More than half (54 percent) of online purchases during last week’s Black Friday were made by first-time buyers.
That’s one of the key takeaways in the second annual Black Friday report from digital marketing platform Bluecore (free).
And a quarter of those first-time Black Friday shoppers said they would buy again from those brands next year. Last year, 6% of Black Friday 2018 customers bought again within the holiday season, and 22% did so within an average of 108 days after their initial purchase.
Because Black Friday has so many shoppers new to these sales, and because a large percentage will soon buy again, CEO and Co-Founder Fayez Mohamood told Click Z via email that Black Friday is not just a shopping holiday where retailers offer discounts, but “an opportunity for retailers to meet new customers and keep them for life.”
The second purchases are the most important ones, Bluecore says, because they are the key step when one-time customers can become repeat customers.
Mohamood added that, when Black Friday first started, it was a day. Now, he said, “it’s more like Black Friday week,” and this year’s shopping holiday is continuing the trend toward stretching out the shopping traffic and specials.
Online retailers of apparel, jewelry and beauty saw an average order increase of between 5% and 20% on Black Friday, the report noted, in spite of many discounts.
The sector with the largest percentage of first-time buyers was footwear, with 68% first-time Black Friday shoppers, followed by Jewelry, Technology and Home at 65%.
But, overall, this year’s increases in Black Friday traffic (compared to typical days) dropped for all retail categories except Footwear, where it rose 260% compared to 240% last year, and Home (190% this year, 170% last year).
The data for this report came from the Bluecore platform, which allows brands such as Staples to manage their personalized digital campaigns. The data included buying patterns and purchases from 158 retail brands in a variety of categories.
The report also found that customers, on average, researched their purchases about two weeks before making the buy, especially for Apparel (39%), Beauty (36%), Jewelry (38%) and Home products (34%).
Mohamood said that the biggest surprise this year was the drop in traffic in Technology products, from 2.7 x regular traffic last year to 2.1 this year.
“Our assumption,” he said, “is that retailers are holding off discounting these items to Cyber Monday or even later in the holiday season.” He added that retailers know consumer electronics like TVs “have traditionally been purchased for the holidays,” and, if they’re not sold with full margin in the days leading up to Christmas, they can be sold in January sales.
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