Analysis of 54.2M carts during Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2019 finds consumers spent more on fewer products

Dynamic Yield examined changes in online shopping behavior during Black Friday and Cyber Monday compared to the rest of the year, providing helpful insights and benchmarks.

Director of Marketing, Dynamic Yield
BI Analyst, Dynamic Yield

Consumers flocked to their favorite retail stores and doorsteps were littered with packages after the season’s most popular sales event of the year. Cyber Monday, alone, contributed to an estimated $9.2bn in spending, beating out Black Friday at $7.4bn. Together, the long holiday weekend proved record-breaking, generating 2.5bn more in combined sales than in 2018. 

A critical time for eCommerce brands, with steep competition from a growing number of players in the market as well as industry titans like Amazon, which stated this Cyber Monday was its biggest shopping day ever, more brands than ever are tailoring the customer experience to maximize the influx of visitors. 

But what type of impact has personalization had on online shopping behavior this BFCM?

To find out, Dynamic Yield analyzed 1.3 billion pageviews and 52.4 million add-to-carts across 25+ different eCommerce verticals globally and compared the results against the rest of the year’s average. eCommerce teams can use the strategic insights to benchmark their efforts, better gauge what to expect next year, and then plan accordingly. 

Massive traffic peaks

During Black Friday weekend, traffic sky-rocketed for many sub-verticals, while others witnessed smaller bumps in visitors. 

Spikes in unique users during Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Black line represents spikes in unique users, reaching its highest peak on Black Friday 

Overall, retailers saw a 58.2% change in their average daily users. Sub-verticals leading the way included Consumer Electronics, with 159.1% higher traffic, Drug Stores & Pharmacies, with 133.4% more traffic, and Home & Furniture, with a 107.9% uplift in traffic. 

Other sub-verticals include:

  • Apparel & Accessories +55.2% 
  • Arts & Entertainment + 27.8%
  • Athletics & Outdoors + 78.7%
  • Automotive + 13.2%
  • Beauty & Personal Care + 63.3%
  • Footwear & Accessories + 52.2%
  • Luxury & Jewelry + 86.6%

No surprise here, consumers electronics are some of the most heavily discounted and popular items purchased on Black Friday – only this year, many people went online to scout for deals instead of in-store. On the flip side, while the automotive industry may offer a number of national and regional deals specials, consumers didn’t inquire about them much online.

Significant revenue lifts

High spikes in traffic translated into huge revenue lifts for a number of retailers throughout Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with all but one sub-vertical reaping the reward. 

Spikes in revenue witnessed during Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Black line represents spike in revenue, reaching its highest peak on Black Friday 

Overall, retailers witnessed a staggering 123% change in revenue, with Consumer Electronics coming out on top, generating a 660% + increase in revenue, followed by Footwear & Accessories with a 301.5% uplift in revenue, and Luxury & Jewelry trailing not far behind with an additional 293.5% in revenue. 

  • Office & Gifts + 142%
  • Home & Furniture + 84.9% 
  • Apparel & Accessories + 93.6% 
  • Arts & Entertainment + 42.7%
  • Athletics & Outdoors + 123.8%
  • Automotive – 42.2%
  • Beauty & Personal Care + 39%

It’s interesting to see that even while the Footwear & Accessories and Luxury & Jewelry verticals didn’t necessarily receive the lions share of traffic, more shoppers ultimately completed a purchase, producing a much higher quality of visitors. Beauty & Cosmetics, however, saw more traffic but fewer transactions.

Higher AOVs from recommendations

Average order value (AOV) from recommendations during the rest of the year is around 7%, but on Black Friday / Cyber Monday, recommendations contributed to a significantly higher overall AOV.

People who purchased a product during Black Friday week within a day after clicking on a recommendation widget had a 24.6% higher AOV compared to others who purchased items without engaging with product recommendations

Recommendations are clearly an invaluable tool for product discovery, not only throughout the year but in instances of important sales events such as this, allowing visitors to find relevant items amongst large inventories. 

Fewer products bought per person, but more spent

Globally, shoppers spent 23.7% more per item during Black Friday weekend but bought 6.1% fewer products.

But this story changes for different sub-verticals:

For Apparel & Accessories Retailers, consumers spent roughly the same amount of money on average per item, but the number of items per transaction went up by 9.39%. 

In the Home & Furniture sector, consumers purchased 14.59% more items per transaction but spent an average of 25% less on each product. 

In Luxury & Jewelry, consumers spent 282.8% more on average per each item, but purchased fewer products per transaction, at 22.9%. 

It makes sense in an industry with larger price points like Luxury & Jewelry to expect shoppers will more purchase one or two high-ticket items, though a similar sentiment for Home & Furniture doesn’t quite stand up. This may be attributed to easy gifting of smaller home essentials like throws, pillows, ceramics, and so on. And with lots of great deals on products within Fashion & Apparel, it’s cost-effective to purchase an entire look or complete the wardrobe for the rest of the family. 

Post BFCM crazies

We hope these insights allow you to reflect more deeply on the results of your Black Friday / Cyber Monday efforts. With a greater understanding of how exactly consumer behavior changes throughout the popular sales event, it should allow for greater strategic thinking as you prepare for next year.