Ready for a big number? In 2022, 164.2 million consumers shopped on online platforms during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation. This record-breaking turnout underscores the transformation of consumer shopping habits, a shift that has been underway for several years, and has only gained momentum in recent times. We are going to dive a little into why it’s so big and most importantly, what you should do with this knowledge.
Breaking down the stats
Black Friday 2022 reaffirmed its reputation as the most popular day for online shopping. Approximately 87.2 million consumers chose the convenience and flexibility of digital platforms to grab their deals. This aligns with the online shopping figure from 2021 – it wasn’t a fluke.
Cyber Monday also had about 77 million online shoppers. Though slightly less popular than Black Friday, that’s still a big day of shopping.
Mobile shoppers were the majority
A whopping 59% of online shoppers used their mobile devices for shopping, reflecting a substantial increase from 52% in 2021. Customers now want to shop on the go. It’s no longer cool to sit in from the computer and shop. If a customer can’t buy all their holiday gifts while they are away from their home, it’s simply not happening.
This shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anybody that’s paying attention to online retail trends. Mobile is where so many people shop, and it’s going to continue to move in that direction for a while. Black Friday / Cyber Monday only emphasizes that trend.
Black Friday / Cyber Monday continues to grow in importance
The impressive numbers posted during the Black Friday weekend are a testament to several underlying factors. The COVID-19 pandemic played a pivotal role in accelerating the transition to online shopping, as lockdowns and safety concerns drove people to explore digital shopping avenues. While this surge was initially seen as a temporary shift, the persistence of these numbers into 2022 indicates a more permanent change in consumer behavior.
The rise in online shopping can also be attributed to the increasing trust in digital payment systems and the growing comfort with the online purchase of a wide range of products, including high-ticket items. Furthermore, as online businesses have recognized the weekend as a strong sales window, they have began to manufacture even more importance around the holiday. It’s kind of like how Hallmark is known for manufacturing importance around other holidays.
It’s great, but you also need to be prepared. Black Friday / Cyber Monday is the Super Bowl of sales days.
The Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend is not without its challenges. It places a significant burden on retailers to manage high volumes of online traffic and ensure a smooth shopping experience. We can’t tell you how many times new clients have come to us because their site crashed the previous Black Friday, or because a broken button caused them to lose a substantial amount of sales while their developers were fixing the site.
The bottom line is: ecommerce websites need to be flawless over that holiday weekend.
As we approach Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2023, online businesses need to start planning early. Like now. Or really, like yesterday. Here’s what should be top of mind:
- Prepare for scale: make sure your website is built for higher levels of traffic than usual. This could mean 2x, 3x, or even 4x your normal traffic levels.
- Refine your user experience: your goal is to get customers through the sales funnel has quickly and efficiently as possible. Take some time to plan their path and make sure there are no extra steps or broken elements.
- Prepare a novel sale or experience: customers expect something “special” when they shop over Black Friday / Cyber Monday. Whether it is a little extra on a sale, or a bonus, or even a special product launch: give it to them.
The 2022 Black Friday weekend painted a clear picture that 2024’s Black Friday weekend will be a big deal, and a big opportunity. The 164.2 million people who chose to shop online during this period last year are likely coming again this year. Stores that prepare will reap the benefits.
Are you ready for the storm (of sales)?