Retail trends from Black Friday weekend

21 Dec 2023
Retail trends from Black Friday weekend

Curious how this year’s Peak season measured up? Look no further. We compiled the statistics from our data scientists gathered from our latest peak report and other insights from Black Friday weekend to bring you an overview of how this year looked in numbers.

People still purchased – it’s Christmas!

Consumers trimmed their budgets, but that didn’t dampen spending as this year we saw a record-breaking cyber week.

Our data scientists analyzed the figures from 300 of our customers , many of which are leading retailers in the Fashion, Luxury, Sports and Home & Garden industries. They found a 6.7% increase in the number of requests served from Grey Thursday to Cyber Monday this year compared to the same period last year. Overall, across the 6-day trading period (from Wednesday to Cyber Monday) requests served soared to 3.6bn.

What’s more, Salesforce data , (based on how 1.5+ billion global shoppers spent this year), shows an 8% year-over-year (YoY) increase in online sales globally on Black Friday, and a 5% increase in online sales globally on Cyber Monday.

Higher discounts to entice more consumers

It’s the time of the year when retailers either make or break their sales targets, so when it comes to winning over the more price-conscious consumers, retailers haven’t taken any chances. They turned a blind eye to lackluster discounts and started the whirlwind of deals earlier than ever. Our data shows the number of requests served on the Wednesday before Black Friday hiked to an increase of 30 million requests compared to the same day last year.

And the percentage of savings rose, with an average discount rate of 27% globally and 29% within the US throughout the Cyber week . Looking at how discounting compares, all sale pricing has increased by 4% vs 2022.

So, retailers are squeezing their margins to win sales, more motivated than ever to meet pent-up demand and beat the competition.

Shrinking shopping carts

The overarching stats may look merry and bright, but Salesforce found a 0% units per transaction (UPT) growth.

Shopping baskets are still filling up, but they aren’t as heavy as retailers would like. The number of units sold per transaction decreased by 6% worldwide , making every visit to a retailers’ store less profitable. This lack of growth indicates a shortage of effective cross-sell strategies as shoppers are not being drawn in by the recommendations at different touchpoints.

But how can you effectively push the right products before your customers hit the checkout? It’s not easy to predict exactly what will make every customer tick, but how accurate your recommendations are all comes down to the data you feed your algorithms . If you input clean data to the right algorithms, the results can lead to higher revenue and happier customers.

Cyber weekend is channel-agnostic

Our data scientists found that we served 6,650 queries registered per second at the height of peak compared to 6,530 last year. Even though online is a convenient one-stop shop for holiday shopping, this year, like last, consumers have resumed spending in shopping malls.

For example, in 2021 when the pandemic was still forcing consumers to pick up their holiday bargains online requests hit 9,103.

Online shopping can be broken down into specific channels, and each year marketers must find new ways to engage on-the-go consumers. Salesforce found the number of messages sent via push notifications, SMS, and streaming services (OTT) combined grew 37% this Cyber Week.

Consumers expect a seamless journey as they switch channels consistently, which means you must be laser-focused on leveraging the right technology to adapt and scale your digital experiences.

What can we learn from Black Friday 2023?

Despite an extended shopping period, merchants still experienced impressive sales figures, increased engagement across channels, and more traffic than in recent years.

As competition gets tougher each year, brands need to focus on crafting innovative solutions to the way customers browse and purchase products. A combination of exceptional on-site search, intelligent merchandising and personalized recommendations is the way forward to appeal to increasingly savvy shoppers.

For more insights into Black Friday weekend, read our latest report here . Alternatively, find out more about our product discovery solution by speaking with one of our experts.