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Unwrapping Cyber Week 2023

Lift the lid of this year’s Cyber Week seasonal trends.

With so much riding on this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, we look at how things have shaped up for merchants. We also lifted the lid of this year’s transaction data to see what it tells us about 2023’s seasonal trends.

Retail’s big discount week, marked by mega-deals on Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BF/CM) weekend, delivers a huge revenue punch for merchants right at the start of the holiday season. Initially, US concepts, BF/CM are now internationally recognised by merchants in all sectors. Across the globe, consumers now budget in advance for these high-profile sales events and are prepared to ramp up their spending accordingly. This year, the average Black Friday budget in France was 309 Euros.

So how have retailers performed in 2023?

In the US consumers spent a record $9.8 billion online on Black Friday, up 7.5% from last year. But while North America saw a record year for Cyber Week sales, Europe’s retailers were struggling to rally the same levels of success. Inflation may have played a role in this with rising costs resulting in smaller discounts than in previous years.

In the UK, Black Friday online sales dropped 12% compared to 2022. One bright spot for British merchants, however, was that fraudulent orders dropped dramatically, down 73% compared to 2022

Globally, discounts were a significant driver of Black Friday sales. Shoppers boosted their use of discount codes — adding them to 13% of orders, up from 7% a year ago. However, in the UK, the average discount consumers enjoyed on Black Friday, was down 3%. The lower value was reflected in the average size of a Black Friday discount, which came in at 19% this Black Friday, down from a 20% price break in 2022.

Electronics remain the most popular buy

Consumers eagerly anticipate discounts on every product category. 2023 was no exception, with big brands and smaller merchants all joining in to promote BF/CM events online and in-store to discount-hungry customers. In Europe, shoppers primarily looked for electronics products during Black Friday, followed by, clothing and accessories, as well as home appliances and décor.

Key 2023 holiday trends

Reading between the stats, some key trends have emerged from this year’s figures:

  • BF/CM sales started even earlier this year with many merchants starting their discount offers a week or so in advance, but Black Friday remains the biggest sales day. Instore, too many discounts in October can lead to a flattened sales spike.
  • Consumers’ online spending budgets top in-store, 61% versus 39%. This could be attributed to the longer discount windows available online and the fact that sales points are open 24/7.
  • Merchants invested more than ever in advertising their BF/CM events to encourage consumers to spend.
  • Discounting continues to play a significant role in driving demand during the Cyber week, with retailers offering an average of 30% off.
  • The holiday season isn’t over till the New Year’s bells ring. Consumers aren’t done with spending after BF/CM. Over half of consumers plan to make a purchase in the weeks following Black Friday and through Christmas.

Castles Technology can help you peak all year round

Once again, Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal days have proven to be vital to driving holiday sales. But what about the rest of the year? Merchants can’t just rely on discounts to drive consumers in-store. They must make the most of every sales touchpoint and experience to keep customers coming back for more.

Castles Technology has a full range of devices that make sure your customers have a great POS experience – helping to speed throughput, simplify purchases and keep them safe.

From mobile Android POS to unattended solutions and value-added software, we have everything merchants need to drive conversion and boost loyalty in-store. Our experts are here to make sure you’re ready for whatever the season brings.

Discover our latest Android POS solutions here.

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