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The latest data from online marketing and predictive analytics firm Optimove revealed that returning online shoppers as opposed to new customers is highest in the week leading up to Christmas, which puts a spotlight on the importance of consumer loyalty.

The data also revealed that Black Friday heavily outperforms Cyber Monday in regard to online sales.

The company noted that returning online customers the week before Christmas is 84 percent, which compares to 74 percent for Cyber Monday and 71 percent for Black Friday. Researchers at the company said that “total sales compared to the days following Thanksgiving were down, but as a reminder this is only online sales — last-minute shoppers may have chosen to shop brick-and-mortar in the final days before the holiday if they feared shipping would be late.

Compared to the average online sales during the year, sales for the week before Christmas was up 1.15 percent, which compares to 4.2 percent for Black Friday and 3.2 percent for Cyber Monday.

The data was derived from the online transactions of more than 20 million consumers.

“Research conducted by Optimove on consumer behavior after the 2015 holiday season revealed that during the holidays, repeat customers are more valuable than new ones,” an analyst at the company said in a report. “Transactions from repeat customers were 30 percent higher than transactions from new customers.”

The researcher went on to note that “during the following year, repeat customers’ retention rates were higher than those of new customers: the number of repeat shoppers who made at least one more purchase with the brand was 160 percent higher than that of new customers.”

The company said that e-tailers should consider investing in the retention of “new Black Friday and Cyber Monday customers now, in order to turn them into loyal customers who will strengthen your brand further when the next holidays come around.”