We compare how well ecommerce stores performed in the 2021 holiday weekend compared to last year. SMBs and mid-market stores grew this year and are well-positioned to grow into the future by engaging with their existing customers.
Black Friday has been a staple of sales in the American economy for decades. Retailers discount their prices in hopes of growing sales, and consumers wait eagerly for lower prices on their favorite items. For the past few years, sales from Black Friday have been growing steadily, with each year surpassing the previous. But things changed this year. The pandemic causes supply chain issues, retailers are still dealing with lower in-store traffic, and consumers started shopping earlier than before.
There's been a lot said about how sales from Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) disappointed this year. the New York Post cite compared to last year, but all is not as it seems. While overall sales may have been lower this year, with LinkedIn reports of mixed results and a drop in sales, results aren't as bad as things initially seem.
We analyzed our database for stores in the SMB and mid-market and were pleasantly surprised to see an uptick in sales, orders, and repeat customers. Below, we provide a quick review of some of the results of our analysis.
We aggregated and analyzed metrics from all US ecommerce stores on their owned-and-operated brands (i.e. their Shopify stores, but not their Amazon sales) in our database and compared the following same-store metrics across both Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2020 and 2021:
In our analysis below, we have adjusted each of these metrics so that a value of "100" matches the value from 2020's Black Friday.
The majority of stores in our database are in the following industries:
Across all stores in our database, sales from Black Friday increased by approximately 38% from 2020 to 2021, and more than doubled on Cyber Monday from 2020 to 2021. In both years, sales on Cyber Monday exceeded sales on Black Friday.
75% of ecommerce brands grew sales on Black Friday and 54% of brands grew sales on Cyber Monday compared to last year.
The total number of orders more than tripled on Black Friday compared to last year, and nearly doubled on Cyber Monday compared to last year. More orders were placed on Black Friday than on Cyber Monday both last year and this year.
82% of brands grew their sales on Black Friday, and 57% grew sales on Cyber Monday compared to last year.
Orders containing more than one item also grew compared to last year, more than quadrupling on Black Friday and increasing by 50% on Cyber Monday. 71% of all stores increased the number of orders with multiple items on Black Friday, and 48% grew sales on Cyber Monday compared to 2020.
One metric that did decline is the number of orders that contained a discount - at least on Cyber Monday. While orders with a discount increased by about 80% on Black Friday this year, the number of orders with a discount dramatically declined on Cyber Monday, dropping by approximately 60%.
45% of brands saw their orders with discounts decline on Black Friday this year, and 64$ of brands saw their orders with discounts decline on Cyber Monday.
Repeat customers made a big impact for brands this year. Orders from repeat customers grew approximately 10x on Black Friday compared to last year, and more than doubled on Cyber Monday. A whopping 95% of brands grew the number of orders made by repeat customers this year on Black Friday, and 71% grew these orders on Cyber Monday.
On Black Friday, the number of orders made by new customers grew by 60% this year, however the number of orders from new customers slightly dropped on Cyber Monday. Approximately 48% of brands grew sales from new customers this year on Black Friday, but only 32% grew sales from new customers on Cyber Monday.
Up-and-coming brands are making headway and they seem to be growing quite nicely. Clearly, brands that have figured out how to engage with their existing customers are able to maintain growth, even in a larger climate where sales across the industry dipped slightly. As brands continue to grow their own stores and increase engagement with their customers, we would expect this trend to continue.
If you found these results interesting, or if you're looking to analyze your own sales, improve how you use data in your marketing campaigns, or create personalized marketing messages based on what your customers will do next, feel free to try out Apteo's personalization and analytics tools. It's free to start and you'll get a ton of information about your customers, their journeys, what they're likely to buy next, and what segments they fall into for your store. If you have any questions about how it all works, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.
Shanif Dhanani is the co-founder & CEO of Apteo. Prior to Apteo, Shanif was a data scientist and software engineer at Twitter, and prior to that he was the lead engineer and head of analytics at TapCommerce, a NYC-based ad tech startup acquired by Twitter. He has a passion for all things data and analytics, loves adventure traveling, and generally loves living in New York City.