Brands Overcome Inventory Problems During Black Friday, Says Bluecore; 8% less sales, but orders 9% higher than last year


NEW YORK–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – With stockouts prompting U.S. consumers to shop earlier this year, Black Friday 2021 sales fell by 8% and site traffic decreased by 5% compared to last year, according to new information from Bluecore. The marketing technology company that turns one-time shoppers into lifelong customers for more than 400 retail brands, reports that despite widespread inventory issues, average order values ​​have still risen by 9% and an average of only 4% products of all brands were out of stock. Consumer electronics brands, however, have taken a hit with more than 40% of products out of stock and the only decrease observed (-4%) in the average order values. The full report is available here.

For the fourth year in a row, Bluecore examined the real-time and historical buying habits of shoppers for Black Friday, as well as their interactions with products and their purchases, through 153 retail brands and 8 retail categories: Apparel (47), Sporting Goods (22), Footwear (21), Health & Beauty (19), Home Goods (15), Jewelry (11), Specialty Gifts (11), and Consumer Electronics (7). The result is a comprehensive look at this year’s Black Friday Day behaviors, as well as a comparative look at Black Friday 2020.

Bluecore analyzed 4.5 billion purchase events on branded e-commerce sites, including shoppers who view products, abandon products, add products to cart, perform keyword searches, and complete sales transactions. The resulting data was derived from 348 million first-party cookies, 502 million cart events, 3 million unique products, 33 million orders and $ 4 billion in total sales, representing billions of gross market value (GMV) for hundreds of retailers.

Key findings from Bluecore’s Black Friday 2021 report include:

  • Retailers saw an average of 8% fewer purchases, but average orders 9% higher on Black Friday 2021 compared to Black Friday 2020. AOV difference compared to 2021, by category: Household goods (+ 24%), Clothes (+ 13%), Jewelry (+ 13%), Shoes (+ 8%), Health beauty (+ 6%), Specialty Gifts (+ 6%) and consumer electronics (-4%).
  • Inventory issues have had the biggest impact on consumer electronics brands. Consumer electronics brands have experienced on average 41% out-of-stock products, while other categories experienced lesser out-of-stock items: Household items (8% of all products were out of stock), Sport stuff (6%), Jewelry (5%), Clothes (4%), Health beauty (2%), Shoe (1%), and specialty gifts (1%).
  • Brands lost between 62% and 93% of buyers who encountered out-of-stock products. Clothing brands were best equipped to convert these shoppers into different products, with 38% of shoppers who encountered out-of-stock products purchasing another item of the same brand. Consumer electronics brands were only able to convert 7% of buyers who encountered out-of-stock items.
  • 52% of all Black Friday purchases were made by first-time buyers. It is 8% fewer first-time buyers than during Black Friday 2020.
  • 48% of brands’ purchases for Black Friday came from existing shoppers. Brands saw on average 11% increase in loyal customers, compared to Black Friday 2020.
  • Almost 60% of shoppers bought on impulse, while 42% planned ahead. Buyers viewed products in all categories an average of 10 times before purchasing. Buyers viewed the most products, the most times, when they purchased clothes (8.54 products, 17.97 views). Jewelry and housewares were also considered purchases, with shoppers viewing jewelry items 12.95 times each and household items 12.55 times each.
  • Wedges, mules and flats saw the biggest year-over-year increase in Black Friday shopping of any other clothing or footwear item, with shims showing a 12.259% to augment in sales since Black Friday 2020, with mules seeing a 701% increase, and the apartments seeing a 302% increase.
    • The other products that have seen the greatest increase in demand are watches (222%), traditional / ceremonial clothing (126%), pocket squares (124%), Pants (111%), heels (97%), Hats (72%) and sleepwear / loungewear (50%).

  • In contrast, face masks, hiking boots and neckties saw the biggest drop in demand, with masks seeing a 74% decrease in sales since Black Friday 2020, hiking shoes seeing a 72% decrease, and ties seeing a 67 %% decrease.
    • The other products that saw the largest drop in demand were gloves and mittens (-65%), moccasins & moccasins (-52%), shorts (-48%), necklaces (-41%), Dresses (-38%), sandals (-38%) and bracelets (-37%).

  • Average order values ​​remain stable as buyers buy again and again from brands. First-time buyers spent on average $ 130, while second-time buyers spent $ 117. Buyers for the third time have passed $ 124 and the fourth time buyers have passed $ 121. These numbers confirm previous data from Bluecore that the value of an individual buyer who makes multiple purchases over time, compounds. This leads to exponential profitability with every subsequent purchase. Given the rising costs of acquiring new customers versus the relatively lower cost of each additional purchase, retailers should invest heavily in loyalty as a growth strategy.

“Considering that 48% of this year’s Black Friday shoppers were repeat shoppers, and average order values ​​remain stable as shoppers buy one, two, three, and even four times from the same brand, it’s clear that retailers are pulling together. move away from pure acquisition of one-time buyers and instead invest in marketing that focuses on a longer lifecycle, ”said Fayez Mohamood, CEO of Bluecore. “The unique customer acquisition tactics that once prevailed in the early stages of direct-to-consumer retail are being replaced by strategies designed to generate long-term profitability through the creation of compelling, personalized buying moments on the market. digital channels.

“Black Friday continues to be treated as a major customer acquisition event for retailers, but retail brands increasingly see acquisition as the first step in a longer-term customer journey. Evidenced by the overall increases in second, third and fourth buyers across all categories, ”added Sherene Hilal, senior vice president of marketing and operations at Bluecore. “This year’s information reveals that retailers are investing heavily in increased product discovery as part of a broader lifecycle marketing approach that prioritizes retention metrics, such as increasing order values, buyers regulars and how the value of those customers increases with each subsequent purchase.

Bluecore’s AI-powered technology enables retailers to launch fully personalized, multi-channel campaigns at scale by predicting what customers should see next and curating products, content and offers, specific to each buyer’s interactions with the brand. The company is driving significant revenue increases for the more than 400 retail brands it works with, including Express, Tommy Hilfiger and The North Face, by connecting first party buyer data and the live product catalog to forecast and execute the exact experience that a buyer should receive to convert on both owned and paid digital channels.

About Bluecore

Bluecore is a marketing technology company that turns casual shoppers into lifelong customers for the world’s fastest growing retail brands. With its patented assortment of buyers and products and the release of Bluecore Communicate â„¢, Bluecore Site â„¢ and Bluecore Advertise â„¢, brands are now able to personalize 100% of communications delivered to consumers through their shopping experiences through electronic mail, e-commerce and paid media. Bluecore replaces manual processes with an intelligent AI-powered workflow, allowing brands to manage these communications through a single interface. In 2019, the company bet big on itself when it introduced the industry’s first shared success pricing model. He is now credited with doubling email revenues and increasing customer loyalty, lifetime value and overall speed to market for over 400 brands including Express, Tommy Hilfiger, NOBULL, Teleflora and Bass Pro Shops.


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