The character of what we buy on Black Friday/Cyber Monday is changing

November 30, 2014


That’s the word from data analysts at Localytics. Data they collected over the last few days makes clear that the days of lining up for those Black Friday sales is gone. With major retailers like Walmart and Amazon starting their deals a full week before Black Friday, the big shopping day appears to be losing some its luster.

Localytics examined the weekly new device growth during the weekend before Black Friday and Black Friday weekend (including Cyber Monday). By isolating only new devices, Localytics was able to observe which devices saw the most new activity each weekend. The company was able to see the effect that these early deals have on thrifty shoppers by comparing new device growth to a baseline average from the previous 3 weekends.

The weekend before Black Friday saw certain devices increase by over 200% compared to the baseline. The biggest winners for the weekend were older iPhone models – specifically the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5s and iPhone 4.

By the time Black Friday rolled around, the big winners were devices like the new iPads, the iPad mini 3 and the iPad Air 2. Those sales were spurred by low prices like US$100 off from Best Buy, and up to $140 gift cards from Target. These devices, says Localytics, did not have the same stellar prior weekend that the older iPhone models did, but instead were the only two Apple devices to stay true to the traditional Black Friday weekend.

For this analysis, Localytics examined the percentage increase of new devices on the weekend prior to Black Friday (Nov. 21st – Nov. 24th) and Black Friday Weekend (Nov. 28th – Dec. 1st) to a baseline of the prior 3 weekends in November (Oct 31st – Nov. 3rd, Nov. 7th – Nov 10th, and Nov. 14th – Nov 17th). With Localytics’ sample of over 28,000 apps, a new device is defined as a device that is seen by Localytics for the first time by downloading one of the apps incorporating its SDK.

Other data of interest came from an IBM Analytics study showed that online shopping from iOS devices absolutely buried Android devices. Apple iPads and iPhones accounted for 21.9% of total Black Friday online sales, while Android based devices totaled 5.8%.

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