on their buyer type — and therefore how to best communicate with them.
Number of shoppers that returned to a brand they first discovered this year
- Of all shoppers who made a first purchase from a brand in 2022, an average of 5% returned to make an additional purchase on Black Friday.
- Apparel and health and beauty brands experienced higher than average repurchase on Black Friday — 5.9% and 6.6%, respectively. We credit this to these brands leaning into personalization and predictive intelligence and being more likely to capture shoppers quickly because they are automatically reading and reacting to those shoppers’ changes with relevant communications. These brands also have more loyalty programs to engage with.
- Gifts and floral brands saw 6.5% of first-time buyers buy again on Black Friday, which could be due to their earning shopper trust during holidays like Mother’s Day or birthdays earlier in the year.
Why is this important? This shows a major opportunity for brands to re-engage shoppers consistently throughout the year by curating 1:1 recommendations to truly build relationships with shoppers that keep them coming back. Loyalty and driving retention is a large priority from brands, but doing it faster increases revenue and lifetime value. The shoppers’ “window of intent” widens for peak times like Black Friday, so there’s more time to capitalize, but it still needs to happen quickly.
Number of shoppers that made a repeat purchase within the holiday month
- Brands were able to entice an average of 2.3% of shoppers who made a November purchase to make another purchase on Black Friday.
- Apparel, which brought 3.6% of November shoppers back to buy again on Black Friday, demonstrated its commitment to capturing and engaging shoppers quickly. This could be due in part to the extended deals we saw earlier this month and the frequent communications from these brands. If shoppers bought something they loved earlier in the month, they might have waited to see if the discounts would be steeper on Black Friday, and then returned for a repeat purchase.
- With each subsequent purchase comes a bigger opportunity to increase the likelihood of a next purchase and drive lifetime value — particularly in the jump between the first and second purchase. Engaging shoppers quickly increases that likelihood. Why is this important? A brand’s ability to catch shoppers quickly and bring them back for the holidays could dramatically increase lifetime value and the likelihood of a shopper buying again. Brands need to act quickly to extend the opportunity during shopping holidays. The second a shopper engages or purchases with a brand, the brand should be hand-holding them to their next purchase.
Black Friday 2022
Bluecore derived the following data on Black Friday from 91 million first-party cookies, 729 million shopper events, 4 million unique products, 3.2 million orders and $388 million in total sales across 138 retail brands (57 Apparel, 10 Consumer Electronics, 11 Footwear, 9 Gifts & Floral, 7 Health & Beauty, 16 Home Goods, 9 Jewelry & Luxury, 19 Sporting Goods & Outdoor).
These insights are derived from Black Friday UTC (7PM EST Thursday 11/24 – 7PM EST Friday 11/25).
Bluecore derived the following data on Cyber Monday from 80 million first-party cookies, 613 million shopper events, 3.7 million unique products, 2.8 million orders and $340 million in total sales across 138 retail brands (57 Apparel, 10 Consumer Electronics, 11 Footwear, 9 Gifts & Floral, 7 Health & Beauty, 16 Home Goods, 9 Jewelry & Luxury, 19 Sporting Goods & Outdoor).
These insights are derived from Cyber Monday UTC (7PM EST Sunday 11/27 – 7PM EST Monday 11/28).
How site traffic has changed from Black Friday 2021 and a typical day in 2022
54 retailers have < 20,000 cookies onsite on a typical day (‘smaller’), 45 retailers have between 20K-100K cookies onsite on a typical day and 49 retailers have > 100K people on-site on a typical day in 2022. A customer is considered on-site if one of the following retail-specific actions is taken: add to cart, viewed cart, viewed product, search, or browse category. As such, homepage and general page views are not included. For each retailer, the percentage change in site traffic on Black Friday is compared to that of daily average site traffic in October 2022, and industry benchmarks are calculated as the median traffic change per industry.
Breakdown of repeat buyers retailers brought back to buy on Black Friday
The percentage of first-time, second-time, third-time, fourth-time, and fifth + time buyers on Black Friday 2021 was calculated for all brands with a minimum of 24 months of continuous shopper history. Fifth+ time buyers is an aggregate of all shoppers who have made five or more purchases with a brand.
Change in buyer type from first through fourth time buyers from Black Friday 2021 to Black Friday 2022
The percentage of first-time, second-time, third-time, fourth-time, and fifth + time buyers on Black Friday 2021 was calculated for all brands with a minimum of 24 months of continuous shopper history, and the proportion was compared to the proportion of shoppers on Black Friday 2021. Fifth+ time buyers is an aggregate of all shoppers who have made five or more purchases with a brand.
Number of shoppers that returned to a retailer they first discovered from this year
We calculated the proportion of buyers who made their first purchase with a brand between 1/1/22 – 9/30/22 and purchased again in the early holiday season, defined as 10/1/22 – Black Friday (11/25/22).
How many times shoppers viewed products before completing the purchase
We evaluated all shoppers who purchased with a brand on Black Friday, and calculated the portion who viewed any product on the brand’s website within 1 month prior to the Black Friday purchase. Median values for each metric are used to define industry benchmarks.
How many times shoppers viewed products before completing the purchase
Average number of products viewed: average number of distinct products (as calculated using the product id field) viewed in the month prior to Black Friday.
Average number of views: average number of distinct views in the month 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 was viewed at least once in the month prior.
How average order values and total orders have changed from Black Friday 2021
We calculated the volume and average order value (revenue / orders) of Black Friday shoppers who placed an order on 11/25/2022, and compared it to the volume of shoppers who placed an order on 11/26/2021. Year over year change in each metric was calculated on a brand level, and median values were calculated at the industry level.
Change in average order value from first through fifth time shoppers
We calculated the average order value of shopper’s orders, broken out based on the number of purchases a person has made with the brand before. Any purchase made beyond the fifth purchase within a brand is grouped with the fifth purchase group for visualization purposes.
Shoppers that moved from anonymous to identified on Black Friday
We calculated the portion of site traffic that was newly identified on 10/25/22, and compared to visitors that had previously been identified, as well as unknown visitors completing any shopper-centric site behavior (view cart, add to cart, view product, browse, search).
Number of shoppers that made a first and second purchase during the holiday month
We calculated the proportion of shoppers who purchased with a brand between 11/1/22 – 11/22/22, and made an additional purchase between 11/23/22 – 11/25/22. Industry benchmarks are defined as the median hyper loyalty rate across brands in that industry.
Percentage of shoppers were identified by brands on Cyber Monday by site event.
We calculated the percentage of shoppers that were identified by their email address, for three different shopper event types (Viewed Product, Search, and Cart).
Sales for Cyber Weekend relative to Cyber Monday?
We calculated the number of orders on each day relative to the number of orders placed on Cyber Monday.