Apps Fuel the Biggest
Black Friday Ever

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hours spent on apps on
Black Friday

The equivalent of over 16,000 days. That’s a 105% growth from 2018, as more shoppers are choosing apps to look for deals and make their purchases. 


Black Friday 
Consumer Behaviour


Shoppers on apps 


Shoppers buy at 


Shoppers Research and Save Products Before Black Friday


Video is one of the most popular ways for people to consume content and the popularity and effectiveness of in-app video to engage users and promote sales in shopping apps has grown.

Similar to Instagram Stories, Poq introduced App Stories to its platform so retailers could provide the latest and relevant content (video, images and even GIFs) to shoppers in a format they are already familiar with. By engaging shoppers in this way, retailers build brand affinity and provide a fuller experience than being simply transactional.

Great ways we’ve seen retailers use this feature is to engage shoppers and tell the stories behind their products, keep shoppers updated on the latest trends and celebrity collaborations, share inspirational content and inform of new sales and discounts.

Black Friday was no different. On Black Friday alone, shoppers spent approximately, 1961 hours watching stories over almost half a million stories watched. That’s an average of 2 minutes 20 seconds per shopper using the app feature.

In-app Content




Black Friday Hourly Shopping Breakdown

Shoppers tend to research products and save them for the sales in the evenings of the days before Black Friday. 

On Black Friday itself, wishlists are used less frequently but more evenly throughout the day. 

The jump in revenue and decline in wishlist use can be explained by a combination of 2 behaviours: 
1) Shoppers are purchasing the items they have previously saved, and 
2) impulse buys as more shoppers skip the wishlist and add straight to basket. 

App Downloads Increase Before Black Friday


As apps become more commonplace downloads are steadily increasing. 

However, shoppers download apps ahead of the sales in order to get the best deals. From the start of November, daily downloads rapidly increase, peaking on Black Friday itself, as shoppers want to gain access to the sales and be kept in the loop on flash sales through push notifications. 


Black Friday sales are spreading far beyond Black Friday itself. With the three days before Thanksgiving seeing 2.1x more revenue than the average day in Q3. And all of the 10 days before Black Friday saw higher revenues than the average for Q3. 

Research has found that nearly 40% of total holiday spend is conducted in the four weeks before Black Friday and as many as 45% of people planned to start shopping before November. 

Despite sales spreading out across the holiday period, we found that Black Friday app revenue was 5.7x higher than the average day in Q3.  

Keep Your App Powered on Black Friday

  • Poq clients generated a total of £13,568,675 / $17,642,848.12 over the Cyber Weekend 

  • We dealt with 73 million API requests, that’s 855 per second from across 6 continents

  • Median response time of just 49.51 milliseconds

Keeping Shoppers Engaged

App Traffic Share Overtook Desktop

Traffic by Channel 

Apps' share of online sessions overtook desktop back in December 2018 and the gap has continued to widen. We see apps' predicted continued growth in percentage share of total online sessions meanwhile, desktop and mobile are expected to continue to decline.

When comparing to Adobe Analytics’ findings, they found that 61% of Black Friday online traffic was on smartphones. However, across the whole of November we found that mobile web accounted for 64% of traffic in addition to the 21% seen on apps, totalling 85% for smartphone traffic. This shows that retailers with apps are seeing a greater deal of their online traffic, through smartphones.

Most app shoppers were on apps at 9am. Likely because most shoppers were searching for Black Friday deals early in the day with the ease and convenience of shopping on apps. This convenience also drove the more even and consistent app traffic throughout the day. A similar pattern of traffic can be seen across ecommerce as Salesforce found.

There were 2 main purchasing peaks throughout Black Friday. Firstly, between 8am and 10am after which revenue dipped during the day when people are most likely to be at work. Purchasing picked up again in the evening and peaked at 10pm when the most app revenue was generated.

Apps are more engaging than other digital channels as apps saw 3.5x more sessions per shopper than both mobile web and desktop. Because shoppers returned to the app more frequently than other channels, consequently the time spent in app was 3.7x greater than mobile web and 2.1x greater than the time spent shopping on desktop.

Physical stores struggled over Black Friday. RetailNext found that store traffic fell 2.1% on Black Friday and transactions values were down 6.7% however,  it’s not all bad news.

Black Friday App Traffic Grew 240% from 2018

BlaCK FRIday app shoppers

BlaCK FRIday app revenue

Store traffic down

App traffic up



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Shoppers continued engagement in apps on Black Friday can be seen in their use of Poq’s app feature; Swipe-to-Like. Similar to Tinder, shoppers swipe left or right on product images to indicate they either like or dislike a product. By swiping right, these products are added to the shoppers’ wishlist.

Of those retailers with this functionality in their app, over 1.25 million swipes were made between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, totalling an average of 33 swipes per shopper.

By gamifying and using new ways for shoppers interaction and product discovery, retailers spend more time in front of their customers and encourage them to use features, like the wishlist, that drive conversions and purchases.

Shopping app traffic grew

Black Friday Consumer Behaviour

Black Friday Consumer Behaviour

Traffic by Channel

Black Friday Traffic


Winner’s choose

Poq empowered retailers this Black Friday:

Black Friday Consumer Behaviour



Eager shoppers are first to the sales and a higher percentage of these shoppers are using the wishlist to save items


When most people are on shopping apps. A good time to remind shoppers of your app with push notifications


Wishlist use is actually very even throughout the whole day, averaging 6% of shoppers using this feature.


When most money is spent on apps, the same as 2018. A fear of missing out on the deals drives spend.