3 Key Projections for Cyber Week 2023: How Retailers Should Prepare

Retail marketers’ World Cup is on the horizon. We’re talking, of course, about Black Friday.

In 2022, Black Friday’s online sales exceeded expectations when numbers hit $40 billion globally—and 2023 should be no different.

In fact, this year eMarketer predicts an increase of 4.5% in holiday retail sales, indicating that despite ongoing economic uncertainty, retailers can feel confident that consumers are ready to shop this Cyber Week. Based on Wunderkind’s very own client data, these are our top three predictions for the biggest shopping week of the year.

Prediction #1: Black Friday will dominate Cyber Week

Cyber Week alone generates between 6-9% of annual revenue for Wunderkind brands, but Black Friday is the heavy hitter of the holiday season. This year, we expect its reigning streak to continue when it comes to revenue. While Cyber Monday stands strong in terms of sales, our data suggests that Black Friday will hold its position as the undisputed MVP of spending in 2023.

Retailers should take this opportunity to target customers with tailored discounts across Cyber Week, not just Black Friday. In fact, consider kick-starting Cyber Week marketing as early as October to stay top-of-mind and prime customers to shop with you (over your competitors) by the time Cyber Week comes around. 

Prediction #2: Average order value will increase

Our data shows the median average order value (AOV) is rising, indicating that consumers are spending more. While it’s unclear whether this increase is due to inflation or consumers purchasing more in each shop, retailers should take note: This is a golden opportunity to cross-sell and upsell higher-ticket items through personalized messaging.

According to our data, the median AOV during Cyber Week increased by 26% from 2018 to 2022, reaching $144 million. We expect this positive trend to continue this year, meaning retailers should strategically recommend products to increase the size and price of shoppers’ carts. 

In fact, a major trend in U.S. shoppers’ behavior this year is investing in more expensive, high-quality items. Here’s what you can do to make the most of this trend:

  • If you’re a mass-market retailer, cross-selling and upselling is your best friend. Encourage shoppers to spend more through tailored product recommendations via timely emails, texts, or onsite ads.
  • If you’re a luxury retailer, consumers are most concerned about quality and reputation and are willing to make more expensive purchases if they know your products are a good investment. Lean even more heavily into your brand and performance marketing. If you’re a fairly new luxury retailer, not to worry: 45% of luxury consumers say they are open to trying new brands. 

Prediction #3: Mobile commerce will transcend desktop

Don’t miss out on the mobile commerce revolution. In 2021, mobile conversions surpassed desktop conversions for the first time. In 2022, mobile expanded its lead, accounting for 53% of conversions, 8% higher than desktop. We expect this upward trend to continue. The convenience and ease offered by mobile shopping makes it a powerful tool for both consumers and retailers.

With the forecasted increase in mobile conversions, optimizing your website for mobile shopping and leveraging mobile messaging to engage customers will arguably be the most vital strategy for retailers in 2023. 

To create a seamless mobile journey, retailers should:

  • Text your target audience. They’re already on their phones, so drop into their inbox to let them know their favorite products are on sale or back in stock during the holiday sale rush. Include links to bring them straight to the product. 
  • Make sure your website is optimized for mobile shopping. This requires working with an in-house dev expert or a vendor to ensure responsive design, fast loading times, simplified navigation, mobile payment options, and more.
  • Create a three-click journey. It might follow this path: Tailored text message offering a discount, encouraging the consumer to check out an item similar to a previous purchase > They view the product and apply their Black Friday discount code > Check out. 
  • Use MMS messaging to engage with customers. This could include static images, gifs, and videos to tell your brand’s story. 

How to win Cyber Week 2023

Cyber Week 2023 will bring opportunities as well as challenges for retailers. Based on our projections, here’s what you should keep in mind:

Challenge: Retailers will compete for market share on Black Friday. 

Opportunity: Spend is high across the entirety of Cyber Week, so don’t wait for the big day to start targeting consumers. Market to them early, and lean into brand awareness in the weeks leading up to Cyber Week.

Challenge: AOV will likely increase, but it’s unclear whether this is the result of inflation.

Opportunity: Upsell and cross-sell strategically. Give customers a reason to spend more with you. 

Challenge: The majority of customers are likely to shop on their phones this Cyber Week. 

Opportunity: Create a seamless product discovery and checkout journey on mobile.

With these opportunities in mind, you’ll be primed to make the most of the holiday shopping season. Want to learn more about Cyber Week 2023, including the current state of retail and BFCM best practices? Download 2023 Black Friday and Beyond: Strategies to Boost Your Revenue.


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Emily Black

Emily is a seasoned writer with an MA in writing from Royal Holloway, University of London. She’s the Senior Writer at Wunderkind, where she utilizes her expertise in eCommerce, MarTech, SEO, and copywriting to create insightful blogs, reports, whitepapers, and case studies. Emily brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Wunderkind community.