Distil.ai (Image credit/PIxabay/HutchRock)Distil.ai has crunched Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) weekend data and shared its findings for the UK and US markets. The data gives an insight into customer shopping habits, helping sellers navigate the previously murky waters of consumer behaviour.

Distil.ai pooled data from BFCM weekend across the USA and UK, analysing data from a sample of 40,000+ online orders. The company investigated the online shopping habits of the general public, distilling it to understandable outputs telling some unexpected stories.

Distil.ai is a business intelligence platform that helps eCommerce businesses to understand customers’ behaviour and boost sales.

Key findings include:

UK shoppers prepared for Black Friday week, holding off in the weeks prior and extracting the most value with huge sales increases. UK stores took three times as much revenue over the period than the weekly average for the rest of the year. And it seems not much has changed in this regard since 2022, when stores saw a similar uplift in sales.

In the US, although there were positive sales for the BFCM weekend, shoppers held back a little less than in the UK. As a result, Distil.ai suggests Black Friday hasn’t performed as well. Does the US eCommerce market need a new approach to Black Friday sales?

The power of the repeat customer

Contrary to popular belief, Black Friday is not all about a quick sale to new customers. In fact, Distil’s data showcases the importance of looking after repeat customers, who equated to almost half the revenue gained by UK stores and more than half in the US over BFCM weekend.

Furthermore, if a store welcomes a shopper, new or repeat – they have one chance to convert. Re-targeting customers once they’ve purchased on Black Friday with Cyber Monday deals is near-to-pointless in marketing terms according to Distil’s data.

US V UK, daily performance

US shoppers started slow, recovering from Thanksgiving with strong shopping figures on Sunday and Cyber Monday. This was after they had missed the rush on Black Friday and Saturday. Compared to UK shoppers who checked out the highest value baskets on Black Friday compared with any day of the BFCM weekend. Overall, shoppers’ average BFCM weekend spend was up, by as much as 26% in the US audience.

It is widely known that data matters. However, customer behaviour data should be considered – the new gold rush. Distil says its customers are hungry for this analysis because they can assess their own performance against a larger. As a result, they can cohort and pinpoint opportunities for further growth.

(credit image/Linkedin/Gerry McNicol)
Gerry McNicol, CEO and Founder at Distil

Gerry McNicol, CEO and Founder at Distil said on the data, “Our Black Friday and Cyber Monday data is fascinating. When you look at the big picture, what excites me more is that we can see so many customer stories. The brand loyalists, the annual bargain hunters and the long-lost contacts who forgot they were ever customers. We have been working with several Distil customers to dig deeper into their individual store data. We are seeing repeat customers come back after as long as 6.5 years because of this year’s BFCM activity. I was amazed to see the difference in spend between the USA and UK audiences. The timings over BFCM weekend when the highest value baskets checked out. I am pleased to deliver these sorts of tangible outcomes from the data to our customers. So they can turn them into action points and continue to grow their businesses.”

Data methodology

This data was drawn on Tuesday 28th November 2023 from a sample of 126 Shopify stores worldwide. Stores connected to the Distil AI Business Analytics App to produce a data set of 40,000+ orders. The analysis methodology of the average order value was to take an average of the metric for the individual store and then average across all stores in the sample.

Enterprise Times – What this means for business

Data is never black and white – it tells a story, and what’s crucial for a story? Context. The interesting headline from Distil.ai data is UK Customers held off buying until Black Friday week. UK stores took 3x as much revenue than the weekly average for the rest of the year. Stores in the USA saw a smaller peak – customers didn’t put as much stock in Black Friday weekend. Furthermore, repeat customers are as important as new shoppers. UK and USA stores benefited from strong showing of returning customers buying during Black Friday and Cyber Monday Weekend. This resulted in almost half the revenue in the UK and more than half in the USA.

For an eCommerce store, there is no knowledge of higher value than that of its customers. Customers keep the doors open and drive the growth. Once you know them intimately – through data they’ve opted-in for you to have of course – you can provide them with exactly the right offer. This can be managed through the right marketing channel at the right time, hugely improving their retail experience. Cementing your position as a shop of value to them. Cementing them as a return customer to drive this data set for Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, 2024.


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