Black Friday & Cyber Monday: Sending Trends Recap

Jim Davidson

My Black Friday and Cyber Monday both started bright and early at 3:30 a.m. EST. No, I wasn’t one of those people rushing out for a pre-dawn deal. In fact, I wonder if those people still exist.

My early wake-up call was set so I had enough time to turn on the coffee before starting Bronto’s 2015 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Live Blog. With my first cup, I began pouring over the hundreds of messages that filled my inbox and reporting on the hits, misses and trends that I saw along the way.

Here are a few high-level trends from the holiday weekend:

Retailers Sent More Emails

The percentage of retailers sending more than one email increased in 2015. The most popular day for sending multiple emails was, as you may have guessed, Cyber Monday, where 62% of retailers sent more than one email.

Much has been written about Thanksgiving Day’s transformation into a major shopping event independent of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And the increase in email traffic certainly points to more retailers wanting to make the most out of the holiday. In 2015, 42% of retailers sent more than one email on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving Email Activity

All Days Had Late Starts

This year, retailers weren’t in a rush to hit the holiday inbox. With fewer brands depending on early morning doorbusters to kick off the day, the pre-dawn inbox was slow-going. Traffic peaked between 6-8 a.m. EST on all three major days, so if you’re starting to draft your 2016 holiday plan, keep this in mind to make sure you message hits the inbox during this magic hour.
Cyber Monday Email Distribution

Save on Everything Everywhere

Talbots exampleBlack Friday has traditionally been known as a store event, while Cyber Monday was dedicated to online sales, but those definitions are now outdated. Consumers want seamless shopping experiences regardless of channel (or device), and these major shopping days are no exception.

Rather than offering channel- or product-specific sales, many retailers promoted site- and store-wide sales on all products, as seen in this Black Friday email from Talbots. While these promotions give consumers a mass of products at discounted prices, the vast selection could overwhelm some shoppers who need some guidance for gifting or want to see deep discounts on those hot holiday items.

The shortened holiday shopping seasons of the past two years have shifted the way consumers shop and increased expectations of when the best deals will be available. While many retailers struggled to find their footing in this year’s longer season, the major shopping days continued to offer excitement and savings throughout Thanksgiving weekend.

Hungry for more data? Want to see some of the weekend’s best emails? Check out my complete play-by-play at Bronto’s 2015 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Live Blog.