Black Friday 2020 generates a 36% increase in revenue and makes mobile impossible to ignore

Edwin Halim

Dec 4, 2020

Black Friday 2020 generates a 36% increase in revenue and makes mobile impossible to ignore Featured Image
Edwin Halim

Dec 4, 2020

When the pandemic hit, no one knew exactly how consumers would react. 

Would there be panic buying?

Would people buckle down and reign in spending? 

Would anyone still shop in person on Black Friday? 

Sure, there were many speculations from stock market analysts that influenced and drove the conversations, but few businesses were prepared for the speed and sheer magnitude of disruption.

The companies that already had a strong digital backbone and a flexible decision-making process bounced back faster than sectors that relied on in-person interactions and those who didn’t have the technology infrastructure to support consumers in the new digital (mostly contactless) normal. 

Table of Contents
  1. Marketing Spend Goes Under the Microscope

  2. Not Your Ordinary Black Friday

  3. How did Black Friday 2020 measure up?

  4. Overall Black Friday 2020 results for industries in APAC

  5. Overall Black Friday 2020 results for industries in Europe

  6. Black Friday 2020 Overall Trends by Device Type

  7. Black Friday 2021: Where could we be headed?

Marketing Spend Goes Under the Microscope

In the wake of rapid change, many late adopters and visionaries began reevaluating their business models and rethinking how they reach consumers on Black Friday—starting with marketing. 

Driven by a desire to reduce costs and optimize value throughout the customer lifecycle and win customers’ trust and loyalty, late adopters knew they had to invest in digital experiences and personalization if they hoped to drive sales on Black Friday and throughout the rest of the season.

Others further along in their digital maturity journeys put their foot on the gas and doubled down on getting personal everywhere in 2020. 

Not Your Ordinary Black Friday 

Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping events of the year, had to be different in 2020.  Brick and mortar stores that relied on heavy foot traffic generated by doorbuster deals were struck with panic at the thought of socially un-distant shopping frenzies.

How did Black Friday 2020 measure up?

We crunched the data on consumer behaviours for more than 800 Insider partners across 25 countries. Globally, our partners saw a 12.28% increase in sessions, a 16.05% increase in conversions, and a 36.31% increase in revenue in 2020 compared to last year. 

Overall Conversion Rates by Industry

Office Products, Shoes, and Cosmetics were the clear winners for conversions in 2020. With remote working taking people out of fully-equipped offices, there was a surge of demand for office products. Insider’s ‘Office Products’ partners saw a 77.12% increase in conversions. Our Shoes partners came in second with 52.67%, and Cosmetics in third with 39.31%. 

Using AI-enhanced personalization to target consumers moving between channels and devices, Insider partners could connect with people in a relevant, more meaningful way with one-to-one messaging. With consumers already familiarized with buying office supplies, shoes, and cosmetics online, these industries had shoppers that were comfortable with the digital-mostly experience. 

Overall Average Order Value (AOV) by Industry

Seeing the acceleration of digital, conscious of the increased financial stresses on many individuals and families, there was a collective holding of breath before dawn cracked on Black Friday 2020. 

While the AOV decreased for Home and Furniture, Fashion, Marketplace, and Office Products, other industries saw impressive growth in the value of their carts. Consumer Electronics led the pack with an AOV uplift of 23.62%, Shoes in second at 11.68%, and Gardening, a close third at 9.48%.

Using 1:1 personalized “don’t miss out” messaging to remind, convince, and entice consumers to hit the buy button, plus special discount codes to sweeten the call to checkout, many companies were able to inspire customers to buy more.

Overall Bounce Rate by Industry

From bad navigation to design being uneasy on the eyes, there are multiple reasons visitors leave your website and don’t always come back. However, the bounce rates for Black Friday 2020, caught everyone by surprise.

Cosmetics saw a 16.6% lower bounce rate on Black Friday 2020. Marketplace reduced its bounce rate by 11.91%, followed by Jewelry and Accessories at 10.46% between this year and last.

Other than polishing UX copy, experimenting with design, and making offers clearer, brands can create truly individualized experiences with immersive stories, gamifying lead capture, and personalized banners to reduce bounce rate, increase engagement, and give visitors a reason to stay.

The benefits of a reduced bounce rate? Keeping visitors on your website longer and having more opportunities to convert them into customers (and repeat business). 

Overall Sessions by Industry

Black Friday 2020 saw a massive — 64.13% increase — in the number of sessions on Office Products websites. Shoes, and Home and Furniture generated a 30% increase in sessions. Book Retailers, Consumer Electronics, and Cosmetics generated a 21-25%+ increase, giving Insider partners a valuable window into if their marketing efforts are working and where there is room for improvement. 

Overall results for industries in APAC

Below, you’ll see our high-level analysis of Black Friday consumer behaviors for our partners in the APAC region.

Sessions: 57.23%

Conversion rate: 32.64%

Revenue (USD): 212.22%

Bounce Rate: 121.20%

Pages/Session: 0.16%

Key Findings Black Friday 2020 Results by Industry in APAC

Check out the data below to see how industries performed this Black Friday relative to each other:

IndustriesSessionsConversion Rate (CR)Average Order Value(AOV)Bounce Rate (BR)
Book Retailers288.62%-16.64%14.45%20.39%
Consumer Electronics62.00%-11.14%402.30%-5.01
Fashion Retailer36.77%16.06%2.71%4.76%
Home & Furniture28.56%37.17%-0.36%11.78%
Jewelry & Accessories-23.22%-6.82%-3.24%2.54%
Kids Fashion-40.61%172.97%8.19%-7.49%
Office Products73.44%80.87%-7.83%15.99%
Restaurants & Delivery47.49%35.22%-1.46%-39.87%
Supermarket Chains66.38%-26.19%-12.56%-2.73%

Key Takeaways

1. Conversion Rates are (mostly) on the Rise

Kids Fashion conversion rates improved by a whopping 172.97%. And Cosmetics uplifted conversions by 119.55% this year. 

2. Consumers stay engaged with food longer

Restaurants & Delivery saw a sharp decrease in bounce rates and an increase in sessions and conversions, with more people staying home and electing delivery and take away services. Cosmetics lowered bounce rates by 14.77%. And Shoes reduced bounce rates by 11.35%. 

3. Industries with a strong digital customer experience performed the best overall

Cosmetics, Fashion Retailers, and Shoes had the best overall performance in the APAC region. Restaurants & Delivery saw a significant rise in digital business as stay-at-home restrictions swept much of the region. 

Overall Black Friday 2020 results for industries in Europe

Below, you’ll see our high-level analysis of Black Friday consumer behaviors for our partners in Europe. 

Sessions:  12.17%

Conversion rate: 18.76%

Revenue (USD): 36.15%

Bounce Rate: 9.89%

Pages/Session: 17.54%

Key Findings Black Friday 2020 Results by Industry in Europe

Check out the data below to see how industries performed this Black Friday relative to each other:

IndustrySessionsConversion Rate (CR)Average Order Value(AOV)Bounce Rate (BR)
Book Retailers148.81%-23.37%-16.40%-12.28%
Consumer Electronics24.12%10.12%17.80%17.75%
Entertainment & Ticketing-59.11%-3.07%-14.08%10.39%
Fashion Retailer61.40%19.76%-0.08%76.25%
Home & Furniture74.26%32.82%-12.99%1.73%
Jewelry & Accessories-21.45%72.63%13.74%0.88%
Kids Fashion-17.88%-9.31%-2.22%11.88%
Supermarket Chains-15.42%-58.85%266.41%-29.07%

Key Takeaways

1.Supermarket chains lead  the pack for average order value (AOV)

Supermarket chains experienced the biggest jump in average order value.  With more people stocking up for the holidays and the next wave of stay-at-home restrictions, supermarket chains improved their average order values by a whopping 266.41%.

2. Overall global industry leaders are winning regionally too

Much like in APAC and globally, Fashion Retailers, Cosmetics, and Shoes saw an increase in the number of sessions and conversion rates. However, these industries saw a drop in average order value (AOV) partly due to the financial impacts and uncertainty created by the pandemic. With the exception of Cosmetics, these industries experienced an increase in their bounce rates. 

3. Industries that thrived on in-person interactions were the hardest hit on Black Friday

With uncertainty in the air and the absence of a vaccine, industries that rely on in-person interactions saw decreases mostly across the board.  Entertainment & Ticketing was the hardest hit in Europe with a 59.11% drop in sessions, 3.07% decrease in conversions, a 14.08% drop in average order value (AOV), and an 10.39% increase in bounce rate. 

Black Friday 2020 Overall Trends by Device Type

Mobile saw a 71.9% increase in sessions from 2019 to 2020, followed by desktop at 65.3%, and tablet at 27.5%. Mobile also beat out desktop in conversions and average order value. Desktop had a lower bounce rate than mobile and tablets and saw a nearly 7.9% increase in pages viewed per session. 

2020 APAC Trends by Device Type

Get a high-level overview of user behavior by device type in the APAC region.

Device typeSessionsConversion Rate (CR)Average Order Value (AOV)Bounce RatePages/Sessions

Desktop had the highest conversion rates, average order value, and sessions, while tablets had the highest bounce rate and fewest sessions. Mobile had the lowest bounce rate and the lowest average order value, but was second in conversions. 

2020 Trends for Europe by Device Type

Get a high-level overview of user behavior by device type in Europe. 

Device typeSessionsConversion Rate (CR)Average Order Value (AOV)Bounce RatePages/Sessions

In Europe, Mobile had the highest number of sessions, the lowest bounce rate, and highest conversion rate. Desktop had the highest bounce rate, most sessions, and highest average order value (AOV). Tablets  saw a 8.68% increase in the value of the items at checkout and had the fewest sessions. 

Black Friday 2021: Where could we be headed? 

Continuing the positive Black Friday momentum, brands will need to tap into new channels and think about how they reach customers as they move between platforms and devices. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and emerging social media platforms are diamond mine for building brilliant, multi-faceted, one-to-one customer journeys. 

Black Friday 2020 also showed the potential of digital and the power of individualized experiences. While it’s true that some industries are further along in their omnichannel marketing journeys, regardless of where you are today, one thing is clear: being able to connect with consumers how, when, and where they want, will continue to play a pivotal role now and in a post-pandemic world.

Edwin is oversees Insider's customer success team in Indonesia and the Philippines. He has 6+ years of experience in digital marketing, with a special focus on multichannel CRM strategy, growth hacking, and A/B testing. Before Insider, Edwin was a technology consultant at Accenture and co-founded his own Digital Agency.