Survey data shows the motivations and interests of consumers who shopped Black Friday differed from those who shopped Cyber Monday, and from those who shopped both days. Here’s a breakdown of what drove consumers on each of these big sales days, and what it means for retailers.

Matt Crush, general manager, retail, Resonate

Matt Crush, general manager, retail, Resonate

Black Friday and Cyber Monday were both a big success for retailers across categories this year, with more than $58 billion dollars spent between Thanksgiving and the end of Cyber Monday. But according to a new Resonate analysis, there were key differences among these shoppers that brands and retailers need to understand in planning their future promotions

Our analysis, reflecting both online and offline shopping behavior, was drawn from the Resonate consumer intelligence platform, which is continually updated to reflect the latest data. The platform combines a large U.S. consumer survey (250,000 surveys conducted on an ongoing basis) with digital and physical footprint data at scale. In this analysis of survey and behavioral data, we looked at the actions, motivations and personal values of three distinct groups of people who shopped during this five-day period. The profiles we uncovered spoke volumes:

  • Black Friday-Only: People who shopped on Black Friday but not Cyber Monday are assertive, commanding and not afraid to take risks to gain rewards. In laymen’s terms, they’re not afraid to throw an elbow to get that last 60-inch 4K TV.
  • Cyber Monday-Only: People who shopped on Cyber Monday but not Black Friday are much more concerned with maintaining a good public image and avoiding embarrassment or dishonor. They may be aggressive in their quest for deals, but they prefer to acquire that last TV comfortably and autonomously from their couch.
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Status is important to people who shopped on both holidays, and their status comes from material possessions and wealth. And there’s no better way to maintain wealth while getting cool new gadgets than shopping those deep discounts
Cyber Monday might as well have been called Amazon Monday.

Who Bought What?

While Black Friday-Only shoppers are more likely than the average adult to try new tech products before their friends and family, they are not as likely to be early adopters of tech products as Cyber Monday shoppers. Black Friday shoppers tended to be purchasers of:

  • Home office furniture
  • Televisions
  • Toys and games
  • Kids and baby products

Unsurprisingly,Cyber Monday-Only  consumers were all about digital and smart products. Their purchases focused on the latest and greatest tech, including:

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  • Digital cameras
  • Home audio systems
  • Personal audio products
  • Gaming consoles

Consumers who shopped both Black Friday and Cyber Monday did more shopping in all major purchase categories (with the exception of digital cameras) than their counterparts who shopped on only one of the two holidays. These people are important to brands not only because they love to shop, but also because they tend to advise friends on tech, recommend products and share their views on social media.

Where Did They Shop?  

Although their Amazon Prime membership rates are slightly lower than the average U.S. adult, an overwhelming majority of Black Friday-Only consumers shopped on Amazon, even if they didn’t end up buying anything. Additional favorite stops for this group included:

  • Walmart
  • Macy’s

Meanwhile, Cyber Monday might as well have been called Amazon Monday, as almost all Cyber Monday-Only shoppers spent some time perusing the retail giant’s site. They were much more likely than Black Friday shoppers to be Prime members and to use their membership to get sweet Cyber Monday savings. Additional favorite stops for this group included:

  • Target
  • Ros

People who shopped on Black Friday and Cyber Monday were more likely to be Prime members than their counterparts in the other two groups, and they were significantly more likely to take advantage of the free shipping offered to Prime members. Additional favorite stops for this group included:

  • Overstock
  • Costco

What Footwear and Apparel Did They Shop?

Black Friday-Only shoppers did the most shopping with the following footwear and apparel brands and retailers:

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  • Toms
  • Aldo
  • American Apparel
  • Baby Gap
  • Payless
  • Clarks
  • OshKosh B’gosh

Meanwhile, Cyber Monday-Only shoppers favored the following:

  • Eastbay
  • Steve Madden
  • Aeropostale
  • Modell’s
  • Lululemon
  • DSW

Finally, Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers frequented an entirely distinct set of apparel and footwear brands and retailers:

  • Charlotte Russe
  • Abercrombie and Fitch
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Forever 21
  • Vans
  • American Eagle
  • Foot Locker
  • Converse

What Product Attributes Mattered Most (and Least)?

Black Friday-Only consumers were more likely to select products they perceived as luxurious, popular, and fun and exciting, while they were less likely to put emphasis on dependability, energy efficiency or sustainable production. Meanwhile, Cyber-Only consumers were more likely to buy products that were produced sustainably and considered luxurious and unique. They were less concerned about buying products that were exciting, family friendly or easy to use. And finally, Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers wanted products they thought were innovative, popular and luxurious, but were less likely to care if the products were easy to use, familiar or practical and basicAcross all three categories of shoppers, consumers were unsurprisingly very price-driven. Interestingly, the consumers who shopped only on Cyber Monday were more driven by brand than the other two categories. Meanwhile, the people who shopped on both holidays tend to spend more time online and engage most heavily on social media.

Many of this year’s ads for Black Friday and Cyber Monday simply promoted the steep discounts brands and retailers were offering. While this is important, in order to stand out, brands and retailers also need to be including relevant messaging that highlights specific product attributes. In doing so, the above analysis provides a guide for targeting the varying audiences who shop during these important holidays.

Resonate provides consumer intelligence designed to help marketers better engage their target audiences.

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