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4 Takeaways from 2020 Black Friday, Cyber Monday

A woman analyzing sales data on her laptop in front of a graph, gaining insights for 2020 Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategies.

This year’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday shopping event might have looked different than in previous years, but it still pulled in shoppers on the hunt for bargains. This was especially true for subscription purchases, which saw a significant increase in sales compared to last year.

To understand the impact of the four-day shopping extravaganza, Ordergroove analyzed merchant subscription and industry data. Here are the most critical takeaways from our analysis:

1. Subscriptions saw a dramatic spike in sales

Our analysis shows that shoppers sought out subscriptions at a greater rate in 2020 than in 2019. Subscription sales for the four-day period increased by 17% year-over-year. This is likely a result of shoppers being unable, or unwilling, to visit brick-and-mortar establishments to take advantage of limited-time promotions. Instead, they turned to eCommerce for a more convenient and safer experience.

Surprisingly, Black Friday was not the most significant day for subscription sales. While there was a 10% increase in subscriptions on Friday compared to the previous year — Saturday and Sunday were the big winners. Our data shows a 49.8% increase in subscription sales on Saturday and 25.5% increase on Sunday.

Why wasn’t growth on Black Friday in line with Saturday and Sunday? There is no singular answer, but one culprit is likely the flurry of holiday deals merchants rolled out in October. In other words, consumers were purchasing the items they wanted leading up to Black Friday, instead of on the exact date.

2. Cyber Monday subscription sales underperform

While total subscription sales were up across the four-day shopping event, there was a curious dip in subscription purchases on Cyber Monday. Subscription enrollment dropped 2.2% in 2020 compared to 2019. This is likely a result of shopper fatigue, and as noted previously, extended promotions that made the branded-incentive day less unique than in the past.

3. Interest in Black Friday, Cyber Monday remain high

Additional good news for merchants is that consumer interest in Black Friday, Cyber Monday remained high. As part of our analysis, we compared the four-day period from Black Friday through Cyber Monday to the previous week’s time frame. Subscription purchases were up 53%, indicating that shoppers were ready and waiting to take advantage of promotions.

4. Pet subscriptions are way up

Our favorite takeaway from Black Friday, Cyber Monday is that shoppers love their pets! The number of shoppers who purchased pet-related subscriptions grew by 776.6% in 2020 compared to last year. This increase can be partially attributed to the uptick in pet adoptions around the country, particularly dogs. In August, The Washington Post reported that demand for dogs and puppies was through the roof—or, woof!

A successful start to the shopping season

Subscriptions were hot-ticket items for Black Friday, Cyber Monday. We expect this trend to continue through the holiday season, as more shoppers shift to online experiences to avoid COVID-19 complications. Additionally, we expect numbers will remain high post-holiday. There has been a shift in buying behavior, and shoppers who were previously hesitant of online shopping, are expected to embrace the experience.

Ready to implement or enhance your subscription program? Contact us today to learn how Ordergroove can help you unlock your recurring revenue potential.

Special thanks to our friends at OrderGroove for their insights on this topic.
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