Retailers prepare for a digital-first 2021 as Black Friday shoppers go online
New data from Bluecore revealed that Black Friday orders increased by 26% compared to 2019. The retail marketing solutions provider’s latest report examines shopper behavior on Black Friday 2020. Bluecore analyzed over 9 billion shopping events on brands’ ecommerce sites, including shoppers adding products to cart, performing searches using keywords, viewing products, and completing sales transactions.
Bluecore’s report found that an average of 59% of retailers’ Black Friday sales came from new (first-time) buyers. And from all the categories, Jewelry witnessed the steepest decrease in new buyers (-11%) but the largest increase in second-time buyers (+13%). While all other categories except for Jewelry and Footwear saw a decrease in second-time buyers, Beauty, Home and Technology saw an increase in new buyers.
Here are some of the key findings:
- Black Friday orders increased by 26% compared to last year.Â Order volumes increased for all categories.Â Apparel grew by 7%, beauty by 46%, Footwear shrunk by -10%, home increased by 42%, Jewelry by 38%, and technology by 43%.
- First-time or new buyers were responsible for 59% of all sales.Â The 2020 season saw first-time buyers make 65% of Home Goods purchases, 50% of Apparel purchases, 51% of Beauty purchases, 62% of Footwear purchases, 64% of Jewelry purchases, and 61% of Technology purchases.
- Technology, Beauty, and Home witnessed a spike in first-time buyers, compared to last year, while others saw a decrease.Â Â Technology saw a 12% increase, while Beauty and Home witnessed a 6% and 1% spike, respectively. On the other hand, Jewelry, Apparel, and Footwear witnessed a reduction of 11%, 3%, and 1%, respectively in first-time buyers.
- Purchases from second-time buyers either decreased or remained stagnant in all categories except Jewelry, compared to last year.Â Footwear remained unchanged while Apparel, Beauty, Home, and Technology all saw a decrease in purchases from second-time buyers. Only Jewelry witnessed a 13% increase.
- Shoppers viewed products an average of 6 times in advance of Black Friday.
- Twenty-eight percent (28%) of shoppers viewed Black Friday products at least one month in advance of purchase.
- All retail categories except Footwear witnessed an increase in site traffic compared to last year
â€œBlack Friday’s numbers this year are a strong indicator of retailers’ ability to not only successfully adapt their businesses to meet consumers where they are, but also to influence shopping habits, during this first-ever digitally dominant holiday season,â€ said Fayez Mohamood, CEO ofÂ BluecoreOpens a new window . â€œWith an average of 59% of all purchases made by first-time shoppers, retailers are now presented with a massive opportunity to turn these first-time shoppers into repeat buyers before the end of the year.Â First-time shoppers are most likely to make a second-time purchase within 100 days of their first purchaseOpens a new window , so an immediate focus on retention through thoughtful targeting, rather than steep discounts, will be critical to maintaining growth and profitability in 2021.â€
How Is Retailers’ Approach To Technology Changing?
Retailers are thinking much differently about technology. The way data is stored and used has changed quite a bit over the years, and technology has been slow to support the shift. As the technology landscape evolves to that need, for example, with marketing clouds acquiring or building systems to resolve the customer data problem, brands look to modern systems to support critical business objectives and align with the needs of their teams. These systems are built to drive retail performance and goals (repeat purchases, margin preservation, and product discovery, to name a few), can support quick to market proofs-of-concept (POCs) to ensure investments yield a significant return and give teams more strategic autonomy without heavy implementation.