2022 Holiday Habits: Black Friday + Cyber Monday.
The fate of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the Cyber 5 has been in constant question. Has the seasonal sale lost its spark? Or will rising inflation and living costs reignite consumer interest? We’ve taken a first look at consumer behaviors to answer just that.
The extension of Cyber 5.
Despite 56% who only sometimes or never shop on sale days planning to do so this year, traffic was down year-over-year for Cyber 5. This follows the trend with Black Friday traffic on a 10% decline since 2020 and Cyber Monday seeing a 6% decline.
But that doesn’t mean consumers aren’t taking advantage of holiday sales. Holiday sale shopping is shifting due to major factors:
Early sale shopping. With retailers starting sales earlier, traffic saw a pick-up earlier in the week with a 7% YoY increase the Sunday before Thanksgiving and a 5% increase the Monday before. Sales for the week of Thanksgiving saw more than a 200% increase between Sunday and Monday and remained above these levels going into the holiday. In fact, overall sales for Thanksgiving were just 6% lower than Black Friday. Looks like the early bird doesn’t wait until Friday for gift shopping.
Pre-planned shopping. With a 13% decline in traffic rates as the weekend progressed, we can see consumers were less about browsing and more about buying. As retailers offered sneak peaks to upcoming sales, bulk shopping for Black Friday got even easier with average order values for November seeing a 50% increase YoY. The average consumer spent $259 each time they hit the checkout button on Black Friday and $213 on Cyber Monday, compared to just $131 on Black Friday and $126 on Cyber Monday in 2021.
Thanksgiving alone saw order values that were 3X as high as 2021, likely the result of pre-planning and lingering consumer concerns about inventory issues. Even with lower traffic levels, conversion rates held steady with what was seen in 2021. Compared to 2020, conversion rates were 29% higher on Thanksgiving, 20% higher on Black Friday, and 27% higher on Cyber Monday.
Is Cyber 5 really “mobile-first”?
Mobile traffic was 3X higher than desktop on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and 2X higher on Cyber Monday, setting the trend for holiday browsing. As traffic saw overall declines during both days, desktop was impacted the most with Black Friday traffic down 20% compared to 2020, and Cyber Monday down by 13%. Meanwhile, mobile saw just a 5% decline on Black Friday and 2% decline on Cyber Monday.
The big win for mobile isn’t just in traffic, but sales. For the first time, mobile made up 60% of sales during Black Friday, with its overall conversion rate growing 7% YoY for Black Friday, while desktop saw a 9% decline. Even on Cyber Monday when most people are in front of their desktops for the workday, mobile still drove 52% of sales and saw a 6% increase YoY.
For retailers, this means those investments in native apps and optimized mobile web experiences are finally paying off. Mobile has transitioned from a critical tool for browsing and research to the primary channel for sales.
A happier holiday experience.
Despite higher prices, spirits are up this holiday season—especially for Quantum Metric customers. Frustration for Cyber 5 declined by 17% YoY, and rage clicks were down YoY 27% for Black Friday, 48% for Thanksgiving, and 34% for Cyber Monday. This could be the result of fewer inventory issues this year and a continued focus on easing customer issues across channels.
With less frustration, retailers are also losing less sales! Across Quantum Metric retailers, we’ve seen a 10% decline YoY in abandoned carts during Cyber 5.
What does hourly data reveal about shopping behavior?
Digging even deeper into our data, we reviewed consumer behavior by the hour to address unexpected shifts in buyer behavior such as:
- Shopping while working is not just for WFH: Our data showed Cyber Monday had the longest peak in site traffic from 10am-3pm ET or most of the typical business day. Despite many being back at the office, average hourly traffic levels were just 4% lower than on Black Friday.
- Early morning sale demand is disappearing: Cyber Monday saw declines in conversion rates of as much as 27% in the early morning hours (between 5-7am). The same can be said for Black Friday, where there was a 26% decline in conversion rates YoY.
- But, pre-turkey shopping is the new trend: Thanksgiving sales saw a spike between 9am-12pm ET that were comparable to some of the peaks seen on Black Friday. Even Thanksgiving Eve saw early holiday sales with spikes occurring between 10am -3pm.
- Late-night shoppers are the most frustrated: Where frustration was most commonly seen was later at night between 11pm-2am ET on Black Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Is it because of a site glitch or a post-night-out shopping spree? Only the session replay will know for sure.
This is just a sample of what will be included in the 2022 Holiday Habits: Wrap-up report. Keep your eye out for its release in early January.
While you wait, learn more about how Quantum Metric is helping some of the biggest global retailers sleigh the holiday season with a 20-minute demo: quantummetric.com/quantum-metric-online-retail-demo-replay/