Black Friday 2018: Less traffic, higher spend

Derrick Cline | Dec 4, 2018 Derrick Cline 12/04/18

While more and more people are opting to do their Black Friday shopping from the comforts of their couch, there are still many who brave the crowds and shop in stores over the holiday weekend. To get a read on how customers viewed these in-store experiences, we turned to our market intelligence tool BrandGeek®—the fastest, most accurate source of behavioral data linked to customer feedback in real time. Here’s what we found:

Foot traffic was down (again)

This comes as no big surprise—data over the last few years supports this growing trend. But this year’s jump was even more substantial with an 8% decline from 2017 to 2018.


Many Black Friday deals are no longer exclusive to in-store transactions, so customers are opting to use the promotions online. They also know that these “special offers” tend to hold out through the holiday season—so rushing out on Black Friday doesn’t feel quite as advantageous.

But it wasn’t all bad news…

Scores + spend were up

Though traffic was down, customers who visited stores over Black Friday weekend were more satisfied with their experiences.


That increased satisfaction was represented in a higher conversion rate, as well. Customers purchased more than they intended across all segments—increasing spend and basket size.


Last year’s report showed that shoppers were sticking more to their lists, so this is a promising shift as customers demonstrate more spontaneous shopping behaviors on their visits.

A previous positive experience + convenience get customers in the door

Customers are more loyal to brands that provide exceptional service across all channels, all year long. Across every retail segment, customers cited a previous positive experience as the primary reason for visiting on Black Friday weekend significantly more often than last year. Meaning: when it comes to holiday shopping, customers are turning to the brands that have already won them over. That’s why measuring customer satisfaction at every touchpoint is key.


We also saw a significant increase in location convenience as a primary trip motivator—a trend that has grown substantially over the least three years.


Today’s customers want a swift, seamless shopping experience. Convenience is a big theme across all industries right now, so it’s important for brands to keep this in mind as they look to the future of their business.

The bottom line

Black Friday shopping traditions are evolving, but this is still a key weekend for retailers. With conversion rates up in 2018, the stakes are even higher to get customers in your door (and away from your competitors). As you evaluate and enhance your omnichannel strategy heading into 2019, check out what we uncovered about cross-channel shoppers in our report: 3 things every retailer needs to know about cross-channel shoppers.

And if you’d like to see how your brand fared over Black Friday weekend, please reach out.


Derrick Cline | Consumer Insights Manager
Customer Experience Update