Study: First-time buyers dominated holiday shopping

holiday shoppers

More than half of Black Friday purchases were with brands shoppers had never previously purchased from.

That’s according to data from retail marketing tech company Bluecore, which found that 54% Black Friday purchases were made by first time-buyers. The company predicted that 22% of these new customers will become repeat buyers within 108 days. 

For the second year in a row, Bluecore looked at shoppers’ real-time and historical Black Friday buying patterns and product interactions (including purchases) across 158 retail brands in multiple retail categories. Retailers in apparel, jewelry and beauty saw an increase in average order values of between 5% to  20% this Black Friday, despite offering steep discounts. 

Other Black Friday 2019 findings from Bluecore include:

  • Nearly a quarter of first-time Black Friday shoppers will buy from brands again in 2020. In 2018, more than 6% of Black Friday 2018 customers purchased again during the holiday season and 22% became repeat buyers within an average of 108 days after their initial purchase, with an average of 1.7 orders in since Black Friday 2018.
  • For every dollar spent on a typical day, retailers in some categories saw an increase in average order value on Black Friday: apparel ($1.06), beauty ($1.20), jewelry ($1.05). Other categories experienced a decrease in average order value: home ($.95); footwear ($.93); and technology ($.63).
  • Footwear, jewelry, technology and home retailers saw the largest percentage of first-time buyers, with 68% buyers purchasing from footwear retailers for the first time. Jewelry, technology and home retailers saw 65% of all customers purchasing for the first-time.

“It is extremely expensive for ecommerce retailers to acquire new customers, so shopping holidays like Black Friday, where we’re seeing an average of 54% of purchases from new customers, are critical to next year’s growth,” said Fayez Mohamood, CEO of Bluecore “Even more important than first-time buyer numbers is the number of new shoppers that become repeat buyers over time. Brands can influence second-time purchases by engaging these new customers immediately with relevant digital communications. Those that do can expect to see nearly a quarter (22%) of new customers become repeat shoppers in 2020, in response to lesser or no discounts.”


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