5 Black Friday Marketing Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind

by: Dustin Hawley | Monday October 28, 2019

Once viewed as the unofficial ‘start’ of the holiday sales period, Black Friday has downshifted in terms of importance over recent years. As the business landscape shifts and leans more and more heavily toward the digital marketplace, retailers have started their seasonal promotions earlier and earlier in order to tap into a key element of e-commerce: the ability to shop anywhere and anytime you please, without relying on your favorite store to be open in order to purchase the products you love.

Last year, we brought you some great tips for your Black Friday shopping, as well as some of the top highlights from Cyber Monday. This year, we wanted to bring you some Black Friday marketing statistics that will blow your mind. We selected five statistics that are sure to blow your mind. So let's get started!

1. Black Friday generated $6.22 billion in online sales last year

woman holding bag marked "black friday" while holding mobile device

Last year was a big year for Black Friday, as it generated over $6.22 billion in online sales, resulting in a 23.6 percent increase from 2017 and setting a new record high. These numbers are provided by Adobe Analytics, which tracks transactions for 80 of the top 100 internet retailers in the U.S., including companies like Walmart and Amazon.

Retailers like Kohl’s reported a record day for online sales last year during Black Friday, as we have seen more and more brands enhancing their mobile experience over recent years to optimize the user experience and increase sales.

“Retailers have done their part to build better mobile experiences for consumers and turning nearly 10 percent more smartphone visitors into buyers this Black Friday versus last,” said Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights.

2. SMS broke through on Black Friday and generated 2000% ROI for some marketers

sms promotion for pizza

Email promotions dominated much of Black Friday in 2018. However, SMS quietly emerged as the dark horse of the holiday promotion season. 

More brands are opting-in to SMS marketing by the day. This is likely because over 94% of all SMS messages are read within the first 5 minutes of being received.  In turn, marketers adopted SMS more frequently than ever in 2018, most notably before and during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping period. Some marketers even noted an astonishing 2000% ROI from this channel when combined with their brand's email marketing efforts. 

3. Millennials spent $149 on average during Black Friday

woman holding up $1100 in cash

This may be one of the most surprising results from last year's record-breaking Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The National Retail Federation found that millennials on average spent $149 purchasing items for themselves (rather than gifts for others), accounting for the highest amount spent by any generation for this purpose. I guess what they lack in benevolence they make up for in purchase intent. 

But while older millennials and members of Gen X still plan to spend more on gifts than their younger Gen Z counterparts, the mere fact that shoppers between the ages of 18 and 24 are willing to spend money on themselves could begin to shift the way retailers market towards this younger demographic. This shifting focus can already be seen in examples like Snapchat launching it's dedicated shopping channels - bringing viable e-comm to a relevant social platform whose target demographic is the Gen-Z and millennials that many brands are looking to activate in today's market. In the future, social media campaigns will continue to be crucial in capturing the attention of these young shoppers.

4. Men seek Black Friday deals more than women

silhouette of a woman arm-wrestling a silhouette of a man

This is another shocking statistic on our list and one that carries great intrigue. Stereotypes and basic gender stigma may lead you to believe that women are more likely than men to go on a holiday shopping spree. But in all actuality, slightly more men say they’ll brave the crowds to hunt for deals this year. About 77% of men say they plan to shop over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, versus only 71% of women.

5. More People Are Shopping on Thanksgiving

crowds of people shopping on black friday

In the ever-growing 'tradition' that is Black Friday, the best deals have historically taken place in the days after the holiday. However, both eCommerce businesses and conventional retail outlets have continually been trending towards offering a bevy of special discounts on Thanksgiving night. Last year, Adobe Analytics cited Thanksgiving as the fastest growing holiday for shoppers due to the early Black Friday sales. Instead of bolting out to the stores immediately after a holiday evening with friends and family, shoppers have preferred shopping from the comfort of their home, smartphone or mobile device in hand. 

Predictions for Black Friday 2019

No matter which approach you take to attracting consumers this holiday season, a multichannel operation is still best practice. Though they are some of the biggest purveyors of online shopping, Millennials and Gen Z still enjoy the in-store experience more than you may think.

Ecommerce retailers looking to score big this holiday season will need to combine the element of customer experience with the efficiency of online ordering. Mobile will also play a large role in the purchase process, given the tendency of consumers to compare prices online and shop around for better prices.

GET STARTED ON YOUR BRANDS BLACK FRIDAY CAMPAIGN AND PARTNER WITH AN AWARD-WINNING AGENCY

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