In ecommerce, Black Friday is the biggest and most valuable days of the year. Understanding vital trends, such as increases in traffic to your site and popular items, can better prepare you for Black Friday.
One of the best ways to predict how Black Friday will play out is by looking at past events and patterns. In our 2023 Black Friday Ecommerce Strategy & Stats Report you’ll find the biggest trends of Black Friday 2022, to help you better predict this year’s performance ahead of the curve.
Here are some key takeaways from last year’s Black Friday that you can use to help prepare for Black Friday 2023.
When Is Black Friday 2023?
First of all, and in case you didn’t know, Black Friday falls on the 24th of November 2023. The main sales event always falls on the last Friday of November, however it’s important to note that many ecommerce businesses will start their deals early and extend them into Cyber Monday (which occurs the following week), and into December. This includes all sectors – from fashion to electricals – so it’s important to establish a well-informed and functional Black Friday sales strategy well ahead of time.
Black Friday Online Traffic Trends
Looking at the run-up to Black Friday 2022, the 24th of November (the day before Black Friday) and Black Friday itself accounted for 28% of all online traffic in the week leading up to Black Friday (10% increase on 2021). Overall, online traffic increased 69% from the start of the week until Black Friday.
It’s important to strategise early to make the most of the increased traffic over this period. This can include what you’re offering for Black Friday and where you’re going to promote your offers, as well as preparing your website ready for the watershed of customers – this can include promo codes to tempt customers to spend during this limited time. Or, another clever Black Friday sales strategy is to create an optimised post purchase email strategy to increase retention rates, even after the event has passed.
To make the most of this opportunity, provide a sneak peek of what’s on offer for Black Friday. With the increased traffic online, offering a sneak peek should spark standard consumer behaviour prediction, keeping consumers coming back – if they have an early idea of what’s on offer then they’ll be prepared to come back on the day.
The Busiest Times For Black Friday Shopping
To beat the virtual queues on Black Friday, the early bird shoppers are expected to be online first thing in the morning; in 2021, online users across ecommerce increased in numbers from 8am onwards leading to the first peak time at 10pm.
For mobile users, however, the peak time for online traffic from their devices was 8pm – a massive contrast to desktop activity, where the peak time for online shopping was 2pm.
Interestingly we can see that mobile users browse increasingly throughout the day from 6am through to the peak at 8pm whereas desktop traffic declines hour by hour after its 2pm peak.
Throughout the day, 76% of users preferred to browse on mobile devices to find their Black Friday sales opportunities (2% more than 2021). This draws a spotlight on the difference between mobile and desktop browsing behaviour. A key insight that ecommerce brands can use to their advantage.
To capitalise on these early shoppers, make sure your website and advertising campaigns are up and running well in advance of the 8am rush. Have your website speed up to par with your competitors as you’re likely to see a huge increase in traffic, this will help prevent your conversion rates suffering.
How To Reduce Cart Abandonment on Black Friday
We know that sales events like Black Friday tend to drive down cart abandonment rates due to the amount of urgency and drive to bag a bargain.
But there are other ways to reduce abandoned carts around this time, with specific tools and strategies you can put in place.
The average cart abandonment rate over the Black Friday period in 2022 was 76.15% which is around 3% lower than 2021 which was 79.88%. The cart abandonment rate over the past 12 months was 79.53% making Black Friday shoppers around 3% year on year more likely to convert.
Although there is a significant drop in cart abandonment rates on Black Friday, these figures aren’t too staggering, so help keep your shoppers ‘in the bag’, making the most of abandonment and conversion rate optimisation services will be most effective in the run up to Black Friday.
So, what can you do to set yourself apart from your competitors? Do you offer free delivery or guarantees? How can retailers help the consumers? Anything that can add value to your customers will also help boost your sales during this key period.
Focus on improving user experience on-site by removing distractions from pages, or adding an easy pop up that takes people to the checkout, for example, to help the overall ecommerce customer journey.
The Most Popular Products During Black Friday 2022
When it comes to product sales via category, fashion lead the way in 2022 suggesting that ecommerce fashion brands utilised the best sales strategies on Black Friday. The fashion sector alone had the most amount of online traffic with a massive 58% share, while retail consumers accounted for 37%.
If we start by analysing the beginning of the week (in the run-up to Black Friday), this sector saw hoodies, joggers and cardigans rise in online sales in comparison to other items.
By the time Black Friday had concluded in 2022, T-shirts concluded as the most popular product of choice taking a 24% share of online sales, followed by dresses, and then jumpers and/or sweaters.
Fashion continued to excel in sales, as the Jewellery sector saw a high add-to-cart rate compared to other sectors. In fact, the jewellery sector’s add-to-cart rate increased 10% from the week before to Black Friday – a very significant number. You can find out more about the latest 2022 Fashion Ecommerce Stats and Trends here.
Other sectors that grow heavily throughout the week leading up to Black Friday are cosmetics and baby & child, which increase by 6% and 8% respectively. For those operating within the baby & child sector, Black Friday is a great opportunity to capitalise on the growing demand for family products at lower prices, especially in the lead up to Christmas.
The travel industry accounted for just 5% of the overall amount of traffic during the Black Friday period. We can assume this sector is more inclined to push January and New Year timeframes according to online travel industry trends, since the majority of travel sales occur here.
Take a look at trends on your website, as well as these previous Black Friday figures, and see if you can tap into the popularity of certain products by offering deals that match what your consumers want.
Black Friday vs Cyber Monday
Following Black Friday, you can harness any information gathered from online traffic and sales, and focus on what consumers were browsing on your website to create even better deals for Cyber Monday and in the week after.
Considering the overall online traffic pattern before and after the Black Friday, it is evident that Black Friday records a higher volume of sessions (8.53%) than Cyber Monday (7.44%), showing that users are more likely to purchase during Black Friday.
During Cyber Monday mobile accounted for 55.15% of all online sales, a value which is 4% lower in contrast with Black Friday.
Our report shows that traffic remains high in the week after Black Friday. In total there is more traffic in the week following Black Friday than the week prior. Capitalise on the pre-Christmas rush with extended deals throughout the following week to really get the most out of this seasonal promotion. Retailers can use this data to understand the best days for ecommerce sales.
With the two sales events being so close to Christmas, anything you learn from consumer activity can be invaluable for the Christmas shopping period. Black Friday may only be one day, but you can carry on the hype for a long time after.
You can read more about 2022’s Black Friday trends in our 2023 Black Friday Ecommerce Strategy & Stats Report.
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Brad Ward is the SEO & Content Manager at SaleCycle. Brad is a former magazine journalist with over 8 years experience in digital, including SEO, social media and copywriting. Brad has written thousands of articles for a range of different sectors including online gambling, travel, education, sports and ecommerce.