Data-driven insights that help companies navigate the changing retail and technology landscape. LEARN MORE
Flash Reports 4 minutes

Holiday 2019: US Black Friday Sees Companies Promote More Heavily, Shoppers Continue to Migrate Online

#
Coresight Research

Key Points

This year’s Black Friday saw retailers promoting more heavily than last year, consumers continued to migrate to online platforms at the expense of brick-and-mortar shops.

  • Brands and retailers in the US hit $7.2 billion in digital revenue on Black Friday, up 14% from last year.
  • The intensity of promotions was modestly higher than last year.
  • Coresight Research’s store visits showed Walmart and Target enjoyed strong foot traffic, and both had a solid lineup of store-only promotions. Trends were more mixed at other retailers.
  • The five brands with the most social callouts on Black Friday from across the globe were PlayStation, Nintendo, Apple, Xbox and Google.

With Thanksgiving falling six days later than last year creating the shortest possible number of days between Black Friday and Christmas, retailers began holiday promotions early, increasing advertising and deepening discounts seeking to drive foot traffic and sales. Consumers responded by spending more—but more spend went online this year, continuing consumer migration to digital platforms.

Brands and retailers in the US generated $7.2 billion in digital revenue on Black Friday, up 14% over last year

In the US, brands and retailers pulled in $7.2 billion in digital revenue on Black Friday—up 14% over last year, according to Salesforce. Shoppers are also getting more comfortable shopping on small screens: Some 56% of all digital orders on Black Friday were placed via mobile device.

Brick-and-mortar sales did not fare as well, falling 6.2%, according to ShopperTrak data.

Salesforce says global Black Friday digital sales hit $20 billion—a testament to global consumers’ affinity for shopping holidays.

Source: Salesforce

 

 

The intensity of promotions was modestly higher than last year

Early in the holiday season, brands and retailers enticed early shoppers with deep discounts.  Black Friday shoppers were offered substantial digital deals this year, an average discount of 28% off, up from 27% last year, according to Salesforce.

While consumers continue to press for faster, cheaper (or even free) delivery, this year’s online growth came without an increase in free shipping: Some 78% of digital retailers offer free shipping, but this rate has remained the same for three years. The proportion of orders placed and traffic via mobile device continued to rise: 56% and 73%, respectively.

Source: Salesforce

 

Below, we provide comparisons of deals this year versus last year at selected retailers in the US.

Source: Companies/Coresight Research

 

Our store visits showed Walmart and Target enjoyed strong store traffic and both retailers had a solid lineup of store-only promotions: Trends were more mixed at other retailers

Based on our observations, Walmart and target enjoyed strong traffic and both offered alluring in-store promotions. Macy’s, Nike Outlet and Marshalls also attracted large crowds of shoppers with their promotions. However, Costco, Forever 21 and Nordstrom Rack in selected places appeared less popular, in part due to their year-round compelling pricing. For more detail on our store visits, see our previous report Holiday 2019: US Black Friday Insights.

Target: Long lines both inside and outside the store
Source: Coresight Research

 

Walmart: Stores were crowded
Source: Coresight Research

 

Costco: No lines at Costco
Source: Coresight Research

 

According to RetailNext data, store traffic continued to decline, albeit at a much slower pace than in years past. Intent to buy, as measured through conversion (number of sales transactions divided by store traffic) and shopper yield (conversion times average transaction value) continued to exhibit positive trends.

We believe the consumer arrives at the store with a mission, having already discovered and compared products and pricing online. As of late afternoon on December 2, data showed that Black Friday foot trafic fell 2.1% and shopper conversion rates increased 1.9%, with a 5.4% increase in shopper yield.

Source: RetailNext

 

The five brands with the most social callouts on Black Friday from across the globe were PlayStation, Nintendo, Apple, Xbox and Google.

Source: Salesforce/Coresight Research

 

The five with the most social callouts on Black Friday from across the globe were Amazon, Walmart, Target, GameStop and Best Buy.

Source: Salesforce

Other research you may be interested in:

×