With inflation top of mind for many this holiday season, retailers adjusted their outlooks to reflect tightened shopping budgets and less spending

However, a Gallup poll shows that Americans still plan to spend an average of $932 this holiday season and that 150 million people will shop during the holidays. This means plenty of opportunities for retailers – as long as they know how and where to target shoppers. 

Like previous years, online shopping overtook in-store shopping, and several notable trends stood out as ones to watch as we head into the rest of the holidays and 2023. By noticing how consumers shop during the busiest shopping season, retailers can better prepare for the year ahead and allocate their spend. 

Read to find out what Black Friday trends tell us about customers’ shopping preferences, and how can retailers can get ready. 

Online Shopping Reigns

The news is what you’d expect; online shopping overtook in-store shopping once again. Online shoppers spent $9.12 billion on Black Friday, up 2.3% from last year. Retailers agree that the days of long Black Friday lines and packed pre-Covid-level stores are probably a thing of the past. 

Cyber Monday is the traditional “online shopping” day, where most retailers push online sales. However, retailers got a leg up by starting their sales both in-store and online on Black Friday, anticipating that most shoppers would be shopping online, and would be searching for competitive prices and sales on products.

It’s clear that online shopping reigns supreme. 

Tapping Into Why We Love Online Shopping

The appeal of online shopping is mostly about convenience – shoppers can multi-task, shop at multiple stores within minutes, and can search the site for what they want instead of browsing an entire store. 

For retailers, the convenience factor is already there. The challenge is how to a) optimize that shopping experience so shoppers are finding what they want and b) bring a specialized experience to the shopper like the one they’d get in a store.

The Metaverse is one much-talked-about possibility for personalized online shopping experiences, but retailers have numerous other opportunities, such as social commerce. TikTok and Snapchat are offering exciting new ways for companies to show products to users like immersive experiences and one-click buying. 

The Stand Outs for 2023: BOPIS and BNPL

Two shopping experiences, Buy Online Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) saw unexpected.y high usage over Black Friday weekend. Retailers should pay close attention to both services this holiday season and consider them for next year's planning. 

BOPIS offers shoppers the opportunity to minimize their in-store time and still get purchases the day of the sale rather than waiting for shipping. This process lets shoppers tap into the best of online shopping (ease and convenience), get the experience of going to a store, and get their items the same day. On Black Friday weekend, 2022, usage of BOPIS was 20% higher than in 2021. 

BNPL is one of the biggest standouts of the year for retail opportunities with as many as 360 million users worldwide. Services like Afterpay and Klarna offer customers the chance to spread out their payments over several weeks or months. This is an appealing way for people to shop since it bypasses traditional credit cards but lets people spread out their payments. BNPL has proven popular with customers and productive for merchants that use them since it can push buyers to complete a purchase. 

BOPIS and BNPL are not new. However, Black Friday does show how popular they are, and that there might be more creative opportunities for retailers to use those tools, create campaigns, or better allocate their spend. Read more about BNPL and how Gen Z uses it here

Traditional retailers are tasked with keeping up with consumers’ preferences and habits both online and offline, and it’s more important than ever that they make smart decisions with data to back them up. Check out Code3’s additional insights on Black Friday and contact us now to find out how we can help. 

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