The National Retail Federation report says that 2021 holiday sales grew to a record $886 billion. This is an increase of 14% since the year prior.
Good news for the retailers!
As long as you prepare beforehand, you can cash in on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday traditions.
A few looming questions for this Black Friday and Cyber Monday season are:
- How many customers will shop during this Black Friday?
- What the trending products will be?
- What are the top considerations when shopping for deals?
- What are buyers’ attitudes towards the Black Friday tradition?
- When should the sales start this year?
- How many customers want to book an appointment for shopping?
We did our own research and asked over a thousand shoppers about their intentions, expectations, and insights about the event to help you make the most out of it.
And to give you a bigger picture, we’ll also compare some of this year’s results with the results from our last year’s study.
Let’s start by looking at the major discoveries of our recent survey.
Black Friday statistics: main findings
It seems that people cannot wait for the sales this year. So, if you’re a business owner, then you should prepare for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday rush.
Don’t get us wrong, big sales and revenue for your business are great! But make sure you don’t drown in the orders.
Looking at the previous years only gets you so far. Instead, check the findings of our recent study to know what to expect during the 2022 Thanksgiving weekend sales:
- Over 62% of buyers think Black Friday is just a scam to get people to spend more money than they normally would. However, this doesn’t stop them from shopping, as over 80% of people state that they intend to shop this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- As many as 65% of customers intend to shop online this season, and 36% of them will look for deals on social media. Therefore, retailers must intensify their efforts to build their ecommerce presence and invest in social media ads.
- Savings are not in the top three considerations for people shopping on Black Friday. Fast, free delivery, and store pick-up are the three most important things for shoppers this year. So, your business should prepare delivery systems for the increased demand, e.g., by making sure you hire enough staff to dispatch orders or stocking up on your bestsellers.
- In spite of the current situation (war in Ukraine, inflation, supply chain disruptions) only 37% think that people will spend less. The majority of respondents think that the BF expenses will be the same or higher this year.
- Customers do more research before deciding on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals than before. As many as 88% of respondents say that they are willing to spend extra time comparing deals, and some of them will even spend a couple of hours on that.
- As many as 77% of customers are interested in booking an appointment online to shop in-store and avoid crowds.
This is the day that shops supposedly make most of their profit:
How much do people spend on Black Friday and Cyber Monday
An Insider Intelligence report states that the total retail spending during the last Black Friday event was $1.22 trillion. This includes brick-and-mortar sales accumulating $1.02 trillion, and ecommerce stores that gathered $204.20 billion.
What’s the average amount spent on Black Friday?
According to Deloitte research, shoppers spend $430 on average during the Thanksgiving period. On top of that, another study shows that approximately 4 in 10 holiday buyers are willing to go into debt because of holiday shopping.
Each year the sales numbers are huge—
But, even subtle changes in consumer behavior can have a massive impact on spending patterns. Detecting these variations can help businesses satisfy customers by better understanding their expectations for 2022.
Over 80% of people will be taking part in shopping during this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday events
In numbers, how many people shop on Black Friday?
An NRF study shows that in the US alone, over 158 million people shop on Black Friday weekend.
On top of that, our findings present that nearly 39% of shoppers saved money for the event. Some of the customers will do Christmas shopping, some will buy products they’ve been wanting for a while, and some just want to purchase new items they like on the day.
Also, in comparison to our last year’s results, the number of online shoppers decreased from 64% to about 55% this holiday shopping season. This means that more shoppers will go to the stores this year than during the previous holiday season. It could be because of the Covid-19 restrictions being fully removed this year compared to the last year’s Thanksgiving weekend.
What about people who refuse to shop on Black Friday 2022?
The number of consumers who declare that they are not taking part in the 2022 BFCM extravaganza rose to about 14%. This is a year-over-year increase of 10% in comparison to 4% of people skipping Black Friday last year. The reasons for people skipping the event vary: from lack of time, not having enough money to spend, and having to work on the day.
But let’s go back to the people who are going shopping this Thanksgiving weekend. What products are going to end up in the shoppers’ baskets this year?
Over 47% of people will shop for things they wanted for a while already
Retail sales are still the top product category during this shopping event. Clothing, shoes, jewelry, and beauty products will be the trending Black Friday deals this year. So retailers who sell these items should restock on their bestsellers and prepare for the fast delivery processes.
In comparison with last year, fewer people are interested in buying electronics, such as smartphones, AirPods, and TVs. More of us are after beauty and personal care items this year.
Let’s treat ourselves to a home-SPA day, why not?
When creating your marketing strategy, keep in mind that price isn’t the biggest consideration anymore when it comes to shopping during BF & CM.
Delivery takes the two podium spots.
About 31% of people will look for free delivery, 25% will search for products with fast delivery, and 24% will check customer reviews before purchasing an item.
So, speaking about price not being that important during this year’s sales—
How much should Black Friday discounts be?
Firstly, it’s worth noting that shoppers prefer to buy items on the day of the Black Friday & Cyber Monday event instead of getting a discount to use whenever they like.
In fact, 62% of people would prefer a 30% discount code valid only on Black Friday instead of a 15% discount on a gift card to use anytime.
This changed a little from the previous year. In 2021, we found that about 62% of Gen Z would rather take a 15% discount on a gift card to use anytime. And for people over the age of 40, 58% preferred a 30% off promo code valid for 24 hours.
This year, the results show that nearly 58% of Gen Z would prefer to get a 30% off promo code valid for 24 hours on Black Friday. This is also true for 66% of people over the age of 40. Remember that when preparing your Black Friday offers and discount codes.
Nearly all shoppers (88%) compare discounts before buying a product during the Black Friday sales
Half of our responders will even spend a few hours comparing the discounts during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday events to get the best bargains.
Most customers feel that online sales are higher than the ones in stores for almost every type of product.
Interestingly, online shoppers are likely to give in to marketing techniques, like creating urgency and scarcity.
Where is the best place to get the most customers? In the physical stores or ecommerce?
More customers will shop online than in stores this year
The online shopping trend has continued since the start of the pandemic when in-store spending dropped by 30% year-over-year. People preferred to stay at home and visit stores only when necessary in order to comply with the pandemic-related policies.
This year, online deals seem to be more popular not only during cyber week but also for the Black Friday sales event. Our BFCM sales statistics might not be good news for small businesses and boutiques that don’t have an online presence, as most Black Friday spending will happen through the internet this shopping season.
In comparison to our last year’s results, customers who are going to shop online plan to spend more than in-store.
In 2021, as many as 66% of those planning to shop in stores wanted to spend more than the year prior. And only 46% of online customers were going to splash out more money than the year before.
In 2022, this Black Friday and Cyber Monday statistic looks a little different—
About 34% of buyers who are planning to shop online are going to spend more money than last year. While only 31% of those going to the brick-and-mortar stores are planning to leave more of their cash in the store’s register.
On top of that—
This holiday season, consumers find shopping via an app on their mobile device (42%) more appealing than filtering products on a website (37%). This could mean that people want to use Amazon, AliExpress, and Wish apps instead of going to more niche ecommerce sites that don’t have their own apps.
So, if you have a startup ecommerce business on Shopify, but no app, how can you get more sales during this Cyber Monday week?
Online retailers can use AI to help shoppers find the best deals. Keep in mind that more customers want to get instant recommendations from a chatbot than via an email newsletter.
It’s a win-win situation with buyers finding the right products and online stores increasing their conversion rates.
It’s also worth noting that 36% of people who plan to shop online will look for deals on social media and about 25% of them will look for sales on Google.
So, it’s best to put your marketing efforts on platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Also, consider using Google Ads for advertising your products.
Customer attitudes towards Black Friday & Cyber Monday
There’s no denying that people storming Target and Walmart on the 25th of November are fans of Black Friday sales, and it’s not their first time hunting for deals. Sales of Apple products, video games, and even sporting goods are hot for everyone from Gen Z to Baby Boomers.
But what are people’s attitudes toward the event? Are we after the deals or the chaotic experience of the tradition?
Most people think Black Friday is just a scam to get people to spend more money than they normally would
In fact, only 6% of people disagree that Black Friday is a scam. And about 48% of consumers like the sales but not the tradition.
In addition to that, over 80% of shoppers say there’s too much consumerism associated with Black Friday and Cyber Monday events.
Also, about 76% of buyers say that companies spam us with too many BF ads. They say that brands start to advertise too early and the ads get annoying fast. However, 23% of consumers think that it’s convenient to receive discounts and information about sales in advance.
Being overwhelmed by the ads and the crowds could be one of the reasons people don’t enjoy this event as much. Moreover, as many as 60% of shoppers think there are too many people in the shops during Black Friday.
This brings us to another interesting finding of our study—
Most people (77%) would be interested in booking an appointment to shop in order to avoid crowds
Nearly 8 in 10 shoppers would book an appointment online to shop in-store to avoid crowds. One comment from the participants in our study brings up an interesting point—booking an appointment to shop could help disabled people. Maybe you could consider this when preparing your store for the event this year.
Keep in mind that most shops won’t put this booking system in place for this year’s event.
So how can you still avoid the biggest crowds?
Another way to avoid crowds as much as possible is to go shopping outside peak hours. But what are the busiest times during Black Friday shopping?
The peak times for store shopping in the US are between 2 pm and 4 pm. So, if you want to avoid the big foot traffic but still enjoy the in-store shopping experience, then you should visit the mall early this year.
Starting BFCM promotions early is another trend that is becoming a norm in recent years. Even though Black Friday 2022 is on November 25, retailers have already kicked off their sales that will run through Thanksgiving holiday.
However, our survey reveals that the preferred time for the beginning of Black Friday sales is between a week and a few days before Thanksgiving.
Prolonged sales periods might cause customers to get a little tired of an event that’s dragging on for weeks. A week of sales seems like an optimal time to plan their shopping, compare deals, and make sure they are the best available ones.
82% of buyers are willing to spend over 30 minutes in lines during the Black Friday event
Around 16% of Gen Z wouldn’t spend longer than 10 minutes in a queue. This number falls to only about 6% when it comes to people over the age of 40.
On the opposite side, Millennials are the most patient ground of people when it comes to queuing—over 47% of them would spend over 50 minutes standing in a line during a Black Friday event.
And queues might be even longer this year.
With the current unstable situation, including inflation, supply chain disruptions, and war in Ukraine, 47% of customers predict that people will buy more. This could be to spend money before it loses its value or to stock up on products in case of an emergency.
Our study also found that over 71% of people are angry when they miss the Black Friday sales. In a recent study published in Motivations and Emotions, researchers linked the fear of missing out (FOMO) to the use of social media. Essentially, FOMO in the Black Friday context means that people choose to interact with businesses because they think they will miss out on something valuable.
Cyber Monday and Black Friday trends: Key findings
Black Friday continues to be the biggest shopping day of the year in the United States. Many factors, such as inflation, supply chain disruptions, and habits from the pandemic have a considerable influence on buyers’ behaviors and holiday sales.
Most of the customers are moving their spendings online and nearly all Black Friday shoppers will spend a few hours comparing discounts before purchasing a product. Customers also feel they can get the best discounts online. And companies can improve their experience by developing a shopping app or a chatbot to recommend the best deals.
While a large portion of customers believe BFCM deals are designed to trick people into buying more, most customers want to take advantage of seasonal sales. They tend to put aside money for this particular occasion and usually buy products they had planned.
Prepare your store for big crowds and ensure fast delivery of your products. Also, make sure you have an online presence and advertise your deals on social media for the best result from this season’s marketing campaigns. This way you can get the most out of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday events.
- 148 Million Americans Plan to Shop Super Saturday
- Accenture’s 14th Annual Holiday Shopping Survey
- NRF’s Annual Thanksgiving Weekend Consumer Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics
- The Future of Commerce 2021 Report
- Fear of missing out: prevalence, dynamics, and consequences of experiencing FOMO
- The psychology of Black Friday: The thrill of the hunt, the comfort of ritual
- The ultimate guide to Black Friday 2021
- US Holiday 2021 Review and Holiday 2022 Preview
- Thanksgiving Weekend to See More Holiday Shoppers Than Last Year – And Consumers Already Have a Head Start
- Deloitte: Consumer Sentiment Improves as the Excitement of Black Friday Returns
- Holiday Debt Survey
- What Store Traffic Data Reveals About Black Friday Shopping
For this study about 2022 Black Friday trends, we collected answers from 1,052 respondents. We used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and Reddit.
Respondents were 51% males and 48% females. Over half of the participants were aged 25-40 (57%), 31% of them were aged 41-56, 6% of them were aged 57-65, 7% of them were aged 18-24. Considering such age and gender makeup, the study’s findings could be extrapolated to the general US population.
Respondents had to answer about 22 questions—the majority of which were scale-based or multiple-choice. The survey contained an attention check question.
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