Black Friday E-Commerce – Trends and Results 2021

How does the intense e-commerce campaign period around Black Friday affect business results? With data aggregated from our client base along with global stats from this year’s holiday season, we’ve been able to provide interesting insights into trends and real-world KPI results.

The story of Black Friday dates back to the 1950’s, but the concept has changed several times since then. Today, massive one-day sales have turned into a four-day event, and even a week-long event, spawning other “retail holidays” such as Singles’ Day and Electronic Monday. It’s not unusual for stores, both physical and digital, to start sales already at the beginning of November and continue more or less with discounts all the way until Christmas.

A shift in consumer behavior on Black Friday

However, in recent years, as consumers become more environmentally conscious, many companies have decided to boycott the Black Friday shopping hysteria.

According to Johan Somar, chief strategist at Avensia, there has been a shift in customer behavior during Black Friday in both physical shopping and e-commerce over recent years:

“Until recently, companies could take advantage of everything Black Friday and increase sales. But now they need a fairly strong offering in order to attract new and existing customers. It is not enough to make a good offer or discount and think that it will automatically increase sales and traffic numbers. This also makes the whole question about Black Friday sales more important to decide on for most businesses — whether it’s all or not at all,” he concludes.

Black Friday Ecommerce Trends in 2021

Many businesses today have a very good grip on how they approach the Black Friday season. They know that their customers have a solid understanding of regular prices versus discounts, and if a company accidentally (or intentionally) posts an “dishonest” offer, consumers won’t hesitate to tell the world through social media. Transparent and open communication with customers is the key to success at any time of the year, but it’s even more important during the Black Friday season.

Another trend we’ve seen in recent years is that consumers expect better shopping experiences to a higher degree than before, not just discounts. A few years ago, it was not uncommon for e-commerce platforms to crash when consumers rush to the site. This alone was a special experience and not something that really hurt the company, but rather enhanced the Black Friday shopping experience.

But today there are almost no accidents as the platforms perform better and the uptime is usually 100%. Consumers are accustomed to a flawless and fast buying journey and no longer accept delays or hiccups. With more robust regulations, e-commerce businesses can avoid “high alert mode,” and employees can still focus on daily tasks during the Black Friday e-commerce sales period.

White Friday performance 2021

On the whole, sales associated with Black Friday and Internet Week were more prevalent in 2021, starting earlier and with lower discounts. E-commerce still commands a large percentage of sales, due to the ease of finding and comparing deals, as well as the ease of avoiding crowding. However, according to Adobe Analytics, both Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday sales numbers were lower than they were in 2020. This trend is reflected in the analysis of Avensia customers, with the majority of customers in this report showing lower numbers in 2021 compared to last year. 2020.

In our report, we have grouped our clients into four sections;

  • Beauty and cosmetics
  • Sports and outdoor activities
  • Fashion design
  • Consumer Goods / Other

The report includes data from customers at various stages of e-commerce site maturity, both those who are longtime Avensia customers and those who launched a new site with Avensia within the past year. We have also included clients where Avensia acts solely as a strategic advisory partner. Furthermore, the report focuses on both B2C and D2C retail customers where the Black Friday concept is primarily used.

Noticeable results

In the beauty and cosmetics department, there seems to be something of a shift to in-store cosmetics shopping. The total number of users on websites was more or less the same during Black Friday (November) compared to the same period last year. However, the increase from the average of the months through November in terms of web traffic increased by about 70%.

Sports and outdoor retailers did well during the Black Friday period. Average numbers from Avensia customers show no significant change in traffic and other KPIs for November compared to average months or compared to 2020. However, return visits increased even more within this segment in November 2021. Sports and outdoor equipment One of the top three categories where social media has a significant impact on sales, not least for millennial shoppers.

Within the fashion and design sector, we saw a staggering loss of traffic compared to last year’s Black Friday period, nearly 63%!

Another trend became apparent within this segment. Fashion orders placed through Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) are up 35% year over year.

Globally, in the FMCG/Other segment, customers experienced a higher likelihood of disappointment in this category due to supply chain issues. There was also a kind of split between big-name retailers and small independents, with many opting to boycott Black Friday. The conversion rate actually decreased during the Black Friday period compared to the average months for our customers in this segment.

Get all KPI scores from every sector and global stats in our report!

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