The Winners and the Losers: Highlights From Black Friday 2018

 In Shopping

As expected, this Black Friday saw strong growth for most eCommerce retailers. Sales were up substantially for industry leader Amazon, who saw transactions rise 24% over last year, from just over 6M transactions in 2017 to more than 7.5M this year.

Using the transaction data gathered using Jumpshot’s Insights tool, it seems that Amazon wasn’t the only winner this Black Friday. Walmart matched Amazon’s growth, showing a 25% increase in sales transactions, possibly due, in part, to its recent website overhaul. Target and Kohl’s both saw even sharper increases, growing 85% and 48% year-over-year, respectively. Kohl’s spike in online sales started on Thanksgiving when the brand sold 60 Instant Pots per minute.

BestBuy.com didn’t capture the surge that the others did, seeing a 1.4% reduction in its Black Friday purchases from 2017 numbers. Last year, Best Buy beat out both Kohl’s and Target, but this year fell to fifth place among this group.

Life is Short, Play More.

The toys and video game category were a huge success this Black Friday. Best Buy and Gamestop pushed video games to the top of the category list with both companies showing 13x rise in sales in comparison to transactions for the month as a whole. Video game studios time their releases to hit the Q4 holiday season and reap the rewards on Black Friday. Best Buy slashed prices on new games and offered consumers a comparison tool built into their website to allow customers to quickly find the lowest price. While Best Buy and Gamestop showed an increase for the month of November 2018, only Gamestop was able to grow past its 2017 Black Friday numbers.

Noticeably missing from the list, Toys R Us, the former leader of the toy industry, was missing for the first time this holiday season. Online and discount retailers thrived at the chance to grow and take over the toy market with the removal of Toys R Us as stores continue to close. 

Electronics Made a Big Splash

Among the top 10 retailers, Target was the retailer to see the most transactions for Black Friday with electronics deals. Target saw a 17x increase in sales compared to its average for the month of November.

Walmart.com and BestBuy.com both saw huge boosts to their share of electronic transactions, and Staples, Target, and Costco grew the most year-over-year in the electronics category.

Surprisingly, Amazon saw a relatively small (3x) increase from Black Friday from its November baseline. Although Amazon is the leader in the electronics category, the retailer saw its market share decrease on Black Friday, falling from its average 88% share in November.

Electronics Brands That Thrived on Black Friday

H&R Block was the brand that saw the highest boost over its November sales average on Black Friday, outranking Google, Bose, Ring, and many other popular brands for the day. Deals on the tax prep software showed a literally off-the-charts 75x increase in transactions. 

The rest of the top 25 is more in line with predictions with audio brands like Bose (26x increase), JBL (19x increase) and Beats (11x increase), and TV brands like TCL (15x increase), VIZIO (14x increase), Toshiba (12x increase), Sceptre (10x increase) and Sharp (10x increase). Accessories for electronics also saw a jump this Black Friday. The generic brand, ONN, a manufacturer of TV wall mounts, saw a 15x increase within the top brands with high transactions on Black Friday.

Other standouts in this category are home security electronics brand Ring (22x increase), and the product that helps you keep track of your keys, Tile (10x increase).

Spice Up Your Living

The home and home decor category were strong this Black Friday with 80% of the top ten sites showing a 100% increase in sales. At the top of the list was Nordstrom with nearly a 6x boost in sales. While this is a fair increase in transactions for the month, Nordstrom saw negative growth Black Friday, down 55% when compared year-over-year. Nordstrom’s decision to extend Black Friday over six days might have had an adverse impact on their growth count as consumers had ample time to shop around for the best deals. Additional leaders in the home and home decor category included Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and Target. Amazon had a 2x increase in sales above average for the month; however, the online shopping giant was in the bottom five in the category. E-commerce furniture and home decor powerhouse Wayfair saw a 3x increase in sales this Black Friday and lead the pack in growth with 131% increase in revenue when compared year-over-year.

Everything and The Kitchen Sink

The top three retailers that saw a drastic increase in sales this Black Friday in the appliance category were Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and Costco. The three heavy hitters were almost neck and neck in sales; Kohl’s and Bed Bath & Beyond seeing a 10x increase in transactions with Costco following with 9x boost in transactions compared to average sales for the month of November. Home Depot saw a slight boost at 4x increase from Black Friday from its November baseline.

While Bed Bath & Beyond showed a large surge in sales this Black Friday, the retailer showed a rather insignificant amount of growth this year with a 1% increase when compared year-over-year. Sears showed negative sales growth this Black Friday, down 48% when compared year-over-year. This decline in growth can be attributed to the recent filling of Chapter 11 by the once iconic American retailer. Additionally, while Sears cut prices for Black Friday, the prices weren’t low enough leaving customers to look elsewhere.

Mobile Sales Continue to Rise Year Over Year

One final point of interest for 2018 Black Friday is the fact that it was the first day in history to have more than $2 billion in mobile-based sales. E-commerce sales on mobile devices made up 33.5% of all Black Friday transactions, compared with 29.1% last year.

Each year, holiday sales extend before and after Black Friday, but this one day is a bellwether for how Q4 sales will go. All indicators are that the retail industry is strong and will see significant uptick by the end of 2018.

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