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Black Friday Cyber Monday 2020: An Analysis Of $1.6 Billion In Sales


woman-shopping-online-at-deskShopify reported a 76% year-over-year increase in sales on their platform during Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend. Over $5.1 billion dollars in online sales between Friday and Monday alone.

And that’s just over one weekend.

With all the disruptions of 2020, more people planning to buy online than ever before, and suggestions that BFCM weekend would become BFCM month, we decided to take a closer look at our own customers’ BFCM results in the month of November.

Did online merchants change their weekend-long offers into month-long campaigns?

If so, how did their buyers respond?

And did Black Friday overtake Cyber Monday as the best day to run your holiday campaign?

We analyzed over $1.6 billion in online sales during November 2020 from thousands of Privy customers. While this can’t give us definitive answers, it does help us understand new trends online merchants should know about.

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1. Privy Email customers sent 161% more emails during Black Friday in 2020 than 2019

Privy Email is our fastest growing product. But it’s also a good indicator of when online merchants launched their holiday campaigns.

While the year-over-year growth is, in part, because more people than ever are using Privy Email, the ratio of emails sent between Cyber Monday and Black Friday has drastically changed between 2019 and 2020.

Last year, our customers sent 24% more emails on Cyber Monday than Black Friday.

But this year, Privy Email customers sent almost the same amount of emails on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, roughly 9 million each day. There were only about 1% less emails sent on Cyber Monday than Black Friday.  

Clearly, online merchants were betting on a bigger Black Friday this year, so they moved up their offers. But that didn’t mean they forgot about Cyber Monday.

This appears to be a response to data such as a recent Shopify survey that reported 97% of BFCM shoppers planned to shop online and 49% of them only online this year.

2. Privy Convert campaigns had 25% more website views on Black Friday than Cyber Monday this year 

While Privy Email is a good indication of how online merchants approached this year’s holiday season, Privy Convert campaign views (how many times a campaign was viewed by a website visitor) is a good indication of their buyer’s response to BFCM campaigns.

Privy Convert campaigns had over 144 million views on Black Friday and 115 million views on Cyber Monday this year. That’s 25% more on Black Friday than Cyber Monday.

And Privy Convert customers also saw 22% more opt-ins for their campaigns on Black Friday than Cyber Monday.

Buyers were not waiting until Cyber Monday to take advantage of online merchants’ offers.

3. Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend did not grow into a full season (yet)

There were many predictions that Black Friday Cyber Monday “weekend” would turn into Black Friday Cyber Monday month. Some even calling it a new “season” for online merchants.

But that’s not what happened this year. At least according to our data.

Our customers saw sales during BFCM weekend (Friday through Monday) increase as a percentage of the full month of November.

This year, 32% of our customers’ campaign revenue (total amount of revenue obtained from contacts who have signed up for a Privy campaign) came on the weekend of BFCM.

In 2019, 28% of our customer’s campaign revenue came during that same time period.

Campaign revenue grew 27% year-over-year on Black Friday for a total of $176 million in sales.

Cyber Monday campaign revenue grew 24% for a total of $124 million.

What BFCM 2020 Tells Us About BFCM In 2021

It’s foolish to make predictions about 2021, especially after a year no one anticipated. But we will have another BFCM weekend next year and if I can make a few suggestions to help you prepare for it, here are my top three:

1. Email will remain the #1 channel to promote BFCM offers. And not just according to our data – Shopify surveys show this as well. You need email to run a holiday campaign (preferably one that works seamlessly with your Shopify account like Privy Email).

2. Buyers are looking for offers as soon as Thanksgiving is over, so moving your campaigns up to Black Friday is a good idea.

3. Growing your email list is the best thing you can do now to prepare for next year. Privy customers running welcome discounts, cart savers and newsletter sign ups year round are able to drive more sales during BFCM simply because they have a bigger email list. Don’t wait, start building your email list today.

*All of Privy’s 2020 and 2019 Black Friday/Cyber Monday data is based on sales by tens of thousands of businesses around the world. All data presented here (including worldwide sales) is approximate and is based on various assumptions.

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