Black Friday Trends: What The Statistics Tell Us About BFCM & Ecommerce

Black Friday Trends: What The Statistics Tell Us About BFCM & Ecommerce

Every year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday trends shift, but one thing is for sure — it’ll be the biggest US shopping event of the entire year and the start of the holiday shopping season.

The last few years have been particularly dynamic given the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the supply chain issues that followed. After that came record-high inflation. All of this has had a deep impact on how we shop.

Those factors make it especially important to dial into this year’s Black Friday trends. By looking at data from past years and predictions about the upcoming year, you can better prepare for the holiday shopping season and even tap into shopping trends that could shape your whole ecommerce business, year-round.

How is Black Friday–Cyber Monday 2023 shaping up?

The big question is: will BFCM ecommerce see big sales in 2023? All the data we have indicates that yes, 2023 Black Friday shopping will be bigger than ever.

The pandemic had a marked impact on BFCM ecommerce sales. While many chose to stay home and shop online in 2020, US shoppers were more willing to venture outside in 2021. As a result, ecommerce sales dipped from $9.03 billion in 2020 to $8.92 billion in 2021, according to Adobe Analytics.

But in 2022, ecommerce sales bounced back, with a record-setting $9.12 billion spent online in the US. With shopping habits stabilizing from pre-pandemic levels, we can predict another record-setting year for online retailers in 2023.

Black Friday sales from 2020 to 2023.

The total spent per person rose in 2022, too. According to the National Retail Federation, it was predicted that the average person planned to spend $833 — an increase from 2021.

The takeaway here is that you should be prepared for the biggest BFCM to date.


12 Black Friday statistics

Every bit of BFCM data offers insights into what to expect for 2023. Retail sales give you an idea of the overall volume, and more niche data like the percentage of mobile sales or marketing trends tell you how best to prepare your presence online.

Let’s go over trends that have emerged in recent years and discuss what they mean for your ecommerce business.

1) Cyber Monday is the biggest day for ecommerce

As mentioned above, a record $9.12 billion was spent online in the US on Black Friday in 2022. For in-person sales, Mastercard reported an increase of 12% in consumer spending in-store for Black Friday 2022.

Cyber Monday remains the biggest shopping day for ecommerce, however, with $11.3 billion spent in the US in 2022, according to Adobe. That’s compared to $10.7 billion in 2021. 

For context, a regular day in the US sees about $2 to $3 billion in online sales, CNBC reported. Over at Amazon, sales were also far above average, with 128% more revenue generated on Black Friday. The only other event that compares is Prime Day.

Comparison between online sales on an average day ($2-3 billion) and online sales on Cyber Monday 2022 ($11.3 billion)

All of that accounts for a record 196.7 million Americans who bought something, according to the NRF.

What this means for you

  • Black Friday will be big, but Cyber Monday will be bigger — expect more orders and a higher volume of customer support inquiries
  • Plan your best discounts for Cyber Monday

2) BFCM has spread internationally

Black Friday and Cyber Monday seem like a uniquely American phenomenon, and that is certainly how it started. Black Friday, after all, is always the day after American Thanksgiving and marks the beginning of the US holiday season.

However, sales have spread across borders. Behind the US, Canada and the UK have the highest sales for BFCM, according to Shopify. London, UK is one of the top cities for BFCM shoppers worldwide, alongside LA and New York City.

A calculator illustration over an image of Earth

Even within the US, BFCM excitement and spending varies. According to Finder, BFCM is most popular in Northeastern states like New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts where 59% of people planned to shop oN BFCM. That’s compared to 46% of shoppers in the western portion of the US. 

What this means for you

  • Localize Black Friday deals for online shoppers in different regions
  • Even if you’re not located in the US, consider running BFCM deals as you’re likely to see increased sales

3) More purchases are made on mobile

More BFCM purchases happen on a mobile device than ever before. According to Shopify, 73% of sales for merchants on the platform during BFCM were made by mobile in 2022, compared to 71% in 2021.

An image of a phone displaying a #1 medal and the fact "73% of BFCM purchases happened on mobile in 2022"

Interestingly, the prominence of mobile varies throughout the BFCM weekend Adobe reported that 55% of sales came from mobile devices on Thanksgiving — likely because people are celebrating with their families and not sitting at a computer. That’s compared to 43% on Cyber Monday when people are back to work and shopping on a desktop.

What this means for you

  • Ensure your site is optimized for a mobile shopping experience
  • Make sure your chatbot is available on mobile and anticipate customer service requests from social as well

4) Buy Now Pay Later is a conversion tool

There are now several Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) service providers available, and consumers are happy to take advantage of them. According to Adobe, BNPL use rose 85% during BFCM compared to the week before in 2022. As well, BNPL revenue rose 88%.

It’s worth noting that BNPL is a proven conversion tool — according to RBC Capital Markets, BNPL can increase conversions by 20% to 30%.

What this means for you

  • Offer a variety of BNPL options on your site, such as Klarna, Afterpay, and Affirm

5) Toys and electronics reign supreme

A graph of the top-selling items during BFCM with toys, electronics, and computers ranking the highest.

Looking at the most popular items sold during BFCM, it’s clear the trend is that people use BFCM for holiday shopping, especially for kids.

Toys had the biggest boost on Cyber Monday in 2022, with ecommerce sales in the toys category growing 684% compared to an average day in October. Next, electronics sales were up 391% and computers were up 372%. Other categories with significant boosts include sporting goods, appliances, books, and jewelry.

What this means for you

  • Anticipate needing higher inventory for toys and electronics
  • Target your discounts for these popular categories

6) Average order totals are rising

According to Shopify, the average order total for BFCM in 2022 was $102.10 — up slightly from $100.70 in 2021.

Comparison of Black Friday average order value in 2021 and 2022

Last year, shoppers were more concerned about inflation, but those concerns have eased into the latter half of 2023. From that, we can predict that the average order total will rise in 2023.

What this means for you

  • Your site should be optimized to recommend related items before checkout
  • Prioritize bundles for your deepest discounts

7) All of Cyber Week will get a lift

The BFCM shopping event peaked on Black Friday in 2022 at 12:01 p.m. EST, with sales of more than $3.5 million per minute, according to Shopify. Traditionally, however, Cyber Monday is the biggest day for online sales across all sites.

Illustration of a stopwatch and the fact "$3.5m - That's how much is sold every single minute during BFCM."

But it’s also worth noting that the Black Friday weekend sees an uptick in shopping, including Thanksgiving Day itself and the Saturday and Sunday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The whole shebang is referred to as Cyber Week. Even Thanksgiving Eve sees higher revenue, according to Adobe.

It doesn’t stop there. Even the week before BFCM sees a lift. According to Amazon, sales on the site increased 185% in the week leading up to BFCM.

What this means for you

  • Save your best deals for Cyber Monday when they’ll be most expected, but also run promotions through the entirety of Cyber Week

8) Curbside pickup is dropping

As shoppers feel more comfortable with in-store shopping, online orders for in-person curbside pickup have actually decreased over the past couple of years.

According to Shopify, In 2022, 13% of online orders on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday took advantage of this service, for those stores that offer it. That’s down from 21% in 2021. On Cyber Monday, it was 17% of orders, down from 18% in 2021. 

What this means for you

  • Expect the majority of your online orders to be for delivery
  • If you offer curbside pickup, you can safely dedicate less resources to this service than last year

9) Crossborder sales remain steady

Shopify reported that 15% of BFCM sales were cross-border (bought from one country and shipped to another) in 2022 — the same as in 2021. Most of this activity was orders going from the US to Canada, Canada to the US, and the UK to the US. This makes sense as these are also the countries where BFCM sales are most prevalent.

What this means for you

  • Focus your localization efforts on the US, Canada, and the UK
  • Don’t surprise international shoppers with higher-than-expected shipping fees, as this can lead to cart abandonment. List your international shipping rates up front and include duties where possible

10) Discounts have hit record highs

Adobe reported that discounts hit record highs in 2022, peaking at an average of 25% off the listed price on Cyber Monday. Some categories saw deeper discounts than others, such as 34% off toys, 20% off computers, and 18% off apparel.

Average Black Friday discounts comparison

What this means for you

  • Black Friday shoppers wait for BFCM to make purchases and expect big discounts, so a simple 5% or 10% off may not be attractive enough
  • Save your best discounts for Cyber Monday

11) Paid search is the top digital marketing strategy

According to Adobe, paid search was the biggest driver of sales during Cyber Week, accounting for 28% of online sales. However, owned channels like email and SMS were also important.

Omnisend reported that brands sent 68% more SMS on Black Friday, resulting in a 57% increase in orders.

What this means for you

  • With paid search so competitive, take advantage of SMS and email marketing to communicate your discounts to high-intent customers

5 Black Friday trends and projections

Here’s what we can predict for BFCM 2023 — and how you can prepare.

1) Customers expect big discounts

Although inflation is waning, shoppers will still be reeling from its effects compared to pre-pandemic times. We know that holiday shoppers wait for BFCM discounts to save money, so they’ll be expecting big discounts.

Offering great deals is important, but so is doing that in a way that protects your revenue. A great idea is to concentrate your best discounts on bundles — that increases your AOV while still being attractive to bargain hunters.

2) Biggest Black Friday Cyber Monday yet

All indications point to BFCM 2023 being another record-setting year. Ecommerce sales bounced back in 2022 compared to 2021. Given that trajectory, we can anticipate that 2023 will be the biggest BFCM ever.

The last thing you want is to be caught without enough inventory to meet demand. Take a look at sales from last year and plan accordingly for the increased demands of BFCM logistics.

3) Mobile will be huge

Online orders made by a mobile device have reliably risen each BFCM, and 2023 should be no different. Ensure your website performs well on mobile, including testing your site on different devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Knowing people will be shopping from their phones means that’s also an opportunity for marketing. Ahead of BFCM, encourage customers to sign up for SMS reminders or push notifications if you have a shopping app. That way they’ll be the first to know about deals and can click to shop immediately.

4) Marketing efforts will start early

With more competition for shoppers than ever, you’ll want to start preparing your BFCM marketing campaigns early. Start planning your campaign during the summer, including determining your discounts, prepping social media posts, and creating a calendar of SMS and email sends. Start communicating and teasing your offers at least a month before BFCM.

As well, your SEO efforts should start early, in the summer. Optimized pages take time to rank on search results pages, so start sooner rather than later.

5) Prepare for a week-long extravaganza

BFCM is a marathon, not a sprint. The extravaganza starts on Thanksgiving Eve and lasts for a week. It even extends through January, as the influx of gifts purchased on BFCM gets opened and returned. 

Ahead of Cyber Week, stress test your website to ensure it can handle increased traffic over the week. Also, create contingency plans — what will you do if your top seller runs out? Prepare for the worst, just in case.

How to navigate the upcoming BFCM holiday

More orders will inevitably mean a higher volume of customer inquiries and you need to be ready. Gorgias can give you a helping hand with BFCM customer support.

You’ll be receiving customer inquiries not just through email, but through your social media channels. Gorgias’ customer service helpdesk pulls all inquiries into one place, saving your team time and making sure no customer messages fall through the cracks.

Gorgias also offers a range of self-service features, including (but not limited to):

Gorgias automations can also help you streamline returns requests. More orders in the holiday season means more BFCM returns, which can be time-consuming and expensive for your team. Using the chatbot, customers can initiate their own returns or be directed to an exchange instead. You can even integrate Gorgias with a returns platform like Loop Returns, to automate the returns process and keep your customer service team in the loop.

Having these solutions in place ahead of time will ensure a smooth and successful BFCM.


Frequently asked questions

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Jordan Miller
The customer service platform built for ecommerce brands

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