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The Aftermath: Black Friday & Cyber Monday

POSTED. December 07, 2020

The dust has settled. The damage is done.


It’s time to brush aside the rubble and tally this year’s consumer spending for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.


There’s a lot of rubble to uncover, it seems. According to a hot off the press Forbes report, this year’s Cyber Monday performed 15% better than 2019, coming in at around $10.8 billion on the day. 


And data collected by Adobe reveals that thus far, holiday spending as a whole has surmounted to over $100 billion. That’s a ridiculous amount of dough.


Bells and Whistles That Help Rake it in


If you run an online shop, we hope you got even a modest slice of that pie. And if you read our last article about how to tidy up your online shop and add some bells and whistles, then you probably did.


In this last article, titled “Why Black Friday and Cyber Monday Won’t Cut it This Holiday Season”, we offered tools to beef up your shop, sure, but we also riffed on how these two mega one-off events alone shouldn’t be do or die factors. 


And while we are about to report on some behemoth holiday shopping digits, please take them with a grain of salt. Because, we think you should be aiming to convert online shoppers at higher rates year-round.


Ultimately, Black Friday and Cyber Monday should just be icing on an otherwise neatly decorated cake.


Shopify Merchants are Crushing it This Season 


By handpicking Shopify features and plugins that work best for your shop, you can ice that cake and create an experience that is seamless and dare we say, inviting, from initial contact with a customer all the way to the point-of-sale. This will hold true on the dedicated shopping holidays, but also on any regular old day throughout the year.


But we don’t want to make false claims without a heaping pile of data to back it up.


If you haven’t already, tune in to the latest episode of Kurt Elster’s blatantly self-aware podcast called “The Unofficial Shopify Podcast”. 


In this episode, Kurt hosts Paul Reda, a Shopify consulting expert, and the two unpack the holiday shopping season for Shopify merchants.


One of the largest takeaways is Shopify merchant’s adaptability and continued growth year over year. In 2020, Shopify merchants saw a 75% increase in Black Friday sales from the same day last year. 


This signals that not only is Shopify remaining relevant in the explosive world of e-commerce, but that it is leading the charge and helping it’s customers build and maintain successful operations. 


Absurd Numbers, Data Tidbits, and Trends

emarketer data on holiday sales figures 2019 vs. 2020

Graphic by eMarketer.com


The eMarketer graphic above displays ecommerce sales over the five most prominent shopping days this season as compared to 2019. This gives a macro overview. But let’s hone in on some specific changes in the way people are shopping.   


Kurt notes on the podcast that in-store visits dropped nearly 50% according to Adobe Analytics’s data. A full slash in half for malls and brick and mortar stores. This inevitably leads to folks making purchases from their devices.


Data also shows that large retailers like Amazon, Target, and Walmart, could be seeing up to 400% spikes in sales this October versus their numbers in October 2019. Bravo to the big dogs.


For smaller sellers, the spike was a bit less but still an astonishing 350%. Little guys rock too! The spikes were expected given the nature of 2020. However, many online sellers might not have expected to see that staggering percentage of growth.


The winning product categories remained the same with “apparel and accessories” leading the charge followed by “health and beauty” and “home and garden.”


If you don’t currently run a massively successful and extravagantly designed online shop, then consider creating a useful product in one of these categories. If you need help along the way, feel free to give us a holler. 


What’s Working for Merchants Over the Holidays


As Kurt and Reda break down the data, they offer insights and reflections on tangible things online shops can do to see increased sales in a hectic holiday season.


One of those is early bird specials. “If you’re considering an email promo for yourself, or a product launch really, try doing that early bird pricing...it creates legitimate urgency, because no one wants to wait and pay more,” says Kurt.


This tactic helps get a head start on competitors and it provides immediate relief for shoppers who want to browse online, get their desired gift or product, and log out and be done. 


Another note was on the increase in purchases from iPhones or smartphones. This is a reminder to online sellers to make sure your site is as mobile-optimized and gorgeous on a phone as it is on a laptop or larger device. 


Good luck to everyone out there slinging products or services that make the world a better place. We hope you enjoyed this report and learned a thing or two or three. 


If you feel so darn compelled, head over to our blog for ultra juicy, honest, informative happenings in the world of Shopify merchants and ecommerce as a whole.

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