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Black Friday Statistics Every Retailer Needs to Prepare for Peak Shopping Season

A group of gift boxes on a wooden table, representing the peak shopping season for retailers.

From past performance patterns to potential holiday trends, discover Black Friday statistics to help you conquer the busiest sales season in ecommerce.

Black Friday 2020 will, undoubtedly, be one for the books. With several industries feeling the pains of the pandemic lockdowns around the world, the busiest shopping weekend of the year is slated to be a make-or-break for many retailers. While the landscape continues to change and it can be difficult to predict what the future holds – some industries are still seeing a surprising rise in ecommerce sales while other historically successful verticals struggle to stay afloat – a few fundamental trends may still hold true. To help you better prepare for the season ahead, we’ve rounded up the top Black Friday statistics from the last 24 months to uncover the evolution of this historic shopping weekend.

A Look Back at Black Friday Statistics by Year

2018 was the year that mobile solidified its position as the primary medium for shopping. Our data revealed that 56% of Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales in the Fashion segment came from mobile channels, up 6% from the prior year.
Since then, we’ve seen a growing consumer affinity for mobile shopping, with traffic share rising from 60.79% to 66.55% between 2018 and 2019. Desktop traffic, meanwhile, decreased about 3% over the year (31.03% in 2018 vs 27.63% in 2019. Black Friday/Cyber Monday data showed that mobile shoppers are not only growing in numbers, but they’re also ordering more and spending more:

Black Friday Statistics: Order Share

(2018) Desktop: 44.78% Mobile: 44.90% Tablet: 8.51%

(2019) Desktop: 41.12% Mobile: 53.65% Tablet: 5.13%

Black Friday Statistics: Revenue Share

(2018) Desktop: 46.89% Mobile: 42.99% Tablet: 7.20%

(2019) Desktop: 43.05% Mobile: 51.80% Tablet: 5.02%

Bonus insight: Some shoppers have even gone as far as choosing companies who have shown a commitment to sustainability. Our past sustainable fashion statistics show that 50% of eco-conscious consumers would be more likely to buy clothes from companies they know are committed to sustainability.

Mobile means ‘on the go’

As shoppers move more toward browsing and buying on their mobile devices, they also spend less time giving brands a chance to make an impression. This means that now, more than ever, brands need to ensure they’re delivering optimal shopping experiences to drive the results they want during the biggest shopping event of the year. Between 2018 and 2019:

Average Number of Pages Viewed decreased 4.37%.

Average Time Spent on a Page decreased 8.33%.

Bounce Rate increased 7.28%.

The Retail Trends that Historically Drive Black Friday Sales

Despite recent shifts in consumer behavior, Black Friday weekend is still predicted to be a critical time for many retailers to make up for slower performance during the first half of 2020. And with bounce rates increasing, average time on pages decreasing and a larger number of shoppers migrating to mobile shopping over the last few years, understanding the trends that, historically, make a difference during this critical shopping period (even during a global pandemic) is the most effective way to cut through the competitive noise. Here are two of our favorites:

Don’t forget about free shipping – especially now

Everyone loves a little free shipping incentive – especially when dishing out the big bucks during the holidays and *especially* during times like these (Amazon has been known to go as far as offering every customer free shipping during the holiday season). Thus, offering free shipping is a small but strong way to establish brand loyalty – as well as a key driver of conversion and retention and well beyond Black Friday.

One thing to keep in mind: Although free shipping is a major perk in the eyes of most consumers, it’s also not considered a promotion: an estimated 38% of shoppers won’t shop somewhere that doesn’t offer free shipping. To maximize Average Order Value this year, consider offering free shipping once shoppers have reached a certain order value. Personalize your shoppers’ Cart page to show them how they can reach the threshold – by adding last minute items to their cart.

Watch for Black Friday sales momentum after Black Friday weekend

Cyber Week – technically, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales weekend – marks the start of the holiday sales period. Historically, about 37% of all U.S. holiday retail sales have been made during this period, but only about 18% of consumers have said that they finish all their holiday shopping at this time. Now that consumers are turning to ecommerce more than ever due to limitations or hesitation with shopping in physical stores, now is the time to really make the most of your online store even after the Black Friday dust settles. Ever heard of Cyber Week II? This is the period after Christmas when consumers are armed with gift cards and ready for round two of the shopping bonanza. This has traditionally been the most popular sales period across several markets worldwide. While it’s still up in the air whether some shoppers will hold back additional holiday purchases this year, a personalized offer – from increasing visibility of holiday-specific products to a personalized email reminder of items a shopper may have browsed but still not purchased – still goes a long way to maximize your chances of increasing sales.

Ready for the Busiest Black Friday Sales Season to Date?

Starting August 14th and running through, August 31st, we’ll unveil new tips and tricks for onsite optimization to ensure your online store is a success this year. Join us for 12 days of insights for optimizing your online shopping experience for the most competitive holiday sale season for ecommerce to date!

This article originally appeared in the Nosto blog and has been published here with permission.

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