Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021 By The Numbers

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Black Friday & Cyber Monday

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Introduction

The biggest sales weekend of the year came and went, and what we learned is that Cyber Weekend 2021 shopping numbers proved to be different from any year that came before.

Take a deep dive with us in our *NEW* 2021 Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) Weekend data report! ​​We monitored performance across millions of Nosto-powered interactions to give businesses a closer look at what happened over the course of Black Friday through to Cyber Monday 2021.

We broke down top findings across regions and industries to help you compare, reflect, and prepare for 2022.

Here is what some of the global stats for the shopping weekend (compared to last year) include:

7%
decrease in online store visits
2%
increase in online store sales
2%
decrease in online conversion rates

Why did 2021 prove to be an unusual year for Cyber Weekend? And are these trends indicative of a permanent shift in holiday shopping habits in the future? Find out in the report and see results of 2021 Cyber Weekend performance across the globe.

12%
increase in online average order value
girl

Performance Breakdown By Device

Shopping behavior differs depending on the device. Our 2019 Nosto data showed a favorable shift towards mobile, with a 6% increase in online traffic share on mobile year over year and a 3% decrease on desktop. Mobile had 13% more order share, and mobile revenue surpassed desktop by 10% pre-pandemic.

In 2020, mobile traffic share was still greater than desktop by 39%. However, with people shopping less on-the-go and more from-the-couch (hello lockdown times), online conversion rates were higher on desktop than on mobile (4% vs. 2%).

This year, mobile remained the dominant device for online product discovery and browsing--beating out desktop when it comes to share of online traffic, orders, and sales. Although, the desktop continues to convert at a higher rate than mobile, keeping pace with the 4% vs. 2% rates from 2020.

Conversion rate

  • desktop
  • mobile
device
device

Visits

  • desktop, 31%
  • mobile, 69%
device

Online sales

  • desktop, 47%
  • mobile, 53%
device

Orders

  • desktop, 44%
  • mobile, 56%

Black Friday vs Cyber Monday

We know that Black Friday is not a one-day affair, and shoppers who want to snag extra deals virtually look to Cyber Monday as another key purchase day. Historically, our data reveals that Black Friday drives better results, but all that changed in 2020.

With the pandemic forcing more people to shop online in 2020, Cyber Monday beat out Black Friday in increases in revenue (25% vs. 14%), orders (29% vs. 18%), and conversion rate (4% vs. 1%). Cyber Monday also generated the same increase in traffic (21%) as Black Friday in 2020.

Now, let’s look at how the performance for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday fared this year.

Conversion rate

  • BLACK FRIDAY
  • CYBER MONDAY
device
device

Traffic

  • BF, -8%
  • CM, -6%
device

Sales

  • BF, 3%
  • CM, 0.3%
device

Average Order Value

  • BF, 11%
  • CM, 12%

Performance Breakdown By Geography

What started as a one-day shopping event in the U.S. gradually extended into a 4-day, global retail phenomenon. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, brands around the world quickly caught on that this was the time of year to crank up the selling heat and hit end-of-year sales goals.

Enter the 2020 pandemic. Not only did consumer shopping habits change, but physical store closures and labor and supply shortages resulted in extended shipping delays and more out-of-stock items—Adobe Analytics reported a 124% increase in out-of-stock messages compared to pre-pandemic for Black Friday 2021 alone.

As such, consumers have adapted to the times and learned to make haste in their holiday shopping. Who wants to show up empty-handed on important gift-giving (and receiving) holidays? Thus, regions across the board saw purchase spikes happen earlier and over longer periods of time as opposed to higher spikes during a concentrated period (we’re looking at you, Cyber Weekend).

So how did this trend translate across different regions? What were the variances in online traffic, sales, conversion rates, and average order value? Read through the regional breakdown to discover more and compare.

Choose a region to discover more and compare

North America

This Black Friday was the first year Adobe reported an overall sales decrease — U.S. shoppers spent $8.9 billion, just shy of the record-breaking $9 billion spent in 2020.

In 2020, average order value (AOV) for North American online brands decreased by 11% compared to 2019, while other metrics increased year over year (traffic up 14%, sales up 9%, conversion rates up 2%).

This year, North American retailers saw increases in total traffic (up .2%), sales (up 17%), and AOV (up 17%) while conversion rates dipped by .5%. The most notable change for this region is the comeback of AOV with an immense gain compared to 2020.

The growth in AOV could signal that retailers (particularly those using Nosto *wink wink*) have improved at driving onsite discovery, upsells, and cross-sells; or that tiered discounts succeeded in boosting order size. Alternatively, it could simply mean that North American shoppers were more willing to pay higher prices this year.

0.2%
increase in online store visits
17%
increase in online store sales
2%
decrease in online conversion rates
a girl with a dog
17%
increase in online average order value

United Kingdom

In 2020, the UK saw the largest increase in Black Friday performance compared to other regions, with traffic up 35%, sales up 23%, and conversion rates up 2% compared to 2019. Similarly to North America, the UK saw a decrease in AOV (4%) in 2020.

However, this year proved to be a less fruitful online buying weekend for UK retailers. There were dips in total online traffic (down 11%), sales (down 4%), and conversion rates (down 7%), which could be attributed to the elimination of lockdowns and the reopening of physical stores. The good news is, like North America, the region enjoyed a boost in AOV [of 12%] compared to the year before.

11%
decrease in online store visits
4%
decrease in online store sales
7%
decrease in online conversion rates
a man with a phone
12%
increase in online average order value

Europe

In 2020, Europe saw a 17% increase in online traffic, 14% increase in online sales, 0% change in conversions, and 1% increase in AOV.

This year, Europe did not see a dramatic change in BFCM numbers in terms of total online traffic (down 7%), sales (up 1%), and conversion rates (down .6%). However, the region was very much on-trend in terms of online AOV, which increased by 9% overall. Like the UK, we might assume there are larger numbers of people in Europe shopping in-person this year rather than online.

7%
decrease in online store visits
1%
increase in online store sales
0.6%
decrease in online conversion rates
9%
increase in online average order value
a woman working

APAC

In 2020, Asia Pacific (APAC) was one of few regions to see upward performance trends across the board. APAC retailers saw an increase in online traffic (up 10%), sales (up 13%), conversion rates (up 6%), and AOV (up 7%) from 2019. Was this a sign of the lucrative sales weekend gaining prominence in this region?

Perhaps so... APAC came out of the 2021 four-day shopping bonanza with similarly promising metrics as last year. They enjoyed lifts in online traffic (up 5%), sales (up 11%), AOV (up 8%), and also, a little boost to conversion (up 1%)—holding its streak of ecommerce growth!

5%
increase in online store visits
11%
increase in online store sales
8%
increase in online average order value
1%
increase in online conversion rates
shoes

LATAM

In recent years, ecommerce growth in Latin America has flourished—forecasted to reach 31% by 2024.

Although Nosto’s pool of brands from this region was small in 2020 (have your grain of salt ready), our customers saw a big increase in traffic (up 98%) and sales (up 1%). However, conversion rates and AOV saw a decrease of 36% and 16% respectively.

This year, interestingly enough, the LATAM market saw the opposite in terms of growth metrics compared to 2020. Unable to maintain the astronomical growth in online traffic (down 20%) from 2020, ecommerce sales (down 25%) also dipped for the region this year. However, online conversion rates and AOV continued to climb (though at much more modest rates) by 2% and 6% respectively.

20%
decrease in online store visits
25%
decrease in online store sales
6%
increase in online average order value
2%
increase in online conversion rates
a man reading

Performance Breakdown By Vertical

Each retail vertical has experienced its own unique impact since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

For example, last year, fashion and accessories saw some of the lowest Cyber Weekend performance across verticals, with a decrease in sales (down 4%), conversion rates (down 5%) and AOV (down 3%). Meanwhile, verticals like health and beauty, home and garden, and pet supplies skyrocketed—indicating people were spending most of their time indoors (buying pets, making home improvements, more time for beauty routines, etc.)

So how did the different verticals perform this year compared to 2020? Let’s take a deeper look and see.

choose vertical to discover more and compare

Fashion & Accessories

As we mentioned earlier, fashion and accessories saw an overall decrease in performance in 2020—people weren’t going out as much and seemed less inclined to purchase clothing during a time of stay-at-home orders.

That makes it all the more interesting to know how this vertical performed in 2021. This year, fashion and accessories brands saw increases in online traffic (up 2%) and sales (up 3%). Although conversion rates for this vertical dropped by 9%, it seems fashion and accessories brands made up for it by driving 12% greater AOV.

With the broader availability of vaccines and the world generally loosening pandemic restrictions, we were unsurprised to see this vertical perform better in 2021.

2%
increase in online store visits
3%
increase in online store sales
12%
increase in online average order value
a man
9%
decrease in online conversion rates
sneakers

Health & Beauty

Unlike fashion and accessories, health and beauty brands had a positive performance in 2020. During the pandemic, consumers were actively browsing and buying health and beauty products online as people became more invested in the likes of hygiene and self-care. After all, most of us wanted to put our best face forward for all those Zoom calls! This resulted in the health and beauty vertical growing online traffic (up 11%), sales (up 22%), and conversion rates (up 2%) during Cyber Weekend 2020.

In 2021, health and beauty saw even more year-on-year growth. Although greater availability of in-store shopping may have caused the 6% decrease in online traffic, online health and beauty sales, conversion rates, and average order value all increased by 2%, 1%, and 9% respectively.

6%
decrease in online store visits
2%
increase in online store sales
9%
increase in online average order value
a girl
1%
increase in online conversion rates
a makeup tools

Home & Garden

In mid 2020, Nosto data revealed more than half (56%) of consumers felt it was important to focus on home improvement, with 53% expressing that they had started at least one project since the start of lockdown.

Black Friday 2020 data revealed consumers were highly engaged with home and garden products, as this vertical generated one of the highest increases in online traffic (up 55%) and sales (up 52%). But did this vertical remain one of the top contenders for 2021?

Not quite! Like most verticals, home and garden experienced less online traffic this year (down 15%), which isn’t surprising given the renewed availability of in-store shopping experiences. Despite this, however, home and garden saw a boost in online average order value (up 10%) and conversion rates (up .2%), with only a slight decrease in ecommerce sales (down .5%).

15%
decrease in online store visits
0.5%
decrease in online store sales
0.2%
Increase in online conversion rates
flowers
10%
increase in online average order value
a baby playing

Sporting Goods & Hobbies

In 2020, sporting goods and hobbies saw increases in performance across most ecommerce KPIs—with increases in traffic (up 20%), sales (up 19%), and AOV (up 2%). It was evident that consumers were taking advantage of limited-time sales in this category as people turned to home-based workout and wellness routines.

This year, it seems the popularity of home fitness and hobbies kept some momentum. Both sales and average order value nudged up for this vertical by 2% and 11% respectively. Meanwhile, conversion dipped 1%, and, as with the majority of verticals, traffic dropped by 7%.

7%
decrease in online store visits
2%
increase in online store sales
11%
increase in online average order value
basketball player
1%
decrease in online conversion rates
yoga

Pet Supplies

Another pandemic-related increase in purchases was that of pet supplies. During Cyber Weekend 2020, pet supplies saw huge increases in traffic (up 58%), sales (up 60%), conversion rates (up 6%), and AOV (up 1%). It was one of few verticals that saw KPI increases across all metrics.

Stellar metrics like those proved a bit hard to follow! Although pet supplies did enjoy a huge 37% increase in online conversion rates this year along with a 17% bump in AOV, the vertical saw dips to sales (down 2%) and, more notably, traffic (down 29%).

29%
decrease in online store visits
2%
decrease in online store sales
17%
increase in online average order value
37%
Increase in online conversion rates
dog eating

Food & Beverage

In 2020, the food and beverage industry saw a 31% increase in traffic and a 45% increase in sales—revealing that consumers were very much interested in taking advantage of limited-time sales in this category, too. In fact, it was one of the most successful verticals during Black Friday in 2020.

In 2021, traffic and sales weren’t quite as impressive. The vertical experienced significant decreases in online traffic (down 22%) and sales (down 17%). The good news is online conversion rates enjoyed a healthy 5% boost, while AOV also increased by 6%.

22%
decrease in online store visits
17%
decrease in online store sales
6%
increase in online average order value
beverages
5%
increase in online conversion rates
cake

A Breakdown By Platform

Another way we spliced the data was by analyzing performance across different ecommerce platforms. How did Shopify merchants perform compared to Magento merchants? How do Shopify and Magento stores compare to merchants using other platforms?

Choose a platform to discover more and compare.

Shopify

In 2020, online traffic and store sales across Shopify-powered brands saw an impressive increase over Black Friday (28% and 9%, respectively). However, conversion rates (down 7%) and average order value (down 3%) tended to be similar to what was seen across multiple regions and industries.

Fast-forward to Cyber Weekend 2021, and sales increased even further—growing by an impressive 17%. Average order value also rocketed by 15% for Shopify merchants. There were still slight decreases in online traffic (down 2%) and conversion rates (down 1%)—following the common downward trend we saw for Cyber Weekend this year.

2%
decrease in online store visits
17%
increase in online store sales
1%
decrease in online conversion rates
15%
increase in online average order value

Magento

Online traffic and store sales across Magento-powered brands saw an impressive increase over Black Friday (29% and 17%, respectively) in 2020. However, ecommerce conversion rates (down 4%) and average order value (down 1%) were again similar to results across multiple regions and industries.

Average order value vastly improved for Magento merchants this year, reaping a solid 11% gain. Online sales, conversions, and traffic, on the contrary, experienced dips—decreasing by 1%, 5%, and 7% respectively.

7%
decrease in online store visits
1%
decrease in online store sales
5%
Decrease in online conversion rates
11%
increase in online average order value

Other

Of course, not all brands live in either Shopify or Magento. We also gather data from those retailers using other platforms.

This section provides a high-level look at performance across various ecommerce platforms including BigCommerce, Prestashop, Shopware, WooCommerce, and more (excluding Magento and Shopify).

In 2020, Nosto numbers showed year-on-year increases in online traffic (up 11%), sales (up 14%), and conversion rates (up 3%) for brands on other platforms during Cyber Weekend.

This year, the collective performance of merchants across a variety of ecommerce platforms fell in line with the same common trends for Cyber Weekend 2021, with online traffic, sales, and conversion rates decreasing 8%, 1%, and 3% respectively. Although, also following the weekend trends, retailers on other ecommerce platforms saw a healthy 8% increase in AOV.

8%
decrease in online store visits
1%
decrease in online store sales
3%
decrease in online conversion rates
8%
Increase in online average order value

How Shoppers Are Behaving Onsite

Of course, understanding the top-level ecommerce performance metrics like traffic, sales, and average order value is great, but what about when we dig a little deeper and analyze how shoppers behave once they are on a website? How do those details tell a fuller story?

During Cyber Weekend this year, it seems overall lower ecommerce traffic also led to a lower average number of pages viewed (down 9%) and time spent on pages (down 7%), and a 4% increase in ecommerce bounce rates.

Here is a breakdown of how shoppers behaved onsite during Cyber Weekend globally compared to 2020.

9%
decrease in average number of pages viewed
7%
decrease in average time spent on page
4%
increase in bounce rate
4%
decrease in recommendations shown
yoga
most recommended product: ROSEMARY MINT HAIR OIL

Improve Ecommerce Experiences & Performance with Nosto

After looking at this report, are you filled with a new resolve to take these learnings and use them to improve your online performance in the new year? Creating better shopping experiences for your customers now can pay off in a big way when Cyber weekend 2022 comes along.

Nosto helps brands create elevated ecommerce experiences that win customers for life—making it easy for brands like yours to quickly deploy authentic and personalized experiences at scale through industry-leading tools like:

• Content Personalization • Segmentation • Product Recommendations • Category Merchandising • Shoppable User-Generated Content (UGC) • Dynamic Bundling • A/B Testing; • and more

Want to learn more about how can help you crush your 2022 ecommerce goals? Request a demo to speak with one of our ecNostoommerce experts today!

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