Black Friday: new visitors drive up to 94% of revenue but returning shoppers less likely for some sectors, Qubit finds


The latest research from data-first customer experience pioneer Qubit has revealed the true impact of Black Friday on retailers.

Key findings:

  • Who benefited the most? Out of the five retail categories examined, luxury saw the highest boost in conversion rate on Black Friday (up by 114% on the rest of year average), with the highest proportion of revenue driven on Black Friday by returning visitors (33%)
  • And the least? Despite being known as the ‘gadget christmas,’ electronics and entertainment retailers were among those who saw the least impact on conversion rate from Black Friday, with a 50% uplift in conversions compared to the rest of year average. Home and garden saw the lowest increase, at 27%.
  • New visitors on Black Friday don’t turn into valuable customers in the long term, or do they? Home & garden and luxury retailers actually saw a higher repurchase rate for new visitors acquired on Black Friday, while fast fashion and electronics and entertainment saw a lower repurchase rate.
  • Why bother? Some fast fashion retailers still saw a spike in conversions on Black Friday despite not participating, simply seeing the benefit of more consumers being online on the day, similar to the impact Prime Day had on the 12 July 2016.


Qubit analysed traffic and conversion data from a cross section of retailers over the period of one year (2015-2016), amounting to over 6m data points. The categories of retailers analysed included: home & garden, entertainment & electronics, fast fashion, luxury and gifting (e.g. jewellery, confectionery, accessories). The analysis included changes in visitors and converters over the time period, as well as a comparison of new visitors vs returning visitors for revenue driven and re-purchase rate to determine who was driving revenue on the day, and the lifetime value of new visitors.


What the data shows is that there is no one size fits all approach to Black Friday. As technology and consumer behaviour evolves, retailers need to use the wealth of data they have to gain a real understanding of how their marketing activities are impacting the bottom line at this crucial time of year. For example, hype and urgency tactics employed on the day may be counter productive, pushing customers to make less considered purchases, resulting in higher return rates down the line. Other retailers may be missing a trick by not segmenting their visitors e.g. treating their returning visitors differently, luxury retailers especially could see a benefit of targeting the high proportion of returning visitors with wish lists and loyalty messaging.