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Reviewing Black Friday trends offers insights for future retail strategies
Tue, 5th Dec 2023

The lucrative retail period of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) for 2023 may be over, but keen observers and preparing retailers are poring over the conclusive data for insights into consumer habits that could shape strategies for the next round of commercial holidays. Business intelligence platform Distil.ai has offered a fresh perspective on the 2023 BFCM weekend trends for the UK and US markets, gathering a wide-ranging body of data that sheds light on buyer behaviour, sales performance, and the wider implications of eCommerce trends.

Analyzed data from a sample of over 40,000 online orders reveal that customers in the UK demonstrated a stronger inclination to spend during the Black Friday week. In contrast to the weekly average revenue for the rest of the year, the UK stores witnessed a three-fold increase in their takings. This surge in sales illustrates a notable pattern of UK shoppers consciously holding off their purchases until the start of the Black Friday week, a trend that mirrors the behavioural tendencies observed the previous year as well.

Further analysis showcases that on the other side of the Atlantic, the climb in sales was somewhat less steep. Despite the Black Friday tradition originating in the US, American customers proved to be somewhat restrained over BFCM weekend. Resulting statistics reveal a slightly subdued performance compared to UK consumer behaviour over the same period. Gerry McNicol, CEO and Founder at Distil.ai, highlights this differential, suggesting that the US eCommerce market could possibly need to re-strategize its approach to Black Friday sales.

Contrary to conventional perceptions, Black Friday isn't solely about securing a one-time sale to new customers. The data showcases the considerable role played by returning customers, contributing to nearly half the revenue raked in by UK stores and more than half in the US. Unsurprisingly, the significance of retaining and satisfying repeat customers for businesses is emphasised. The data also suggests that retargeting customers who've made purchases on Black Friday with Cyber Monday deals may not hold much value in terms of marketing strategy.

In terms of daily performance, US customers kicked it into gear after their Thanksgiving and shopped heavily on Sunday and Monday, missing the initial rush of the Black Friday sales. In stark contrast, the UK customers filled their baskets to the highest value on Black Friday, compared to any other day of the BFCM weekend. Across the board, the average consumer spend for the BFCM weekend was on the rise, increasing by some 26% amongst the US shoppers, indicating another key trend.

Gerry McNicol emphasized that gaining a nuanced understanding of consumer behaviour data could turn out to be a veritable gold mine for eCommerce stores. Along with the broader trends, this analysis also helps businesses to comprehend the patterns of individual customers, their preferences, their shopping habits, and the optimal timings for peak sale values. With expert interpretation, businesses can leverage this information to ideate actionable strategies, optimise marketing inputs, and refine their approach to customer retention and sales.