As a small business owner, I constantly have my finger on the pulse of major retail events like Black Friday. This shopping frenzy has evolved from a one-day sale to a week-long extravaganza both online and in-stores. Smart entrepreneurs take advantage of the hype by having the right inventory, marketing, and customer service strategies in place.
Let‘s dive into the key Black Friday statistics you need to know for 2023, along with my tips for fellow small business owners looking to capitalize on the deals.
Explosive Growth of Black Friday Spending
While Black Friday has its origins back in the 1960s, the numbers show it has ballooned into a can‘t-miss retail event.
- In 2022, shoppers spent a record $9.12 billion on deals, up from $8.9 billion in 2021.
- Online sales on Cyber Monday 2022 surged even higher to $11.3 billion, compared to $10.7 billion the previous year.
- Over the five day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, total spending topped $35 billion in 2022.
As a boutique owner myself, I always brace for a surge in sales over Black Friday weekend. It‘s a great opportunity to clear older inventory and attract new customers with promotional offers. Don‘t be afraid to deeply discount select items to drive traffic – the sales volume can make up for the margins.
The Increasing Shift Online
While physical stores still see lines out the door, online shopping makes up a growing portion of spending.
- In 2021, over 100 million U.S. shoppers went online to shop deals, up 8% from 2020.
- Shopify merchants broke $5.1 billion in global sales on Black Friday in 2022, a 17% jump.
- Adobe Analytics found that 55% of shopping over Thanksgiving weekend in 2022 occurred on mobile devices.
With more consumers shopping online, it‘s essential for small e-commerce businesses to optimize their websites for traffic spikes. I recommend focusing on site speed, promoting top deals on your homepage, and offering discounts for signing up for your email list.
Top Selling Product Categories
What are shoppers shelling out for amid all the Black Friday deals? Some clear trends emerge:
- Toy sales spiked 285% compared to average daily volume in October 2022. The top brands were Lego, Hot Wheels, and Nerf.
- Electronics saw sales surge 200%, while home goods were up an astounding 400%. Smart home devices and appliances proved especially popular.
- Apparel sales grew by 25%, with winter clothing like coats and boots seeing the biggest demand.
In my experience, limited-quantity doorbuster deals on hot toys, small electronics, and apparel generate the most Black Friday buzz. I try to order extra inventory in those categories months in advance to meet demand spikes.
Shopper Demographics and Behaviors
Who is lining up for all those Black Friday bargains and how can you cater to them?
- An impressive 79% of Gen Z shoppers rely on Black Friday for holiday shopping.
- However, Baby Boomers still shop deals too – 37% plan to spend, along with 54% of Millennials.
- 49% of shoppers say free shipping highly impacts their retailer selection. Fast shipping speeds are also appreciated.
- 46% will head to stores between 7 AM – 10 AM and 36% arrive even earlier from midnight to 6 AM.
This data tells me that my marketing should target Gen Z and Millennials with social media and smartphone ads. Highlighting free, fast shipping will also persuade buyers. For in-store promotions, touting early access for the best deals will get people lined up.
Making the Most of Black Friday
As an entrepreneur, how can you fully capitalize on the lucrative Black Friday shopping craze? Here are my top 4 tips:
1. Plan Ahead – Start preparing inventory and marketing plans at least 3-4 months out. Hire seasonal staffing to meet demand.
2. Offer Deep Discounts – This is the time to offer jaw-dropping deals – 30-50% off or more. Limit quantities to create urgency.
3. Promote Online – Run paid ads across Google, Facebook, Instagram leading up to the big weekend. Optimize sites for mobile traffic.
4. Provide Great Service – With order volumes surging, ensure customers have a smooth purchase experience to drive loyalty.
While Black Friday represents a major opportunity for sales, the expanded window and fierce competition means thorough preparation is required. By keeping these key statistics and strategies top of mind, your small business can thrive this retail holiday season. Let me know if you have any other Black Friday questions!