You’ve probably seen the headlines about how Black Friday sales were down YoY for the first time ever. That may look like bad news for brands, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story.
People aren’t spending less on the holidays this year — they are just spreading their purchases out over a longer period of time. Some consumers bought online earlier to avoid potential delays with shipping and delivery, and those who felt more comfortable buying in-store than in 2020 have the flexibility to shop whenever they want to. In fact, according to forecasts from the National Retail Federation, 2021 holiday spending is likely to set a new record, with a total increase of up to 11.5% over last year.
For D2C brands, the picture is much more positive. Shopify pulled data on BFCM for their store owners, and they collectively made $6.3 billion USD in sales globally between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a 23% increase from 2020. And for D2C brands that use Yotpo, the numbers also trended higher than last year, and in many cases, higher than ever.
Here’s what we saw across our various products:
- The number of consumers who redeemed points via Yotpo Loyalty programs on Black Friday was 300% more compared to an average day.
- Black Friday points redemption was 19% higher than on Cyber Monday.
- The average number of orders by loyalty members was more than 220% higher than non-loyalty members.
- Points redemption for Black Friday was up more than 44% and more than 41% for Cyber Monday compared to 2020.
- Brands sent out BFCM messages earlier this year — more than 4x the messages were sent on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday leading up to Black Friday than in 2020, with 220% more sent throughout November as a whole compared to last year.
- There was a 95% increase in messages sent over BFCM compared to 2020.
- Half of all messages sent were personalized, which includes campaigns sent to specific lists and segments.
- 70% of orders placed were followed up by transactional messages, including order confirmation, shipping, and delivery updates.
- Yotpo saw an increase of 50% in calls to our Yotpo Reviews Widget compared to last year, with a new all-time record of 50,000 calls per second!
The takeaway? This data shows that brands leaned heavily on building engagement and growing relationships with customers this year. That strategy is far more effective at growing customer lifetime value than the traditional approach to BFCM — blanket discounting. By focusing on retention, brands that saw an influx of first-time customers during peak holiday shopping times are well-positioned to turn them into loyal customers in 2022 and beyond.
Don’t believe the headlines: 2021 has been a great year for eCommerce, and it’s not even over yet. We can’t wait to see what the final numbers are for Yotpo brands and the eCommerce industry as a whole for this year’s holiday shopping season.