How Do Black Friday and Cyber Monday Stack Up? We Look at the Data

3 minutes

Americans have been obsessed with shopping for great deals on Black Friday since not long after Philadelphia police coined the term to refer to the big traffic jams on the day after Thanksgiving in the 1960s. As the popularity of the internet grew in the 2000s, shoppers started turning their attention to online deals on the Monday following the holiday weekend, which was quickly deemed Cyber Monday.

But has Cyber Monday been around long enough to take away Black Friday’s holiday shopping crown? Let’s look at the data to discover what converted best this season.

Keyboards Fired Up Conversion Rates

increase in metrics by day

A quick look at conversion rates provides staggering evidence for the domination of Cyber Monday: shoppers converted 25 percent more than average on Cyber Monday, compared with a mere 10 percent lift for Black Friday. This information should instill hope in the hearts of marketers for high performance on days dedicated to online shopping, like Cyber Monday and China’s Singles Day.

Black Friday’s Still Big

Despite better conversion rates on Monday, Black Friday still won out in terms of total revenue and average order volume, but only slightly. AOV was 62 percent higher than usual on Black Friday, and only 59 percent higher on Cyber Monday, while Black Friday saw a 249 percent increase in revenue compared with 234 percent on Cyber Monday. Notably, AOV didn’t drop on either sales day despite big promotions, suggesting that people may have purchased more items to compensate for what they saved on each one.

Cyber Monday Is Mobile

increase in conversion rate by device

Black Friday experienced a modest lift of 10 to 18 percent in conversion rates across devices, but Cyber Monday really stood out with 25 percent better conversion rates on desktop and an astonishing 49.8 percent better-than-average conversion on mobile, as well as a 40.1 percent boost on tablets. Much of this increase is likely driven by email marketing, as 66 percent of consumers check their email on a mobile device.

Holiday Shopping Is a Global Phenomenon

increase in conversion rate by COUNTRY

Even though Thanksgiving is a distinctively U.S. holiday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday still saw significant boosts in conversion rate all around the world, from the UK to Spain. The more successful day varied by country, but at least a 12 percent increase in conversion rate was common. Brazil far outperformed its northern neighbor on both days, with an impressive 19.9 percent conversion lift on Black Friday and 20.20 percent better conversion rate on Cyber Monday.

The Method Behind the Metrics

Black Friday traditionally started at midnight and ran for only a day until the store closed. With Cyber Monday in the picture, many online stores now start their promotions on Friday and run them for four days, until the close of Cyber Monday. This year, many merchants stretched the calendar out even further, advertising “Black Friday Week” promotions that started the Monday before Black Friday, and running only a few special promotions on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s easy to see why merchants have gone this route: the huge lift conversion that these sales provide (without sacrificing AOV) is key to doubling their daily average revenue for these two days.

Tasty Takeaways for Marketers

From our perspective, the data shows that marketers should run promotions from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, and expect higher volume traffic on Black Friday, but higher quality (that is, better converting) traffic on Cyber Monday. Your CPA (cost per acquisition) on Cyber Monday will be lower, so you can optimize your demand generation programs accordingly. And don’t neglect global audiences: only the U.S. may be sitting down to turkey, but the entire world is hungry for a deal.

Are you ready to learn more about boosting conversion rates? Join us at the Conversion XL Conference in March.

Also, check out these blogs from our friends and partners, the CRO experts:

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes
Simplify the eCommerce process. Try 2Checkout.
The most flexible digital commerce platform that can give your business a real boost.