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Bluecore report: Black Friday is an ‘opportunity’ to find repeat customers

30-second summary:

  • 54% of Black Friday 2019 purchases were made by first time-buyers: Footwear retailers saw the largest percentage of first-time buyers with 68% of buyers purchasing from footwear retailers for the first time. Jewelry, Technology and Home retailers saw 65% of all customers purchasing for the first-time.
  • Nearly a quarter of first-time Black Friday shoppers will buy from brands again in 2020: In 2018, more than 6% of Black Friday 2018 customers purchased again during the holiday season and 22% became repeat buyers within an average of 108 days after their initial purchase, with an average of 1.7 orders in since Black Friday 2018.
  • Despite heavy discounts, many retailers saw an increase in average order values: For every dollar spent on the average day, retailers saw the following numbers on Black Friday 2019: Apparel ($1.06), Beauty ($1.20), Jewelry ($1.05), Home ($.95); Footwear ($.93); and Technology ($.63).
  • On average, customers researched the products they wanted to buy two weeks in advance of purchasing: The percentage of shoppers who viewed a product at least two weeks prior to a Black Friday 2019 purchase: Apparel (39%), Beauty (36%), Jewelry (38%), Home (34%); Footwear (23%); and Technology (37%).

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.

‘An opportunity’

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.

From the Bluecore report

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.

Average order increases

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 biggest surprise

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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