In a recent interview, Joe Shasteen from Retail Next provided a comprehensive analysis of Black Friday and Cyber Monday trends in the U.S. retail sector. Retail Next, a technology platform, uses advanced analytics, primarily from in-store cameras, to generate traffic data for brick-and-mortar stores, providing invaluable insights into consumer behaviour.
One of the standout findings from the data is the resilience of Black Friday as a significant shopping event. Despite the downward trend in customer traffic throughout the summer of 2023, with declines ranging between 1-2% compared to 2022, Black Friday bucked the trend. The data indicated a 0.5% decline in overall traffic for the week of November, but individual days around Black Friday witnessed positive metrics. Significantly, Black Friday itself saw a 2% increase in foot traffic compared to 2022.
The health and beauty sector emerged as a big winner during this period, experiencing double-digit growth. This trend aligns with the seasonal pattern where health and beauty products perform well around the holidays. Moreover, the jewelry category also saw substantial growth, especially in the lower-cost costume jewelry segment.
Looking ahead, the data suggests that the last ten days before Christmas are crucial for retailers, with traffic intensifying significantly. This period sees nearly Black Friday-level traffic every two days, emphasizing the importance of effective store management and customer engagement strategies during this high-traffic period.
Shasteeen also noted a shift in shopping patterns post-pandemic, indicating that while traffic has not fully recovered to pre-COVID levels, the dynamics of shopping have evolved. Retailers need to adapt to these changing patterns to capture and convert customer interest effectively.
For those interested in more detailed analysis and future projections, Retail Next offers comprehensive reports and dashboards for businesses and media outlets. Shasteen’s insights underscore the importance of understanding and adapting to evolving consumer trends in the dynamic retail landscape.
The interview can be found Here.