The economy has opened up and Dressipi are expecting a bumper Black Friday in line with 2018 and 2019 - and a bonus for your return rates, customers buying categories with lower return rates is one of the reasons why Black Friday works so well!
To help you get ready for peak, the Dressipi data analysts have dug deep into the Black Friday numbers from the last 3 years, found out what your customers are buying and what promotions you need to give to ensure profitable relationships with them - you’ll be pleased to know that net net, for most retailers, Black Friday is a profitable exercise!
2021 to be as Successful as Pre-Covid
Due to lockdowns and more discounted periods throughout 2020, Black Friday in 2018 and 2019 were more successful than the same period in 2020 (see graphs below). Due to lower promotional activity and the opening up of the economy, we anticipate 2021 to be in line with 2018 and 2019.
The Impact On Return Rates
With the increase in spontaneous purchases to not miss out on the best deals, there could be a fear of increased return rates. However, this is not the case.
Pre-pandemic, we actually saw an average decrease in return rates of 11% over Black Friday and the rest of the Christmas period. This lower return rate could be due to gifting but also due to people purchasing products with a lower average return rate. Products purchased the most (see next section) included bags and boots which have return rates of 5.1% and 14.6% respectively, compared to dresses with an average of 44.7%.
What to Recommend to Visitors
Categories purchased by new and existing customers are typically different on a day to day basis. This is also reflected during the Black Friday period, showing that retailers need to push different categories to their different customer groups.
Taking data from 2019 (pre-Covid), sales of bags, coats and boots were up 582% vs normal sales behaviour for new customers - they were 38% more likely to buy these categories than returning customers. For returning customers, sales of jeans were up 432% vs normal sales behaviour - they were 9% more likely to buy jeans than new customers.
Age is Not Just a Number Over Black Friday
Data shows a directly inverse relationship between age and number of visitors on Black Friday with the older you are, the less likely you are to take advantage of the Black Friday deals. In which case, retailers should be targeting younger people over this period.
Comparing data from the first week of November, we have pulled out a few highlights from within the age specific splits. Across 2019 and 2020, there was an average increase of jewellery revenue over the Black Friday week of 572.5% for 40-60+ year olds. For 41-50 year olds, there was an average increase of nightwear revenue over the Black Friday week of 511% - in particular slippers.
The 40’s category purchased different categories in 2019 and 2020. In 2019 they were buying bags and accessories due to parties and going out with an average increase of 527.2%. However, in 2020 it was nightwear, jewellery and sportswear which increased by an average of 655.8% over Black Friday.
Promotion Type for New and Returning Customers
Evidence suggests that customers that come to the site for Black Friday are less valuable than those that visit during other periods with new customers who first purchase during Black Friday 10% less likely to buy again. On average they take longer to come back, the median yearly revenue generated by these customers is 4.8% lower, and the percentage of people who make a repeat purchase within a year is 14% lower.
To ensure a profitable relationship with these customers, new customer promotions should be geared towards higher-margin products. Whereas, existing customers should be given broader promotions to increase order frequency.
Our top tips to make it as profitable as possible
1) Personalised Recommendations: In the lead up to Black Friday, push different categories to different customers depending on their preferences and age.
2) Smarter Discounting: Use your data to deliver smarter solutions for discounting rather than blanket sales and release maximum cash into your business.
3) Post-Purchase Emails: Turn those less valuable Black Friday visitors into loyal customers by making them come back and buy again. Increase that 1st to 2nd purchase % by sending those customers relevant communications, with the right product at the right time.
Find out more about Dressipi here.