Customer loyalty triumphs over big discounts on Black Friday

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Early data from Black Friday trading could spell good news for retailers, as the average discount on a single order decreased 12% on last year, while the average number of orders grew by 9%.

The analysis, conducted by customer relationship expert Optimove on more than 7 million unique e-commerce transactions on Black Friday, also revealed that the average number of items in an order grew by 7% compared to last year’s figures.

This suggests that online customers were willing to spend more on more items this year and did not insist on receiving big discounts in order to complete their transactions.

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Pini Yakuel, founder and chief executive officer of Optimove, argued that customer loyalty towards brands they know and trust could explain these figures.

“Contrary to traditional analysis of the Black Friday phenomenon, our data shows that most of the individuals shopping with a brand on the day are actually returning, rather than completely new, customers. On Black Friday last year, our research showed that 71% of shoppers had bought something from the brand before at some stage. And this trend continues,” he explains.

“This year, the share of Black Friday transactions that were made by first-time shoppers decreased by a further 18%. Customers’ pre-existing contact with a brand goes some way towards explaining why shoppers have been willing to buy more items without such high discounts this year.

“Despite the supposed ‘death’ of customer loyalty, driven in part by the ease of price comparison online, there are signs that days like Black Friday may be helping retailers to keep customers coming back to their brand. The challenge for retailers is to continue building on this relationship outside of the pre-Christmas and sales period.”

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