4 Things to learn from 2020 Black Friday and Cyber Monday

May 11, 2021
Emmanuel Cohen

2020’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday shopping festival may have looked different than in previous years, but it nevertheless attracted shoppers on the search for bargains. This was particularly true for subscription transactions, which, compared to 2019, saw a substantial rise in revenue.

Chargezen examined merchant subscription and sector data to understand the effect of the four-day shopping extravaganza in 2020 and here are the most important takeaways from our review:

1. Pet subscriptions are on the rise

Cyber Monday is our favorite Black Friday takeaway because shoppers love their cats! Compared to last year, the number of shoppers who bought pet-related subscriptions increased by 776.6% in 2020. This rise can be partly attributed to the rise in pet adoptions, particularly dogs, around the world. The Washington Post reported in August that the demand for dogs and puppies was on the rise!

2. Subscriptions saw a dramatic spike in sales

Our study shows that shoppers in 2020 searched out subscriptions at a higher rate than in 2019. Subscription revenues rose by 17% year-over-year for the four-day era. This is undoubtedly a consequence of the reluctance of shoppers to visit brick-and-mortar shops to take advantage of limited-time promotions. Instead, for a more convenient and safer experience, they turned to eCommerce.

Surprisingly, the most important day for subscription purchases was not Black Friday. While there was a 10% rise in subscriptions on Friday relative to the previous year, the major winners were Saturday and Sunday. Our data indicate a rise in subscription sales of 49.8% on Saturday and 25.5 percent on Sunday.

Why was Black Friday's development not in line with Saturday and Sunday? There is no single response, but the flurry of holiday offers that traders rolled out in October is possibly one culprit. In other words, rather than on the actual date, customers were buying the things they wanted leading up to Black Friday. 

3. Cyber Monday subscription sales underperform

Although overall subscription sales were up during the four-day shopping event, on Cyber Monday there was a peculiar dip in subscription transactions. Compared with 2019, subscription enrollment fell 2.2% in 2020. This is possibly due to shopper fatigue and, as previously noted, prolonged promotions that have made the day of advertised incentives less special than in the past.

4. Interest in Black Friday, Cyber Monday remains high

Another positive news for merchants is that customer interest in Cyber Monday stayed strong on Black Friday. We contrasted the four days from Black Friday through Cyber Monday to the previous week's time frame as part of our study. Subscription sales rose by 53%, suggesting that consumers were prepared and waiting to take advantage of promotions.

A great start for the shopping season

Subscriptions were hot-ticket items for Black Friday, Cyber Monday. As more shoppers turn to online experiences to prevent COVID-19 problems, we expect this trend to continue through the holiday season. In addition, we believe that post-holiday numbers will remain strong. There has been a change in consumer behavior, and the experience is predicted to be adopted by consumers who were previously reluctant to buy online.

Ready for your subscription service to be implemented or improved? To learn how Chargezen will help you unlock your recurring revenue potential, click the Get Started link right away or write me at success@trychargezen.com.

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