For decades, Black Friday marked the launch of the holiday shopping season, with stores offering 24-hour sales on the hottest items of the year. Only those willing to wait hours in line, sometimes overnight, were able to shop at the discounted prices. Eventually, retailers began bringing these sales online, leading to the creation of Cyber Monday in 2005. Today, not only have these two days merged into a weekend of deals both online and in-stores, but retailers have started launching sales in early November, beginning the shopping season earlier every year.
These changes are just another example of the world turning digital. On Black Friday of 2020, consumers spent an average of $6.3 million per minute with a per-person average of $27.50 for a total spend of $9 billion- setting a record for the second-largest online spending day in the United States.
Last Year’s Black Friday & Cyber Monday Trends
Consumers skipped the Black Friday lines and shopped online.
Last year, in-store traffic fell 52.1% from the previous year, with shoppers spending 116.6 million hours online shopping on Black Friday. When asked why they preferred to shop online, the most popular responses from shoppers were “to avoid crowds,” “comfort of shopping from home,” “free delivery,” “24-hour availability,” and “easy to compare prices.”
Shoppers were on the hunt for the best deals, leaving brand loyalty behind.
With online shopping at the forefront, consumers have the option to search for the best sales, instead of waiting in line at just one store. This creates opportunities for advertisers to acquire new customers, making the shopping holiday even more competitive.
Consumers were shopping on the go.
In 2019, mobile phone purchases accounted for $3.1 billion worth of sales. In 2020, 54% of paid search ads were served on mobile devices, proving that even those not making online purchases, were “window shopping” on their phones.
2021 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Predictions
Customers plan on returning to their favorite stores.
Last year, many shoppers were forced to stay home due to COVID. However, when polled:
- 44% of shoppers revealed they are planning to shop in-store
- 33% reported they would only shop in-store for deals that aren’t available online
- 22% of shoppers will only be making purchases online
Anticipate an increase in shipping costs.
With retailers like Amazon Prime, customers are used to free & fast shipping. This year, delivery companies are adding holiday shipping surcharges, which raises a difficult question for retailers. How do they guarantee free shipping, offer the lowest cost item, and navigate the surcharges?
This blog post was written by Katie Berger, Integrated Media Planner/Buyer.