Black Friday Vs. Cyber Monday: What Does the Data Mean for eCommerce?
December 5, 2019
by David Abbou
With all campaigns ready to roll, site optimizations locked in, and code freeze in full effect, the eCommerce industry waited in anticipation for the numbers to surface for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In the US, those figures surely did not disappoint, with another record kickoff to the holiday season for both of these gigantic consumer shopping events.
As retailers dive deeper into their analytics to identify successes and lessons learned, they’ll be looking to uncover trends and capitalize on those insights to better tailor their customer experiences.
To help illuminate those insights, we peered into over one billion web sessions analyzed by Namogoo’s platform—across product verticals and devices in both the US and Europe on and around these two pivotal shopping events.
Here are some of the most pertinent insights to emerge out of the data:
Black Friday 2019 uplifts just outshine Cyber Monday in the US
Here’s how web traffic, conversions, and conversion rates fared for online retailers in the US on Black Friday when compared against the average over the preceding six Fridays (from October 18 to November 22):
- Web traffic surged by 133.7%. This increase surpassed the same uplift last year of 124.5%
- The number of conversions jumped dramatically by 459.3%.
- Conversion Rates went up by 139.4%. This was a significantly higher increase compared to 2018, where conversion rates for US retailers were 94.7% higher on Black Friday than the average for the previous six Fridays.
While not quite matching these uplifts, US retailers also enjoyed big gains on Cyber Monday when compared to the average for the previous six Mondays (from Oct. 21 to Nov. 25):
- Web traffic increased by 98.6%.
- Online conversions spiked by 365.1%.
- Conversion rates increased by 134.3%.
But which day was the conversion king in 2019 for US retailers? When compared head-to-head, conversions on Black Friday in the US edged out Cyber Monday by 1.3%:
Now let’s see how these key eCommerce KPIs were impacted across the pond…
Cyber Monday still no match for Black Friday in Europe
While Black Friday’s growth as a major shopping event in Europe only began in 2014, consumers have quickly embraced it as one the year prime shopping extravaganzas, and it showed when looking at web traffic, conversions, and conversion rates on Black Friday in relation to the average for the prior six Fridays:
- Online visits and conversions increased at an even higher rate than in the US, with web traffic and conversions up by 151.6% and 494.8% respectively.
- Conversion rates spiked upwards by 136.4%.
Cyber Monday promotions in Europe also yielded big increases in traffic and conversions when compared to the previous six Mondays, albeit not as dramatic as experienced in the US:
- Traffic increased by 73.20%
- Conversions rose by 169.39%
- Conversion rates increased by 55.54%.
When comparing these two days against each other, it’s clear that while Cyber Monday is growing as a shopping event in Europe, it still trails far behind Black Friday when it comes to online purchases, which netted 77% more conversions:
Mobile isn’t the future, it’s the present
In the US, 49.5% of all Black Friday eCommerce orders were made on mobile up from 46.1% in 2018. On Cyber Monday, mobile accounted for a 43% share of online conversions, a marked increase over its 37.9% share last year.
If mobile has nearly caught up to PCs for online purchases in the US, it’s started to eclipse them in Europe. Just over half of all orders were made on mobile on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
The Vertically Inclined: Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019’s Industry Winners
We sliced up total conversions yielded on Black Friday and Cyber Monday by product vertical in both the US and Europe and compared their uplifts to the previous six Fridays and Mondays respectively. These were the verticals with the highest increases in online conversions for Black Friday 2019:
- Electronics: +711.5%
- Apparel: +532.2%
- Marketplace: +333%
- Footwear: +330.4%
- Electronics: +704.3%
- Footwear: +700.7%
- Apparel: +582.4%
- Home: +218.1%
The verticals enjoying the biggest uplift in conversions on Cyber Monday were:
- Electronics: +668%
- Apparel: +362.8%
- Footwear: +354.5%
- Health & Beauty: +350.1%
- Electronics: +647.2%
- Footwear: +306.4%
- Apparel: +188%
- Home: +109.4%
Customer Journey Hijacking rates ramp up to skim online revenue
Client-side ad injections are a year-round problem targeting retailers’ revenue—but the lead up to the holiday season shows these unauthorized product ads, pop-ups, and banners increase in scale to capitalize on increased online traffic and spending by disrupting customers throughout their journey and diverting them to rival promotions.
In the US, 17.6% of all online visitors were exposed to these disruptive injections, a 9.5% increase from the previous six Fridays.
On Cyber Monday, these infection rates registered at 17.8%, up 10.6% from the previous six Mondays.
Looking into the impact of Customer Journey Hijacking on European customers reveals that 22.9% of Black Friday site visits were infected with intrusive ad injections, up by 8.5% from the previous six Fridays.
22.4% of all web traffic to European retail sites on Cyber Monday was exposed to unsanctioned ads, up 4.3% from the previous six Mondays.
Conversion Rates multiply for retailers eliminating Customer Journey Hijacking
With more online enterprises discovering just how much revenue invasive ad injections are skimming off of their digital investment, retailers are taking action to protect their customer journey.
While eliminating these disruptions with Namogoo’s Customer Hijacking Prevention solution, eCommerce businesses have uncovered the fact that users infected with malware-driven ad injections are actually more engaged and eCommerce savvy than clean users (who are not affected by client-side ad injections). As a result, these active shoppers are more likely to download web services and extensions embedded with injected ads when browsing for the best deals available online.
What happens when you remove Customer Journey Hijacking from the experience of these infected users? In the US, the average conversion rate across verticals for clean user web sessions on Black Friday clocked in at 3.2%. At 8.3%, conversion rates more than doubled for infected sessions protected by Namogoo. This improvement was nearly identical on Cyber Monday, where infected users converted at a rate of 8.6%, 2.6 times more than clean users at 3.2%.
European retailers also saw dramatic conversion rate uplifts when preventing Customer Journey Hijacking for their online customers. On Black Friday, conversion rates for infected users averaged out at 8.2% after blocking injected ads, 81% higher than the 4.5% registered for clean users. Conversion for these impacted users was 5.9% on Cyber Monday, 85% higher than clean users at 3.2%.
Less is more: Checkout abandonment rates improve when protecting the customer journey
At the critical end of the sales funnel, retailers eliminating disruptive ad injections saw significantly less online shoppers click away at checkout without following through with their purchases.
At 35.2%, abandonment rates in the US on Black Friday fell by 28.5% for infected users after having injected ads blocked when compared to the average for clean users of 49.3%. Cyber Monday shoppers abandoned checkout within 34.4% of online visits, 29.4% less frequently than the 48.7% average rate for clean users.
With Black Friday easily generating more traffic and conversions in Europe than Cyber Monday, it’s no surprise to see a bigger gap in checkout abandonment when comparing infected users who have had ad injections removed and clean users. At 19.1%, Black Friday checkout abandonment rates decreased by 30.2%, while clean users clicked away at checkout 27.4% of the time.
Knowing your online customers has never been more critical to delivering top-flight customer journeys that convert visitors into loyal repeat customers. Just like last year, Namogoo’s client-side data insights will dive even deeper into online customer behavior throughout the holiday shopping period to give enterprises the knowledge they need to elevate business results.
Stay tuned for our full report coming just after the New Year!