Discounting falls as order amounts rise: online shopping behaviour this Black Friday

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Analysis of over 7 million unique e-commerce transactions this Black Friday has revealed good news for retailers, as the average discount on an order decreased by 12% compared to last year, whilst the average order amount grew by 9% compared to that of 2016.

The data, from customer relationship experts Optimove, suggests that online customers were willing to spend more on more items on Black Friday 2017. The average number of items in an order grew by 7% compared to last year’s sales day figures. Customers did not insist on receiving such big discounts in order to complete their transactions.

Optimove founder and chief executive Pini Yakuel commented: “As the numbers come in after Black Friday, it is clear that more shoppers are opting to buy online rather than in-store. Which is why it is more important than ever that retailers understand the behaviours and motivations of their online customers.

“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.

“This year, the share of Black Friday transactions which 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.”

Pini added: “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.

“If retailers can continue to exchange value with their online customers – offering specific offers, personalised communications and experiences – then these positive trends can continue into the sparser months, January and beyond.”

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