The holiday season has arrived with chaos, mega-sale stampedes, product shortages, discounts, and excitement! Customers and ecommerce owners alike look forward to cyber week—the period between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday. Last year, retailers globally made an all-time high of $281 billion in online sales during those five days, $68 billion in the US alone, up 9% compared to 2021. The dates for 2023, 24th - 27th November, are just around the corner, and every seller can utilize the opportunity to maximize profits, clear old stock, and find new customers.
What can you, as a seller, do to make the most out of the upcoming cyber week? In this special post, I’ll share some jaw-dropping Black Friday and Cyber Monday revenue stats, describe holiday season consumer behavior patterns, and share some strategies for success. But first, let’s take a quick look at the history behind Black Friday and Cyber Monday and what makes these holidays significant for the retail and ecommerce industry.
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What Is Black Friday?
The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday has marked the beginning of the American Christmas shopping season since 1952. Historically, Americans celebrated Thanksgiving with parades that ended with an appearance by Santa. The idea that "Santa has arrived" meant families started Christmas shopping immediately after Thanksgiving. Retailers took advantage by offering exciting deals and discounts. They increased Black Friday mania by offering limited deals and opening stores at 6 a.m. Shoppers would line up outside retail stores and try to get the best deals before everyone else. With the advent of ecommerce, Black Friday sales extended online. In the past few years, retail websites often crashed due to the surge in online visitors!
What Is Cyber Monday?
The marketing term Cyber Monday was first introduced in 2005 to describe the Monday after Black Friday. At the time, the majority of people had slow Internet at home. After window shopping on Thanksgiving weekend, millions of Americans would use the high-speed internet connection at work to find better online deals for products they liked. The concept of Cyber Monday emerged to take advantage of this buyer behavior and give smaller ecommerce websites an opportunity to compete with larger retailers. Over time, retailers associated the term cyber with electronic gadgets and device sales, making the holiday increasingly popular.
How is Cyber Monday different from Black Friday? Although many retailers and brands are offering Black Friday deals online, Black Friday is still seen as a time to go to a physical store and deals while Cyber Monday is only online.
Cyber Monday vs. Black Friday Statistics
In the past few years, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have merged into a single retail event that boosts both in-store and online shopping. Let’s evaluate stats, trends, and consumer behavior to better understand the difference and what you can expect.
Black Friday Cyber Monday Revenue Statistics 2022
Cyber week shopping trends from 2022 highlight that a whopping 196 million people shopped in-store and online during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Amazon was the clear winner again, with 23% of total Black Friday revenue. Consumers spent an average of $325.44 on holiday-related purchases, while the expected average spend was highest on Cyber Monday at $218, $13 higher than on Black Friday.
Overall, we observed sales in 2022 increased almost 4% from 2021, and Cyber Monday beat Black Friday spending by $2.03 billion.
Consumer Behavior Differences
People respond differently to different occasions. However, when it comes to the online shopping craze, we don’t see much difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
However, there are some important consumer behavior patterns that you must consider when developing your ecommerce strategy for the holiday season.
- 37% of American consumers will start their shopping season in November, while 26% aim to start as early as October.
- People loved sellers that offered “click and collect” services. They could order online and collect the order in-store once ready. As a result, 54% of shoppers are more likely to buy at stores that offer an online buy-and-pick-up in-store system.
- Mobile continues to be the preferred platform for finding and purchasing products online. For example, 78% of Black Friday web traffic came from smartphones.
- While 38% of consumers bought only what they planned, 47% of people who planned allowed for some impulsive buys.
Overall, Black Friday is more popular for brick-and-mortar businesses. As a result, retailers reported that over 122.7 million shoppers visited their stores, a 17% increase from 2021. On the other hand, Cyber Monday saw consumers spend $11.3 billion on online purchases, the biggest online shopping day in US history.
According to Bluecore, first-time buyers account for 37% of Black Friday shoppers, while fifth-time buyers come in second at 31%. They also found that footwear and apparel drive more traffic on Black Friday than Cyber Monday, an opposite trend to jewelry, gifts, floral, and luxury items. What’s even more interesting is that 6% more shoppers researched their products before buying on Black Friday. This is definitely an impact of inflation. As prices rise, consumers are more cautious about where they spend their money. Another insight Bluecore discovered is the number of shoppers who made a first purchase with a brand and made another purchase on Black Friday increased by 5%.
Predictions for Cyber Monday vs. Black Friday 2023
Many sellers ask the question: are online sales better on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? The statistics indicate that today, both days represent a single mega-shopping event where online retailers and in-store sellers get plenty of opportunities to generate revenue. Data from Demand Sage makes some exciting predictions about Cyber Week 2023. They predict that this year's Cyber Monday will be the biggest yet, with revenue expected to surpass $13.7 billion. Moreover, Cyber Monday interest is higher than ever as 80% of all Americans plan to purchase on that day due to the increased cost of living. So you can expect more purchases on your discounted products and deals. Electronics will definitely be the main attraction, as 79.4% of all planners look forward to purchasing them.
How Can Online Sellers Prepare for Cyber Monday and Black Friday?
You still have a month to develop and optimize your ecommerce strategy for cyber week 2023. Here are some suggestions that ecommerce owners can use to turn the event into a remarkable growth opportunity.
1. Be Aware of Consumer Trends
Cyber Monday vs. Black Friday statistics from 2022 highlight trends that all ecommerce sellers need to be aware of.
If we look at trends, Statista found that 26% of consumers prefer to do their holiday shopping in early November, while 18% prefer to spend in September and October. So, your marketing efforts to generate maximum revenue should start well before Black Friday. You can begin promotional campaigns in early November or even late October to create a buzz around your brand.
According to Sale Cycle, the average abandoned cart rate for last year's Black Friday was 76.15%, which is actually 3% lower than in 2021. Still, abandoned carts remain an issue you shouldn't overlook. The tendency of several customers to shop before Cyber Week and extended Cyber Monday offers reduces customer urgency to make a purchase. As a result, they end up abandoning filled carts on retailer sites. To perform well this season, try to push customers to complete their purchases sooner. Meanwhile, have a marketing strategy for both planned and impulse buys.
Another critical consumer trend was a significant increase in people shopping from mobile devices. Queue It found that 47% of all online US holiday sales came from mobile devices, a 4% increase from 2021. So, make sure your store is mobile-friendly to offer your audience a smooth experience this year, resulting in higher revenue. For optimal customer interaction, choose a website theme with a responsive design and fast loading speeds.
2. Scope The Market For Trending Products
Rather than guessing, scope the market and see which items are already doing well and will likely sell well on Black Friday. This gives you a competitive edge. Offering the most trending products will also bring consumers to you instead of having to market to them. However, you must ensure you are stocked up and pick the right products.
3. Plan Your Marketing Campaigns in Advance
Plan your marketing images, content, and ad campaigns as early as possible to make the most of this year's shopping events—Fine-tune your lead generation strategy in the coming weeks leading up to the mega event. Use social media and reward programs to boost your email sign-ups. Here’s a quick tip—Deploy an email pop-up on your website highlighting your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and asking those who visit it to opt-in. Consider rolling out a sign-up offer to drive popup engagement.
For more tips to improve your Shopify store before the big day, consider using the Semrush Ecommerce Booster app. The app runs an in-depth audit of your store and creates an action plan with detailed instructions to make your product pages sell better. Built-in AI tools also help you generate product and meta descriptions, improve image quality, write alt texts, and remove image backgrounds.
To increase your online store sales:
- Enter your domain name in the app and click on audit
- The app generates a to-do list of prioritized actions for website improvement.
- Work on your top-performing pages first using the product view.
Each task has detailed instructions so there is no need for additional research on your part!
4. Create Profitable Offers, Deals & Discounts
Customers expect discounts, but that doesn't mean you should sell items at a loss! You can be selective about your offers. Some ideas for profitable holiday deals include:
- Bundle a low price item with an expensive one
- Giveaway product samples instead of the total product
- Discounts only for bulk orders or purchases above a minimum value
- Discounts only for first-time purchases
- Discounts only for loyal customers
- Free shipping instead of reduced prices.
- Content upgrades like a recipe e-book, DIY guide, and so on.
Regardless of what strategy you choose to go with, get the word out at the right time.
5. Create an email marketing strategy
A solid email marketing campaign can boost sales during cyber week. Initially, send preliminary emails introducing your brand and connecting with your audience. Then you can send emails with exclusive offers and limited-time deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Remember to:
- Write attention-grabbing titles to stand out from the crowd
- Use humor in your email content
- Create a sense of urgency using timers and counters
- Use existing holiday season templates in your email marketing software
6. Support A Cause
Sometimes, it’s not just about selling but giving. With philanthropic trends like Giving Tuesday growing in popularity every year, you might want to consider giving a percentage of your profits to charity. Yes, you may lose out on a large percentage of your revenue, but you’ll gain the trust and following of consensus buyers who will return to your store throughout the next year. When done right, donating to charity can be more powerful than most sellers think. Grow your loyal customer base and simultaneously do something positive for the world.
7. Utilize TikTok
Among all the big social media platforms, TikTok is one the best places to promote your products, especially on Cyber Week. A whopping 80% of TikTok users who bought something on Black Friday said TikTok played a role. The #blackfriday2022 hashtag had almost 250 million views alone, while #blackfriday2023 already has 1 million at the time of writing. For best results, create vibrant and striking 15-second ads that capture the essence of your products or collaborate with popular influencers.
Cyber Monday vs. Black Friday Amazon Seller Tips
You might wonder if you sell on Amazon—is Black Friday or Cyber Monday better for Amazon sellers? Third-party sellers on the retail giant’s platform can also profit on both days. Moreover, both days perform equally well as shoppers make purchases throughout the cyber week. We give special tips for Amazon sellers below.
Increase Your Visibility on Amazon
Because of the competition, you simply can’t overlook your visibility on the world's biggest ecommerce platform. Here are some quick suggestions:
- Use sponsored ads to promote your products.
- Use the right keywords to optimize your product titles and listings.
- Focus on your customer reviews - products with positive reviews should show on top.
- Register for FBA to become a prime seller.
- Be sure to have sufficient stock before the holiday season kicks off.
Pro Tip: To properly optimize your product listings, use intelligent tools like Keyword Wizard for Amazon that help you find the perfect search terms for your business.
Improve Your Product Reviews
Building an impressive online reputation takes time. But it is never too late. Here are some tips for you to rack up great reviews for your business:
- Reach out to older customers with personalized emails requesting a review
- Offer exclusive holiday deals as an incentive to leave reviews
- Reach out to influencers for video testimonials that they can upload
- Respond politely or delete negative reviews
- Create your response to delayed orders in advance.
You can read our guide on how to get more product reviews on Amazon for more ideas!
Win The Buy Box
83% of Amazon sales happen through the Buy Box. Brand registry sellers have exclusive access to their products in the buy box. But if you are reselling common products and competing with several retailers for the same item, you want to win the box.
For everyday products with multiple vendors, Amazon picks one top reseller for all customers to buy from, showcases a few others, and ignores the rest. Highly competitive algorithms assess the vendors' past performance before selecting the best one. The company may also rotate the Buy Box between a few different sellers and give the spot to a new merchant weekly.
If you are reselling, you want to win that buy box and watch your sales grow exponentially. Check out our guide on detailed strategies on how to win the buy box. If you have already won the Buy Box, you can use a tool like Listing Alerts for Amazon to notify you of changes in Buy Box status.
2023 Cyber Week is gonna be bigger than ever. Your customers are ready to check their holiday items off their lists. Are you ready to surprise them with your awesome deals and discounts? Use Black Friday and Cyber Monday data, insights, and predictions to develop the perfect marketing strategy for Cyber Week 2023.
Build a strong foundation of customer service, on-time delivery, and product quality in the coming months. Start marketing campaigns in advance, engage with your audience, and create a sense of urgency and exclusivity.
If you have a Shopify store, remember to audit and optimize your store for better conversions with the Ecommerce Booster app. The app audits the main areas of page performance: visual and text content, user experience, page speed, and accessibility on your site. Its built-in AI also helps you generate product and meta descriptions, improve image quality, write alt texts, and remove image backgrounds.
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Now that you have understood the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you may be wondering how to best prepare for the holiday season. Read our Complete Holiday Season Seller Guide and watch your profits climb!