2023’s Black Friday Was Truly Omnichannel

Sales exploded over Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Thanksgiving across online stores, mobile devices, and old-fashioned brick-and-mortar stores.

Did we reach peak omnichannel this Black Friday and Cyber Monday? It may be the case. 2023 saw sales grow across multiple sales channels (and payment methods), not just on the Black Friday weekend but on Thanksgiving, too.

Nate Delesline of Retail Dive reports that consumers spent $9.8 billion online on Black Friday, and according to an article by Digital Commerce 360’s Mary Meisenzahl, consumers spent a further $12.4 billion on Cyber Monday—beating previous estimates.

Even before Black Friday sales began, shoppers were busy spending. In another article by Meisenzahl, they state, “Thanksgiving online spending grew 5.5% over [the] year.” This potentially suggests strong sales as we head further into the holiday season.

And 2023 was more than just an in-store and online shopping experience. More consumers than ever are making purchases on mobile devices.

For Thanksgiving, Meisenzahl wrote, “Mobile shopping ruled the day, growing 14% year over year to account for $3.3 billion in sales,” while for Black Friday, Delesline said, “ $5.3 billion of all online sales on Black Friday, up 10.4% year over year” representing 54% of online sales, beating desktop devices.

“An uncertain demand environment pushed retailers to deliver big discounts this season,” said Adobe Digital Insights lead analyst Vivek Pandya, “while also fortifying their e-commerce services with flexible payment methods, better personalization, and enhanced mobile functionality.” 

Long story short, retailers are unsure if the 2023 holiday season will be good, pushing them to make bigger discounts than usual, and have taken steps to add more payment methods and improve personalization and mobile-friendliness.

Consumers have been struck by inflation and are hungry for discounts, and it seems the retailers willing to give away the most significant discounts are winning. Amazon’s record sales during their October Prime sale are a shining example.

Interestingly, millennials and Gen Zers were more likely than other age groups to shop in person and even head to malls.

According to an article by Retail Brew’s Alex Vuocolo, while half of millennial and Gen Z shoppers said Amazon was their favorite holiday shopping destination, 36% preferred shipping in person at the mall

So, merchants shouldn’t give up on brick-and-mortar stores just yet. (To be truly ‘omnichannel,’ merchants should embrace both online and offline sales.)

As was widely expected, BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) payments grew throughout the Black Friday weekend. Melissa Daniels of Modern Retail summarized the following:

  • Klarna saw 29.5% more orders on Black Friday YoY.
  • Afterpay’s app usage was up 16% YoY.
  • Zip’s Cyber Monday sales were up 21% YoY.

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