Black Friday 2023: 5 eCommerce Trends You Need to Look Out For
By Courtney O'Riordan • Last updated: Monday Oct 30th, 2023
Black Friday 2023 will present a unique set of challenges for online retailers to navigate.
The cost of living crisis, ongoing supply chain disruptions, and rampant inflation will work in tandem to create an exceptionally unpredictable sales event.
Don’t fear. There are still expectations that shoppers will spend more this Black Friday.1
Let’s walk through the trends you should capitalise on to succeed during one of the most critical periods in a retailer’s calendar.
What is Black Friday?
The final Friday of November is traditionally Black Friday, which falls on November 24th this year. It’s often considered the biggest shopping day of the year.
Online and physical stores offer heavily discounted products to mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
Nowadays, the inclusion of Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday have contributed to an extended weekend of shopping.
These key dates mean shopping isn’t just a pastime. It’s a planned activity that shoppers see as an integral part of their Christmas period.
5 Black Friday eCommerce trends you need to look out for
The uncertain eCommerce landscape is the very reason why you should make the most of Black Friday.
Liam Patterson from Bidnamic, a marketing technology platform that helps retailers unlock their full Google Shopping potential, summed up some of the key factors currently affecting the sector:
“The ongoing cost of living crisis and inevitable recession is making consumers tighten their belts, while online advertisers, particularly eCommerce companies, are readjusting from a period of high growth at any cost to a more competitive landscape with higher acquisition costs.”2
With most consumers across the globe being very likely to shop online, you must maximise this stream of virtually guaranteed income to maintain your position in the market.3
To thrive on one of the most lucrative retail days of the year, you should consider participating in the following eCommerce trends to increase Black Friday sales.
1. Mobile shopping
If you don’t understand the importance of optimising your site for mobile, you may lose out on eCommerce sales.
Black Friday 2022 revealed that the most used device to shop on was mobile, accounting for 78% of online sessions.4
It is clear that eCommerce stores must optimise their site for mCommerce to achieve optimum performance this shopping season.
To achieve this, be sure to pay particular attention to:
- Images and videos: Make sure your site’s visual elements are resized so they display correctly on mobile devices.
- Load times: As a general rule across your eCommerce site, fast load times should be a priority to prevent visitors from clicking off.
- Navigation: Encourage visitors to explore your site by making it accessible with a user-friendly design.
- Streamline the checkout: Include alternative payment options such as Apple Pay, Google Pay or PayPal, and offer autofill to speed up and simplify the process.
Due to the nature of modern consumers, boosting sales and improving the on-site experience shopping experience could begin with embracing the age of smartphone shopping.
Pro tip: Mobile sites can be notoriously tricky to navigate, even when optimised.
Prevent your visitors from dropping off by guiding them across your site with Salesfire’s Digital Assistant.
This all-in-one CRO tool will be on hand to offer a fully personalised and helpful product discovery journey that will help you improve your conversion rate.
Suggested reading: Check out another one of our blogs where we delve more into the benefits of mCommerce.
2. Free shipping
The correlation between the cost of living crisis and consumer spending habits is undeniable.
Naturally, encouraging shoppers to checkout is becoming more difficult – even when amazing deals are on offer.
You can make Black Friday a little easier for your customers with the added incentive of free shipping.
Look towards the many eCommerce giants who already offer free shipping as a standard to secure purchases.
This has contributed to 66% of consumers expecting free delivery for all online orders.5
Given current financial struggles, this expectation may become a necessity.
This is a powerful way of offering your customer something of value during a cost of living crisis that will entice them to check out.
It’s paramount that you make visitors aware that you offer delivery at no extra charge during pivotal moments of the on-site journey.
Deploy Overlays to communicate this directly to your online shoppers to reduce cart abandonment and prevent them from exiting your site to browse elsewhere.
Considerations: Logistically it may not be viable for your business to offer free shipping year-round.
If so, include it as part of your Black Friday deals to increase online sales during the cost of living crisis.
3. Increasing social media presence
More than ever, consumers are carefully planning how they will spend each and every penny.
This means Christmas shopping is beginning earlier in order for shoppers to find the best bargains.
Give your products a chance to be part of those festive spending plans by revealing precisely what you will offer.
To do this, you’ve got to cut through the Black Friday noise by promoting your deals across your social media accounts ahead of time.
How can you develop a content plan to create a buzz of anticipation amongst your audience?
- Exclusive previews: Be sure to utilise short-form video content to extend your reach.
- Countdown timers: Instil urgency by reiterating the limited time your discounts are available.
- Engaging content: Take advantage of the popularity of current social media trends by incorporating them into your plan.
Putting together a clear social strategy in the lead-up to Black Friday will prove more vital this year than in previous years to secure website traffic that will convert.
Implementing the above points will ensure your audience will view, interact and remember your brand during their daily 2 hours of social media usage in the run-up to Black Friday.6
Considerations: Determine whether to include other key November dates, such as Single’s Day and Cyber Monday, in your content plan by researching their performance in your industry.
To see whether this is right for your business, weigh it up on our benchmarking and eCommerce insight tool, Trends.
Suggested reading: Discover more ways you can level up your strategy with Black Friday: Getting the Most Out of Your Social Media Campaigns.
4. Extended Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals
Black Friday is not the only date in November that can improve your conversion rate.
Online retailers are now extending their deals to run the week before and the weekend after to take advantage of the increased internet traffic generated by additional key dates such as Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
Monitoring the performance of your industry via Trends over the BF/CM period will be particularly important this year due to external factors that could impact your sales.
For example, continuing financial worries for consumers could create unpredictable spending patterns during this time.
Observing real-time consumer behaviour in Trends will allow you to make crucial tweaks to your holiday season campaigns.
Considerations: To support your sales period strategy, deploy the all-in-one CRO tool, Digital Assistant, on-site.
This will allow your eCommerce team to implement reactive campaigns in a matter of clicks and respond to real-time consumer behaviour.
5. Rising customer acquisition costs
The cost of acquiring a new customer is four to five times greater than retaining a current one.7
This means eCommerce brands should be turning their attention towards focused customer acquisition strategies and encouraging customer loyalty even during Black Friday, a date normally synonymous with an influx of new website visitors.
Bidnamic’s Liam Patterson offered helpful insights regarding the growing CAC for retailers:
“From our perspective, many companies fail to adjust to this new reality. It’s vital for marketers to build sound profit metrics into campaigns and successful online businesses are getting savvier with their ad spend and taking time to understand and implement the broad range of tech innovations available to them, such as automation and AI that enable greater optimisation.
“Smart eCommerce brands are focusing on growing D2C this Black Friday. An omnichannel mix on platforms like Google Shopping allows for greater control and personalisation than other channels — like marketplaces in particular — and also captures highly valued first-party data.” 8
Pro tip: Get started with collecting your own first party data.
Keep it simple by deploying an email capture Overlay to create a line of future communication that you can use to develop a long-lasting relationship.
Make Black Friday 2023 a success
Enjoying a triumphant Q4 largely depends on your Black Friday and cyber Christmas shopping performance.
Luckily for eCommerce stores from all industries, Salesfire can ease that pressure.
Our suite of tools can effectively support individual goals, implement current trends and increase those all-important conversions.
All while creating a personalised customer experience that will convert first-time shoppers into loyal ones.
Don’t forget to make industry-informed choices for your site by benchmarking your performance against real-time data with Trends.
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