Bluecore Reveals Shifts in Black Friday Retail Performance and Shopper Habits: Retailers See 26% Increase in Day-Of Black Friday Orders, While Increase in New and Repeat Shoppers Varies By Category

The Retail Technology Company Analyzed 9.7 Billion Shopper Events Across 159 Brands to Track Growth and Trends Compared to 2019 and Major Shopping Events This Year

NEW YORK--()--According to new Black Friday insights from Bluecore, the company that’s ensuring retailers dominate the permanent shift to digital through multi-channel personalization, overall Black Friday orders increased by 26%, compared to 2019, despite retailers’ significant extension of the single-day shopping event. The first-ever digitally dominant shopping holiday has seen a shift in shoppers’ buying habits and resulted in varying day-of Black Friday performance with respect to first and second-time buyers. The complete report is available for download here.

For the third year in a row, Bluecore looked at shoppers’ real-time and historical Black Friday buying patterns and product interactions (including purchases) across 159 retail brands in multiple retail categories: Apparel (52), Footwear (15), Home (15), Technology (10), Beauty (11), Jewelry (10) and Other (41).

Bluecore derived data from 1.5 billion first-party cookies, 1 billion cart events, 4.4 million unique products, 58.8 million orders and $7.1 billion in total sales. The resulting insights are based on analysis of a total of 9.7 billion shopper events on these brands’ ecommerce sites, including shoppers adding products to cart, conducting keyword searches, viewing products and completing sales transactions.

Bluecore compared this year’s day-of Black Friday behaviors to Black Friday 2019, and in one case October 2020 (the unofficial start of the 2020 holiday season, kicking off with Amazon’s Prime Day) and May 2020 (the unofficial indicator of the acceleration to ecommerce, which saw Black Friday-like sales).

Bluecore’s 2020 Black Friday Report reveals that an average of 59% of retailers’ Black Friday sales were from first-time buyers. Of all retail categories, Jewelry saw the largest decrease in first-time buyers (-11%) but largest increase in second-time buyers (+13%) compared to 2019. All retail categories except for Jewelry and Footwear saw a decrease in second-time buyers, while only Beauty, Home and Technology saw an increase in First-Time Buyers.

Key Findings from Bluecore’s Black Friday 2020 Report, Include:

  • There was a 26% average increase in Black Friday orders, compared to 2019. All retail categories, except footwear, saw an increase in orders. By category: Apparel (+7%), Beauty (+46%), Footwear (-10%), Home (+42%), Jewelry (+38%), Technology (+43%).
  • An average of 59% of all sales were made by first-time buyers. Home Goods saw the most first-time shoppers with 65% of all purchases made by new customers, compared to Apparel (50%), Beauty (51%), Footwear (62%), Jewelry (64%) and Technology (61%).
  • Technology, Beauty and Home saw an increase in first-time buyers, compared to 2019, while others saw a decrease. By Category: Technology (+12%), Beauty (+6%), Home (+1%), Jewelry (-11%), Apparel (-3%), and Footwear (-1%).
  • Purchases from second-time buyers either decreased or remained stagnant in all categories except Jewelry, compared to 2019. By Category: Apparel (-2%), Beauty (-1%), Footwear (+/- 0%), Home (-8%), Jewelry (+13%) and Technology (-3%).
  • Shoppers viewed products an average of 6 times in advance of Black Friday. Advance product views, by category: Apparel (7), Beauty (8), Jewelry (6), Home (5); Footwear (6); and Technology (6). The average number of products viewed, by category: Apparel (4), Beauty (4), Jewelry (4), Home (3); Footwear (3); and Technology (1).
  • Twenty-eight percent (28%) of shoppers viewed Black Friday products at least one month in advance of purchase. Views by Category: Apparel (31%), Beauty (40%), Footwear (25%), Home (23%), Jewelry (30%) and Technology (32%).
  • With the exception of Footwear, all retail categories saw an increase in site traffic compared to Black Friday 2019: Apparel (+1%), Beauty (+11%), Footwear (-13%), Home (+12%), Jewelry (+17%), Technology (+18%).

Black Friday’s numbers this year are a strong indicator of retailers’ ability to not only successfully adapt their businesses to meet consumers where they are, but also to influence shopping habits, during this first-ever digitally dominant holiday season,” said Fayez Mohamood, CEO of Bluecore. “With an average of 59% of all purchases made by first-time shoppers, retailers are now presented with a massive opportunity to turn these first-time shoppers into repeat buyers before the end of the year. First-time shoppers are most likely to make a second-time purchase within 100 days of their first purchase, so an immediate focus on retention through thoughtful targeting, rather than steep discounts, will be critical to maintaining growth and profitability in 2021.”

Bluecore’s AI-driven technology allows retailers to launch completely personalized multi-channel campaigns at scale by curating products, content, and offers, specific to each shopper based on their interactions with the brand. The company drives significant increases in revenue with less effort for the 400+ retail brands it works with, including Express, Tommy Hilfiger and The North Face. By connecting first-party shopper data, onsite behavioral data and most uniquely, retailers’ live product catalogues, Bluecore automates the recommendations that will convert shoppers.


About Bluecore

Bluecore is a marketing technology company that’s reimagining how the world’s fastest growing retail brands transform casual shoppers into lifetime customers. Through its patented retail data model and the recent release of Bluecore Communicate™ and Bluecore Site™, brands are now able to personalize 100% of communications delivered to consumers through their email and ecommerce shopping experiences. Bluecore replaces manual processes with an intelligent, AI-driven workflow, allowing brands to manage these communications through a single interface. In 2019, the company bet big on itself when it introduced the industry’s first shared-success pricing model. It’s now credited with doubling email revenue, and increasing customer retention, lifetime value and overall speed to marketing for more than 400 brands, including Express, Tommy Hilfiger, The North Face, Teleflora and Bass Pro Shops.


Kieran Powell


Kieran Powell