Next November 26th will begin the new edition of Black Friday 2021. One of the most important dates in the world of online sales and the second edition within the Covid-19 pandemic period.

The difference is that this time, online businesses will no longer be moving their campaigns on a completely unknown ground. The experience of what worked and what didn't work before can help online retailers and advertisers to better adjust their strategy for the new editions of Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021.

Let's take a look at some data that can help us get an idea of what to expect this year.

1. Online shopping is gaining more and more ground on Black Friday

According to the website blackfriday.com, Black Friday online sales in 2020 collected $14.13 billion in online purchases, which is a 19% increase over 2019.

Online sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been on the rise even before the pandemic period. In fact as early as 2019, the National Retail Federation announced that online shopping in the U.S. had unseated physical store shopping. This point is reinforced by the unstoppable growth of the Internet and, above all, by the increasing number of users making use of mobile devices for various tasks in their daily lives.  One of them, obviously, has to do with the ways of shopping: according to a study by Publicis Sapient, 74% of consumers prefer to make their purchases online.

In addition, the coronavirus crisis has only pushed many businesses, and by extension consumers, to adapt to the online format, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020 editions running largely entirely digitally. 

And while the pandemic highs and general fear of shopping in physical spaces is much diminished from last year, the way consumers buy products has undergone an irreversible change.

2. Black Friday getting longer and Cyber Monday booming

It is no secret that nowadays, the duration of Black Friday offers is not limited to the last Friday in November.

The reality is that these deals tend to extend throughout the weekend, known in the U.S. as Black Friday Week, starting on Thanksgiving Day, all the way through to Cyber Monday. 

And with most brands doing their best deals at the last minute, the number of sales on Cyber Monday, focused on tech products, have outpaced those on Black Friday since 2019. 

In fact in the U.S. and U.K., it has positioned itself as the most important digital sales day. This is why, counting on the little time difference between Cyber Monday and Christmas campaigns, many businesses have opted to stretch these offers until the end of the year. And even in many cases, Black Friday-related promotions have started weeks before the last Friday of November. 

This is especially important for retailers, whose 20% of total annual sales occur in the November to December period, coinciding with the momentum of the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas campaigns.

3. Black Friday becomes more important every year

The numbers related to the increase in search terms that include "black friday" reflect the steady growth of the importance of this event in consumers' lives.

According to the SEMRush website, between 2017 and 2018, searches for Black Friday increased by 8.71%. And even though there was a perceived drop of 4.59% in the period between 2018 and 2019, in 2020 searches grew to 34.13%, clearly driven by the effect of the global pandemic. 

In Spain, the estimated number of users who will shop on Black Friday 2021, amounts to 13 million. And of these shoppers, 21.59% will do so entirely online.

As I mentioned earlier, the rise in online shopping is not expected to reverse. Therefore, the brands that are best able to adapt to new forms of online shopping, including retail businesses, will continue to benefit from this growth on Black Friday 2021 and certainly in the coming years.

4. Increased support for local commerce on Black Friday

Another important change that has arisen as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic is the shift in users' focus towards local businesses.

According to data obtained by Google, 73% of shoppers prefer to shop at small businesses in their local area during peak shopping periods such as Black Friday or Christmas. In addition, 60% of users stated that they will previously research products online. And half of these users will only purchase products from retailers that offer online shopping.

Part of this trend stems not only from a dislike of large crowds for fear of contagion, but also from the fact that several physical stores have established a series of restrictions that ruin the shopping experience for many consumers.

Therefore, as of today, it is unquestionable that small local stores need a minimum online presence and even offer the possibility of online shopping, in order not to be left behind among the potential of the digital market. 

Fortunately, the low economic cost of online management offered by the e-commerce model compared to physical stores has given an opportunity to retailers whose resources are limited and therefore, the growth and expansion of their business as well.

5. Black Friday shopping from mobile devices continues to grow

Although traffic from desktop devices is still the main revenue stream in the online sales arena, mobile devices are becoming increasingly important in the shopping process.

During the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas 2020 campaigns, the data from online traffic and revenue per device looked as follows:

 

Percent of total traffic

Percentage of total revenues

Desktop Device

37%

59%

Mobile Device

58%

36%

Tablet

5%

5%

 

The average consumer still has an ingrained sense of greater reliability and security when completing the purchase process on a desktop device. However, we find that when it comes to finding a product and comparing prices, users continue to make greater use of mobile devices.

In 2020, purchases from mobile devices accounted for 39% of total sales with a conversion rate 15% higher than in 2019 according to Adobe Analytics. This means that the mobile environment increasingly gives users more confidence to make purchases spontaneously and will cause the usage trend to continue to increase in Black Friday 2021.

This data highlights the particular importance of taking care of the shopping process on Black Friday. Websites and shopping apps must be perfectly prepared for the mobile format and with all points concerning UX/UI well covered to avoid ruining the shopping process at the most important moment. 

Conclusion

Despite the economic impact that the pandemic period has had, there is no doubt that both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, are dates that continue to have a crucial importance in the calendar of consumers. Proof of this is the fact that these offers have an increasingly longer duration, currently even occupying the entire month of November until the Christmas campaigns.


Many of them bring forward their Christmas shopping to the Black Friday period to take advantage of the discounts as soon as possible, so online businesses must be well prepared. Especially considering that 20% of retail business sales occur from November to December, coinciding with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas deals.

In this edition of Black Friday 2021, with the fifth wave of Covid-19 getting closer and closer, we may find that the lack of supplies, stock and certain logistical problems that can lead to delays in the delivery of products. 

We will have to wait until this coming November 26 to see if this will affect the level of offerings compared to previous years.

 

Once again, thank you very much for reading me!

See you in the next post.


JOS (without the E)