Useful Black Friday Trends

Black Friday is like the super bowl for anyone in ecommerce. Businesses made 8.9 billion in sales last year and that’s likely to increase in 2022.

Our ecommerce clients have seen 2-3x increases in their conversion rates  around Black Friday and there are some brands that even generate 60-70% of their revenue around the holidays (between Nov 1 to Dec 31st). 

That’s why we did some internal research & scoured the internet for useful black friday trends & insights. 

Black Friday Online Sales Trends

Online sales in the US between 2013 to 2021 have gradually grown for the most part as the percentage of users that buy online has grown. There have been some leaps and bounds in sales as: 

  • The total addressable market has increased
  • Google search & social media have been adopted by more users on devices (potentially the reason why black friday sales trends improved so much in 2017)
  • External events like COVID occurred to accelerate users transition to buying online

Even though total sales increased from 2020 to 2021 (annually), Black Friday sales decreased slightly for the first time. Quite a few marketers have speculated that this is due the abundance of promotions before/after Black Friday along with the convenience of shopping online. 

Over half of holiday shoppers are expected to begin shopping by Halloween with 29% of surveyed users planning on shopping in September & October. After all, why shouldn’t they shop earlier if they can get similar deals online to avoid potential shipping delays.

The same survey reported that 59% of shoppers plan to buy fewer items and 52% are pursuing more coupons, discounts, and sales. These trends can be an opportunity or a challenge depending upon how you plan on approaching the market.

If we look at Google Search interest for Black Friday shopping, there has also been a considerable decrease in demand….even though revenue increased from 7.4 billion in 2019 to around 9 billion in 2020/2021. We could potentially assume that this is a sign that people are considering the brands that are offering them deals vs browsing around for Black Friday deals because of the shopping holiday.

We firmly believe that Black Friday is one of the best times of the year for ecommerce sales still based upon quite a few observed internal Black Friday trends:

  • There is a substantial uplift in conversion rates vs regular days in the year. When comparing October conversion rates to Black Friday in 2021, we saw an ~88% increase.
  • The cost to compete also increased on paid media for our clients. Bigger retailers like Amazon & Walmart had less traffic going to their site in 2021 for example, which likely resulted in increased competition.  
  • AOV has increased for some clients depending upon what type of products they are selling and their scale. We have found that if you can get the right promotion & pricing strategy in place to generally get a higher AOV. Research shows that people are likely going to buy less or bargain shop, which is the marco-trend for Black Friday. However, you could put more of an emphasis on deals with a certain purchase price to improve your performance.

Demographic Black Friday Trends

Consider the two graphics above. The second graph shows us how many people by age group are shopping on Black Friday. While the first graphic shows us that younger generations are increasingly reliant on discounts. 

Sources will vary, though the conclusion is that you could get more youth to purchase with more discounts. Even if the 25-34 year old group says they might not buy, they could be incentivised to purchase.

Another interesting correlation is the increasing share of spend for smartphones.

While desktop visitors generated 60% of revenue during the holiday season, smartphone spend is clearly on the rise.

What’s interesting is that 71% of sales on Black Friday came from mobile. Considering that a substantial number of 18-24 year olds plan to purchase, this should come as no surprise because younger generations tend to use smartphones more.

Another Black Friday trend to consider is geographics. There is a lot of variance from our accounts and external research. Though it is safe to say that there are likely some DMAs/States/Countries that will perform better than others. If you have a significant marketing budget it should be worthwhile to create separate marketing campaigns for these regions.

Final Thoughts

Getting the most out of Black Friday trends can be difficult. That’s why it’s important to have the right person to analyze market trends and make them actionable to increase your revenue.
If you need help getting more sales on Black Friday, then you should book a free consultation with us today. We would be happy to help!

Centaur Consulting Group

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