Black Friday + Cyber Monday 2018: Part 1

Black Friday + Cyber Monday 2018: Part 1

For many, the holiday shopping season kicks off on Black Friday, when virtually every retailer offers an abundance of promotions and sales. The excitement over these deals only snowballs as retailers increasingly extend their promotion period to span the following weekend and into Cyber Monday. This five-day period has quickly become one of the biggest shopping events of the year.

IgnitionOne has compiled an analysis of how retailers fared this past week, with insights into changes in customer behavior around site visits, purchase rates, and cart abandonment.

Site Activity

While site visitation grew during the Thanksgiving shopping period, purchase volume saw even more explosive growth. Conversion rates on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday were roughly double baseline levels. The trend towards a more expansive shopping season has continued, to the point where site traffic and sales volume on Thanksgiving are comparable to those of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Mass market retailers received 104% the baseline level of site visits on Black Friday—the highest increase among tiers—but were outperformed by discount retailers on Cyber Monday, who enjoyed 113% baseline site traffic. Bargain-conscious shoppers likely prioritized discount brands on Cyber Monday due to perceived steeper discounts for online shopping relative to pricier brands.

Luxury retailers saw the smallest lift, but still profited from increased retail activity. This is expected given that luxury shoppers are less likely to be influenced by price.

From a demographic perspective, Gen X shoppers showed the greatest increase in site traffic relative to baseline levels. Millennials came in second, with Boomers bringing up the rear. This could signal that Gen X has the optimal combination of digital touchpoints to get them to the site, paired with a high enough disposable income to enter the consideration funnel.

Cart Abandonment

Cyber Monday cart abandonment rates rose 11% relative to 2017, perhaps a sign that this year’s discounts were not as favorable as shoppers had hoped. Despite this trend, cart abandonment rates were significantly lower during the Thanksgiving shopping season than during the baseline period. Black Friday saw an aggregate cart abandonment rate of 74%, compared to Cyber Monday’s 75%. Based on observed AOVs, this represents a missed opportunity of about $40,500,000,000!

Mass market retailers saw the greatest decline in cart abandonment, particularly on Cyber Monday. This may be due to the larger nominal discounts on items that typically have higher price points. Discount retailers, even at similar percentage discounts, may have struggled to generate the same enthusiasm given that their prices were lower to start with.

IgnitionOne’s proprietary scoring technology notched another victory during the Thanksgiving shopping period by accurately predicting which customers represented the highest revenue potential. High-scoring customers consistently had above average cart values across the entire week.

Stay tuned for more insights on data points including store visitation trends, demographics, product preferences, and conversion rates across the holiday shopping weekend.