Online conversions dip during Black Friday weekend

Increased website traffic didn’t necessarily convert to increased purchases during Thanksgiving weekend.

This was according to new data from Monetate that revealed a 5.4% increase in global cart abandonment rates across Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday compared to the same days in 2017. While brands are successfully driving consumers to their sites — website traffic was up 13.1% globally from 2017 — consumers are shopping around before making final purchase decisions at a higher rate than years past.

When evaluating bounce rates, or the percentage of visitors who navigate away from an e-commerce site after viewing only one page, the United States and Canada experienced higher bounce rates compared to 2017 on nearly every day from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. Specifically, there was a 12% increase on Thanksgiving and 5.2% on Black Friday in the U.S. Additionally, cart abandonment rates increased by 2.6%, and conversion rates decreased by 9.7%.

In Canada, bounce rates increased 7.8% on Thanksgiving and 5.6% on Black Friday. In the U.K., however, bounce rates were down 1.8% on Thanksgiving, and 6.1% on Black Friday.

Black Friday shopping in the U.S. revealed mixed results compared to 2017. While traffic was up 7.7% and average order value (AOV) increased 2.5%, conversation rates were down 11.3%. On Cyber Monday, AOV was up 3.4%, but conversion rates were down 16.2% — a continuation of the year-over-year trend of U.S. shoppers consolidating purchases on the biggest online shopping day of the year.

Similarly, in the U.K., 10.4% more shoppers abandoned their carts on Black Friday year-over-year, while AOV dropped by 19.3% in 2018. Cyber Monday 2018 was also a less successful shopping day in the U.K. compared to 2017, with AOV down 11.1% and conversion rates down 9.2%, despite page views being up a whopping 35.4%.

In Canada, Black Friday 2018 saw a 5% increase in page views and 1.3% increase in AOV compared to 2017. However, cart abandonment rates were also up 6.6%, a trend that continued into Cyber Monday 2018, when cart abandonment rates increased 10.4% from 2017.

“The holiday shopping period presents tremendous opportunity for retailers to win new shoppers and convert them into returning customers. Our data, however, reveals that brands are struggling to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Stephen Collins, CEO of Monetate. “Retailers must reconsider their engagement strategies to ensure they are capitalizing on increased website visits. It’s imperative that retailers leverage every data point at their disposal to create the best and most relevant experiences for shoppers.”