The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday 2023
As the days grow shorter and the holiday season draws near, online retailers around the world are gearing up for one of the most exhilarating and lucrative shopping events of the year: Black Friday. This annual retail frenzy, which falls on the day after Thanksgiving, has evolved far beyond its brick-and-mortar origins and now presents an unmissable opportunity for ecommerce businesses.
Online retailers can harness the power of Black Friday to boost sales, engage customers and lay the groundwork for a successful holiday season. In this guide, we’ll cover the key components of thriving on Black Friday and beyond so you can tackle the season launch with confidence and exceed your business goals.
These Black Friday Statistics Paint the Picture
Consumers as a whole remember the roots of Black Friday, which saw massive crowds converge on big box stores in the middle of the night to score deep discounts on everything from apparel to electronics.
But just how big has this retail holiday gotten over the years? These Black Friday statistics paint a pretty clear picture:
- Black Friday generated $65.3 billion globally in 2022 just through online sales.
- Ecommerce sales on Black Friday 2022 increased 14% year-over-year.
- U.S. consumers spent $270 billion online during the holiday season last year.
- Shoppers in the U.S. spent $9.1 billion on Black Friday 2022.
- 87 million consumers in the U.S. alone shop online during Black Friday.
- The average spend for Black Friday is just over $200 per shopper.
- Black Friday sees 3x the website traffic as a regular October day.
How to Optimize Your Online Store for the Rush
The shopper experience will make or break how well your business does on Black Friday. This is why optimizing your online store at every point of the consumer journey is crucial for maximizing sales and ensuring a smooth shopping experience for your customers.
Don’t skip these steps when preparing for one of the biggest shopping days of the year:
- Make Time for Mobile: Test the mobile shopping experience thoroughly and identify areas for improvement, such as navigation and usability. Black Friday is a massive day for m-commerce with mobile devices driving 47% of spending during the holidays.
- Speed Up Your Site: Ensure your website can handle increased traffic. Test its performance under heavy loads and make necessary adjustments (like optimizing images) to improve speed and responsiveness, especially during checkout.
- Invest in Inventory: Carefully assess your inventory and stock levels to meet the expected surge in demand. Avoid overstocking or understocking popular items. As a backup plan, offer alternative products in case some items sell out.
- Prepare to Promote: Visit your growth marketing arsenal and create a stellar campaign that includes email marketing, social media campaigns, pay-per-click advertising, and search engine optimization (SEO).
- Strengthen Support: Increase your customer support capacity to handle the higher volume of inquiries and requests during Black Friday, possibly with chatbots or automated customer service solutions that can provide instant assistance.
There are plenty of additional steps you can take, such as ramping up your website security to prevent fraud or optimizing for voice search. However, even a few tweaks to prepare for the influx of traffic and a higher volume of sales will ensure a smoother, less hectic Black Friday.
Our Predictions for Black Friday 2023
As Black Friday rapidly approaches, experts throughout the retail industry are predicting everything from total sales revenue to how businesses will promote their sales
Mobile Focus: Consumers made almost half their purchases on mobile devices during last year’s holiday shopping season, and mobile commerce isn’t slowing down. In fact, more online retailers are focusing on the mobile experience with things like single-column emails and larger CTA buttons.
Personalized Gift Guides: Gift guides ahead of the holiday season are nothing new. However, with the help of AI algorithms and super-granular segmentation, brands can now offer truly personalized gift guides based on shopper behavior. At the very least, we’ll see guides for more specific demographics, such as “plant parents” or “globetrotters.”
Exclusive Early Access: The “Black Friday creep” has been its own trend in recent years, with retailers launching their sales way ahead of the actual day. While we don’t predict this phenomenon going away, we do foresee more exclusivity around early access. Email subscribers, loyalty program members and longtime customers will get to shop ahead of the masses.
As you gear up for Black Friday, remember: Careful planning and strategic marketing make all the difference. By following the insights and tips we’ve shared in this guide, you can maximize your online store’s success during this critical shopping event. Stay proactive, adapt to the evolving retail landscape and make this Black Friday your best one yet. Good luck!