Black Friday, Cyber Monday (BFCM) is over, and let’s face it—we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Now it’s time to look in the rearview and wrap up the key learnings in a neat package (with a bow on top).
BFCM 2022 Performance
“Spending pulled back somewhat during the late summer period, and it seems to be re-accelerating,” says Jeanna Smialek, federal reserve and economics reporter at The New York Times on a recent episode of The Daily. “It looks like right now the American consumer is doing pretty well.”
There was a lot of panic surrounding whether consumers would be spending as much this year amidst economic concerns, but alas, online consumer spending reached a record-breaking $9.12 billion during Black Friday this year, according to data from Adobe Analytics. This totaled 2.3% growth year over year, which is further confirmation for eCommerce retailers that online retail is still booming despite the recession. Cyber Monday itself was the biggest online shopping day of the year, with spending reaching $11.3 billion—a 5.8% increase from last year.
The graph below depicts the average order volume (AOV) for Wunderkind clients since July 2019. Although the inflation rate hit 7.7% in November, this shows that consumers are spending more money on average within one shop, in line with rising inflation.
In 2022, Wunderkind observed 6x the revenue in November as in October, showing consumers were still keen to spend with the brands they trust in the run-up to the holidays.
BFCM 2022 Takeaways
Here is a holistic look at some of the key learnings from this year’s BFCM:
1. Campaigns began earlier
Compared to previous years, campaigns started and ran even earlier throughout the month of November. This trend began a few years ago; however, it was accelerated by the pandemic as brands rushed to ensure customers bought up their stock. The supply chain issues prevalent at the time caused panic about how retailers would deliver inventory to their customers on time, so spreading out BFCM 2022 over days or weeks provided a bit of a safety net. Now, retailers are competing with one another to launch their campaigns earlier—and make them bigger and better.
Brands should communicate the timing of their campaigns, whatever they opt for. If you’re running campaigns throughout the entire month, make sure your customers know about it. Leverage one-to-one emails and texts to communicate directly with customers over the holidays, so they know exactly what they’re getting and when.
2. Beware of consumer skepticism
Media coverage of BFCM was often focused on whether consumers were really getting the deals they thought they were after research emerged from Which? suggesting many holiday discounts weren’t as they appeared. Prices had been hiked up before being discounted to appear lower than they really were.
Brands caught advertising ‘fake deals’ included Argos, Amazon, and Currys PC. Some retailers argued that the changes in price were simply due to supply and demand, or varying manufacturing costs. However, consumers were still wary, as this BFCM story was picked up by many media outlets.
Despite the negative press, consumers continued to spend. Trust between the customer and the brand is crucial for ensuring you don’t lose loyal shoppers to competitors who are transparent about their prices.
3. Sustainability and morality sells
In Wunderkind’s research leading up to the holidays, we found that consumers were particularly conscious of brand morality and ethics. With more competition than ever before, brands need to stand out and give consumers a reason to shop with them.
Our 2022 Consumer Insights Report suggested that:
Contrary to the mainstream, some brands opted for ‘Green-Friday’ messaging and took a sustainability angle by not running flash sales. Our report revealed that 42.8% of consumers surveyed said they take a brand’s position on sustainability into consideration when making a purchase. Sustainability campaigns are particularly relevant to Gen Z, as 31% are interested in buying secondhand.
4. Loyalty pays
It’s no secret that customers are at the heart of every retailer’s decision-making. 83.2% of customers said price matters most in their purchase, so the winners of BFCM 2022 were the ones who built up a loyal customer group and encouraged consumers to spend with them.
BFCM is much easier when you already have a loyal customer base waiting to shop with you, who are in on your communications and made aware of any sales you may be running. Brands should consider personalized messaging to build loyalty throughout the year, generating more conversions and therefore revenue around the holidays.
5. Mobile commerce was key
Who doesn’t love a bit of screen time? On Thanksgiving, mobile commerce accounted for 55% of consumer spending. Mobile shopping is taking precedence as it rose 8.3% year over year, reaching an all-time high.
The consumer experience is being optimized across mobile, with functionality such as Apple Pay and Buy Now Pay Later making it easier than ever for customers to check out and spend on their phone with cost-splitting technology particularly favored during the cost of living crisis.
The graph below depicts revenue share across device type for Wunderkind clients over the last five years. Mobile is visibly increasing in its share of sales and conversions (although AOV was still higher on desktop).
Wunderkind’s 2022 BFCM Results (US)
What did we get up to over BFCM week? The answer is quite a lot, actually. We:
- Tracked over 300 million page views per day
- Sent 31 million emails per day
- Generated $143 million in revenue for our Wunderkind clients
- Totaling 12% of revenue for clients with email and text
For a few of Wunderkind’s US clients, their 9-day BFCM revenue counts for 16-24% of their total annual revenue, emphasizing the importance of the holiday season. For one footwear retailer, their November and December sales made up half of their annual digital revenue.
But it wasn’t just our US clients who saw their efforts pay off. In the UK, Wunderkind’s Marketing Pulse, which analyzed over 52 million shopper journeys in the lead-up to the Black Friday weekend, saw web traffic to UK retailers’ eCommerce sites build steadily towards the annual discounting event.
Web traffic peaked on Black Friday, up 49% week-over-week, while digital shopper traffic volumes climbed 16.6% year-over-year. On Cyber Monday, web visits increased 25% week-over-week. Conversions almost doubled when compared to the previous week, up 98.2%.
Top tips for Black Friday 2023 (based on our data):
Focus on Buy Now, Pay Later
Buy Now, Pay Later, grew 78% the week leading up to Black Friday. Consumers are willing to spend more when payments are split up, so you can attract customers by emphasizing payment-splitting options to give them additional time to pay. 60% of consumers prefer BNPL over credit cards, and there was a 68% lift in BNPL-financed purchases in the week from November 27th, to the week prior.
Meet consumers on their mobile
76% of Cyber Week traffic was mobile, with social media referring 10-22% of that traffic. With consumers taking different shopping routes from their phones, it’s important to meet them where they are—for example, through text messages, as one-to-one text messaging has a 99% open rate.
Discounting is key
That’s what it’s all about, right? Or at least that’s what consumers are looking for. The average US discount (cross-category) was 19%, a 6% year-over-year increase. It’s expected to continue rising in the years to come, as consumers are more money-conscious, and therefore are looking for better discounts.
When is Black Friday 2023?
Now that it’s a wrap on BFCM 2022, there’s only one thing to do: start planning for next year! Black Friday will fall on November 24, 2023, and Cyber Monday will fall on November 27, 2023. But don’t forget: providing great marketing experiences for customers throughout the entire year will deliver a far greater customer lifetime value.