Bluecore Data Reveals 59 Percent Of Online Sales On Black Friday Came From First-Time Buyers

Older couple shopping online

According to new Black Friday insights from Bluecore overall Black Friday orders increased by 26%, compared to 2019, despite retailers’ significant extension of the single-day shopping event.

The first-ever digitally dominant shopping holiday has seen a shift in shoppers’ buying habits and resulted in varying day-of Black Friday performance with respect to first and second-time buyers.

For the third year in a row, Bluecore looked at shoppers’ real-time and historical Black Friday buying patterns and product interactions (including purchases) across 159 retail brands in multiple retail categories: Apparel (52), Footwear (15), Home (15), Technology (10), Beauty (11), Jewelry (10) and Other (41).

Bluecore derived data from 1.5 billion first-party cookies, 1 billion cart events, 4.4 million unique products, 58.8 million orders and $7.1 billion in total sales.

The resulting insights are based on analysis of a total of 9.7 billion shopper events on these brands’ ecommerce sites, including shoppers adding products to cart, conducting keyword searches, viewing products and completing sales transactions.

Bluecore compared this year’s day-of Black Friday behaviors to Black Friday 2019, and in one case October 2020 (the unofficial start of the 2020 holiday season, kicking off with Amazon’s Prime Day) and May 2020 (the unofficial indicator of the acceleration to ecommerce, which saw Black Friday-like sales).

Bluecore’s 2020 Black Friday Report reveals that an average of 59% of retailers’ Black Friday sales were from first-time buyers.

Of all retail categories, Jewelry saw the largest decrease in first-time buyers (-11%) but the largest increase in second-time buyers (+13%) compared to 2019.

All retail categories except for Jewelry and Footwear saw a decrease in second-time buyers, while only Beauty, Home and Technology saw an increase in First-Time Buyers.

Key Findings from Bluecore’s Black Friday 2020 Report

  • There was a 26% average increase in Black Friday orders, compared to 2019. All retail categories, except footwear, saw an increase in orders.By category: Apparel (+7%), Beauty (+46%), Footwear (-10%), Home (+42%), Jewelry (+38%), Technology (+43%).
  • An average of 59% of all sales were made by first-time buyers. Home Goods saw the most first-time shoppers with 65% of all purchases made by new customers, compared to Apparel (50%), Beauty (51%), Footwear (62%), Jewelry (64%) and Technology (61%).
  • Technology, Beauty and Home saw an increase in first-time buyers, compared to 2019, while others saw a decrease. By Category: Technology (+12%), Beauty (+6%), Home (+1%), Jewelry (-11%), Apparel (-3%), and Footwear (-1%).
  • Purchases from second-time buyers either decreased or remained stagnant in all categories except Jewelry, compared to 2019. By Category:Apparel (-2%), Beauty (-1%), Footwear (+/- 0%), Home (-8%), Jewelry (+13%) and Technology (-3%).
  • Shoppers viewed products an average of 6 times in advance of Black Friday. Advance product views, by category: Apparel (7), Beauty (8), Jewelry (6), Home (5); Footwear (6); and Technology (6). The average number of products viewed, by category: Apparel (4), Beauty (4), Jewelry (4), Home (3); Footwear (3); and Technology (1).
  • Twenty-eight percent (28%) of shoppers viewed Black Friday products at least one month in advance of purchase. Views by Category: Apparel (31%), Beauty (40%), Footwear (25%), Home (23%), Jewelry (30%) and Technology (32%).
  • With the exception of Footwear, all retail categories saw an increase in site traffic compared to Black Friday 2019: Apparel (+1%), Beauty (+11%), Footwear (-13%), Home (+12%), Jewelry (+17%), Technology (+18%).

“Black Friday’s numbers this year are a strong indicator of retailers’ ability to not only successfully adapt their businesses to meet consumers where they are, but also to influence shopping habits, during this first-ever digitally dominant holiday season,” said Fayez Mohamood, CEO of Bluecore.

“With an average of 59% of all purchases made by first-time shoppers, retailers are now presented with a massive opportunity to turn these first-time shoppers into repeat buyers before the end of the year,” added Mohamood.

The last point by Mr. Mohamood highlights an important metric Bluecore found as first-time shoppers are most likely to make a second purchase within 100 days of their purchase. And that can be key to growing the business for many online retailers heading into 2021.

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