Study: Shoppers respond to holiday sales events

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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online shopping

Online purchases have dramatically increased during key periods of the 2019 holiday season.

According to a study from website analytics solution Oribi, shoppers purchased 340% more on Black Friday, Nov. 29 and 510% more on Cyber Monday, Dec. 2 when compared to an average retail day. The number of purchases made in the week leading up to Black Friday (Nov. 23-28) doubled when compared to an average shopping week. In addition, purchases made between Black Friday and Cyber Monday also doubled.

The study, which analyzed over 17.5 million online consumers across 512 e-commerce websites from Nov. 1- Dec. 2, 2019, discovered that overall, online sales increased more than two times (2.3x) from Nov. 23 – Dec. 1, not including Black Friday.

According to Oribi’s data, 42% of online consumers who continue to checkout will complete their purchase during an average day’s sales funnel. On Black Friday, only 31% ended up buying. On Cyber Monday, the checkout rate was much closer to the average funnel (38%).
For an average retail day, Oribi’s analysis found the purchase conversion rate to be 1.3%. On Black Friday, the conversion rate jumped to 2%. On Cyber Monday, the study revealed that 2.6% of online shoppers converted.
Examining global holiday shopping trends, Oribi’s study found that purchase rates in Europe dropped by 20% in the week prior to Black Friday, when compared to an average shopping week in Europe. Oribi analysis suggests that widespread “Green Friday” protests across Europe targeting the environmental impact of Black Friday may have cut into online shopping rates.
For the Asian market, Oribi’s study found Black Friday to be much bigger than Cyber Monday. The analysis showed that e-commerce sites in Asia saw 7.5 more purchases on Black Friday, compared to sales on Cyber Monday. 

“Our analysis showed that purchase rates slightly dropped in the middle of November, indicating to us that consumers prefer to wait a week to get a better deal,” said Iris Shoor, co-Founder and CEO of Oribi. “In fact, our analysis revealed that online stores with an average product price of over $500 saw their highest sales peaks, for the year, on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, underscoring that consumers wait for the discounts that come with these two retail holidays to make more expensive purchases.”