Brands get out early for Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Reports from Shopify and Vividata also show what's on shoppers' lists this upcoming sales weekend.
Black Friday

American Thanksgiving is just two weeks away, as is retailers’ most wonderful time of the year.

Black Friday falls on the day following the Nov. 28 holiday, with the weekend shopping period ending on Cyber Monday, and according to a Shopify performance metrics, some DTC brands began marketing efforts for the event weeks earlier this year than last – some as early as Nov. 1.

Solmaz Shahalizadeh, VP of data science and engineering at Shopify says some companies are even enabling shoppers to “buy now and pick a day for delivery later” in a bid to drive sales ahead of the shopping event.

“Business owners are also offering free bonus items, gamifying discounts, and setting up mystery box door crashers,” she says. “Last year, one of the most popular products sold by Shopify merchants were mystery boxes, showing that consumers are not only capitalizing on sales to buy holiday presents for loved ones, they’re also treating themselves.”

Echoing recent Google Trends data that revealed online searches for Black Friday far exceeded those for Cyber Monday so far this year, Shopify’s Black Friday Weekend Shopping Predictions survey found that Black Friday remains the more popular shopping occasion of the two: 53% of Canadians plan to buy on Black Friday, while 43% plan to do so on Cyber Monday.

And while 57% of Canadians plan to spend the most money on Black Friday, the same can be said for only 26% of Canadians during the Monday sales event.

Beyond the weekend sales event, Canadians anticipate spending $458 on average during the holiday shopping period, according to Shopify, up 53% from last year. A part of that growth will come from the 19% of shoppers who said they plan to spend more during Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year than they did in 2018. (Fifty-two percent expect to spend the same amount).

On average, those who identified as men anticipate spending nearly 85% more those who identified as women ($591 for men versus $321 for women). Shopify noted this difference is likely influenced by the fact that 55% of men indicated probably spending the most on electronics and computers, compared to the 26% of women who said the same about toys, games and hobbies.

Over the past few years, Black Friday shoppers have spent an average of 14% more on home electronics and entertainment products than the general population, states Vividata in its own fall consumer report. And 87% of them are more likely than the average non-Black Friday shopper to believe it’s important that their household be “equipped with the latest technology.”

Shopify’s findings also found that 57% of consumers plan on purchasing at least one home electronics or computer product, which is closely followed by clothing and fashion (56%), as well as toys, games and hobbies (39%); however, 37% of Canadians told Shopify that they intend to spend the most on electronics and computers this year.

“There’s always been significant discounts and deals for electronics and computers during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as these products tend to be pricier,” says Shahalizadeh. “Last year, they were one of the top ordered products from our merchants during the sales weekend.”

Shopify’s Canadian insights are based on 500 responses from Canadians, taken between Oct. 24 and 28, as part of a larger survey that involved consumers from the U.S., the U.K., France and Germany. The data from Vividata comes from the Fall 2019 iteration of the Survey of the Canadian Consumer, a survey of nearly 40,000 respondents over 14 years of age that was in-field from April to Dec. 2018 and again from April to June 2019.