Blog Post

2020 Black Friday Insights

November 27, 2020 in COVID-19, Retail Events, Retail Trends

Black Friday – Weekend Wrap-up: A few surprises?

As per our Friday morning post, most of our clients were expecting the spread in sales and traffic to shift from Friday to the other days of the weekend this year.  Our stats show that this has occurred, with the daily percentage breakdown of sales coming in at 50% / 30% / 20% on Friday / Saturday / Sunday respectively, compared to last year’s 60% / 25% / 15%. While store traffic was down significantly, causing a decline in overall brick and mortar sales, the initial e-commerce numbers show significant growth to offset some of that change.

There were some winners in the mix as well – Home Décor and Jewelry continue to be strong and significantly outperformed other categories. All other verticals saw a YoY decline in sales, with apparel having the greatest challenges – we anticipate that this ‘spreading’ of Black Friday will continue through the holiday season, and are cautiously optimistic in the resiliency of the customer. One remaining interesting fact – younger, Trendy shoppers enthusiastically joined the crowds to shop on Friday, while the more cautious Traditional shoppers, still wanting to get in on the deals, waited until Sunday to do their holiday shopping.

Retailers Get Creative to Drive Black Friday Sales

In our “Pre-Holiday Retail Trends 2020”, we predicted that Black Friday sales would be spread out over the weekend, week(s), or even the month. The numbers and feedback from our clients are supporting that prediction. Some of our clients have employed creative strategies to generate Black Friday activity, such as contacting their most valued customers prior to Black Friday to inform them of deals and offer a chance to pre-order with curbside pick-up.

Other successful approaches included opening for special shopping hours prior to regular opening by invitation only, and to allow their customers to shop without having to wait in long lineups, which also seemed to help their Black Friday sales. We are so proud of our clients and of the creative ingenuity they are employing to support their businesses in these trying times.

How is Black Friday Shaping Up?

The good news is that Black Friday shoppers have a higher propensity to buy when compared to last year, and that they are buying more. Conversion rates are up by 60% YoY, and the average sale is up by 10-15%, which is quite impressive! However, overall sales are still significantly down compared to last year because traffic is down by 67-75%, and the rise in conversion rate and average sale does not offset the loss of sales due to the dramatically reduced traffic.  One last initial read is that Outlet is out-performing full-price branded stores when each are compared to LY, driven largely by double-digit increases in visit value.

What Retailers Expect for Black Friday Weekend

In our last blog, “Pre-Holiday Retail Trends 2020” we forecasted that Black Friday sales will be spread out over days or weeks. This prediction is mirrored by our client base and reveals some interesting insights. While Retailers are expecting Black Friday to continue to be the most important day of the weekend, producing over 50% of sales, their daily sales targets indicate a prediction of some of Friday’s sales moving to Saturday. Retailers surveyed expect their sales, compared to last year, to be down on Friday, but up on Saturday. In fact, retailers catering to a younger, more trendy crowd are expecting this crowd to spend 12% higher than the same Saturday last year.

This information is the continuation of our “Pre-Holiday Retail Trends 2020”. With the intend of keeping Specialty Retailers informed on what is happening during this Holiday Season, Black Friday Weekend and Cyber Monday insights will be updated daily by StoreForce.

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