Black Friday 2023, a pivotal day for the retail industry, unfolded under the shadow of persistent inflation, influencing consumer spending habits. Retailers, anticipating cautious consumer behavior, initiated promotional activities earlier than usual in response to discerning and selective shopping trends.
Despite these challenges, Black Friday saw a record $9.8 billion in online sales, a 7.5% increase from the previous year, as reported by Adobe Analytics. However, this surge in online spending didn’t prevent TD Cowen from lowering its holiday season growth expectations from 4-5% to 2-3%, slightly more optimistic than the National Retail Federation’s 3-4% projection.
Mobile and online shopping emerged as clear winners. Adobe Analytics predicted mobile shopping to surpass desktop purchases for the first time this holiday season. Smartphones accounted for 54% of online sales on Black Friday, a testament to improved mobile shopping experiences.
However, the traditional doorbuster deals in physical stores witnessed a decline. The urgency that once characterized Black Friday shopping in stores has diminished, with consumers increasingly turning to online options.
The calendar also played a role, with an extra weekend before Christmas potentially boosting sales. Additionally, the fiscal year’s extension to 53 weeks may result in increased revenue for retailers.