Black Friday 2023: Winning Growth Tactics vs Retail Refuseniks

Published 24 November 2023

4 min read

With cost-of-living-driven bargain hunting increasing global spending by up to 22% across Black Friday and Cyber Monday (November 24-27), phygital-centric Gen Z-friendly strategies, loyalty-programme-boosting incentives and fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) tactics helped retailers drive growth. Elsewhere, brands acknowledged the 54% of European shoppers voicing environmental concerns with repairs and product-loaning alternatives (see Key Stats).

Key Stats

General

+22%

The average Black Friday spending is projected to exceed 2022 levels by up to 22% in some countries worldwide this year

52%

Despite the rise in Black Friday spending, 52% of Americans planned to abstain from shopping, citing store overcrowding and a lack of genuine discounts in 2023

$21.2bn

Total sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US are predicted to reach $21.2bn this year – a rise of 28.9% on the $15.84bn in 2022

£8.74bn

In the UK, total Black Friday to Cyber Monday spending was anticipated to hit £8.74bn ($10.9bn) in 2023 – a rise of 0.34% from £8.71bn ($10.85bn) last year

$460

In 2023, Americans were expected to be the biggest Black Friday spenders at $460, followed by Switzerland ($390), Germany ($385) and the UK ($380)

61%

In the US, 61% of shoppers intended to spend their Black Friday budget online this year – up from 59% in 2022 – with 55% wanting to avoid the crowds

46.1%

Electricals is the top product category among 46.1% British Black Friday shoppers, followed by clothing and footwear (44%) and toys (35%)

78%

In the US, electronics is the top product category among 78% of men and 62% of women doing their Black Friday shopping, followed by clothing and accessories (82.7% for men, 70.3% for women) and toys (45.7% for men, 40.7% for women)

41%

Amazon is the number one Black Friday retail channel in the US, favoured by 41% of shoppers, followed by Walmart, in second place with 25%

74%

Globally, 74% of consumers intended to take advantage of Black Friday deals this year – up seven percentage points from 2022

68%

Worldwide, 68% of consumers shopping Black Friday deals in 2023 were looking for holiday gifts

76%

In 2023, 76% of global Gen Zers planned to do all of their holiday-season gift-buying during Black Friday sales

54%

In Europe, 54% of consumers had environmental concerns about Black Friday shopping, with 32% not intending to buy anything new in 2023

22%

More than a fifth (22%) of Europeans who planned to abstain from Black Friday shopping in 2023 were doing so because they believe the event drives consumerism

  • Asos Appeals to Gen Z’s Phygital Tastes: Aimed at Gen Z shoppers’ love of blended real-life (physical) and digital – phygital – experiences, British multibrand fashion e-commerce giant Asos launched a four-day central London pop-up (November 23-26). It combined virtual and real-life shopping and events, acknowledging the statistic that 52% of American Gen Zers favour shopping online, while 48% prefer in-store environments (GWI, 2023).

    In collaboration with Snap (60% of its British users are Gen Zers – according to Statista – while 75% of global 13- to 34-year-olds are on the app; Snap, 2023), an augmented-reality catwalk show with avatars modelling Asos clothes could be viewed by Snap-using attendees who pointed their smartphones at the physical location. Clothes were then available to buy at the pop-up, which also featured live DJs, sold-out beauty treatment sessions from Charlotte Tilbury (UK), Dry Bar (UK) and The Ordinary (Canada), and a running club with American sports label New Balance.

    See more on phygital activations in Omni-Channel Retail.
  • Asos Appeals to Gen Z’s Phygital Tastes: Aimed at Gen Z shoppers’ love of blended real-life (physical) and digital – phygital – experiences, British multibrand fashion e-commerce giant Asos launched a four-day central London pop-up (November 23-26). It combined virtual and real-life shopping and events, acknowledging the statistic that 52% of American Gen Zers favour shopping online, while 48% prefer in-store environments (GWI, 2023).

    In collaboration with Snap (60% of its British users are Gen Zers – according to Statista – while 75% of global 13- to 34-year-olds are on the app; Snap, 2023), an augmented-reality catwalk show with avatars modelling Asos clothes could be viewed by Snap-using attendees who pointed their smartphones at the physical location. Clothes were then available to buy at the pop-up, which also featured live DJs, sold-out beauty treatment sessions from Charlotte Tilbury (UK), Dry Bar (UK) and The Ordinary (Canada), and a running club with American sports label New Balance.

    See more on phygital activations in Omni-Channel Retail.

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

Asos x Snap

  • Amazon’s Invitation-Only Limited-Edition Deals: With more American shoppers than ever heading online to find deals and avoid the crowds (with Amazon being the number one Black Friday channel among 41%, ahead of Walmart at 25% – see Key Stats), the e-commerce giant kicked off proceedings early on Friday, November 17 with 11 days of deals. Prime members were rewarded with invitation-only offers – an initiative first launched during July’s Prime Day in 2023. With each deal restricted to a FOMO-encouraging eight-hour slot, members had to request an invitation via their Prime account. Invitations were capped to quell the unappealing sense of frenzy attached to Black Friday, with shoppers limited to one item each.
  • Amazon’s Invitation-Only Limited-Edition Deals: With more American shoppers than ever heading online to find deals and avoid the crowds (with Amazon being the number one Black Friday channel among 41%, ahead of Walmart at 25% – see Key Stats), the e-commerce giant kicked off proceedings early on Friday, November 17 with 11 days of deals. Prime members were rewarded with invitation-only offers – an initiative first launched during July’s Prime Day in 2023. With each deal restricted to a FOMO-encouraging eight-hour slot, members had to request an invitation via their Prime account. Invitations were capped to quell the unappealing sense of frenzy attached to Black Friday, with shoppers limited to one item each.

Amazon

Amazon

Amazon

Amazon

  • Amazon Debuts Black Friday Shoppertainment: Reflecting American sports fans’ appetite for shoppable media (34% are open to shopping during a game, rising to 55% among Gen Zers; Forbes, 2023), Amazon launched its first Prime Black Friday NFL game.

    With a nod to shoppertainment formats (livestreaming blending shopping and entertainment) – minus the livestreamers themselves – Amazon "eventised" the November 24 fixture, combining live football with interactive deal-shopping. The New York Jets and Miami Dolphins match, viewable on Amazon Video by anyone with an Amazon account, contained on-screen limited-edition deals from brands including Dyson, Lego and Nintendo before, during and after the game, with banner ads and QR codes taking shoppers directly to the product page on Amazon. Viewers on Amazon Fire–connected TVs could send ads to their phone or email to shop from there, using the TV remote. 

    See The State of Livestreaming and Livestreaming in Shoptalk 2022 for more.
  • Amazon Debuts Black Friday Shoppertainment: Reflecting American sports fans’ appetite for shoppable media (34% are open to shopping during a game, rising to 55% among Gen Zers; Forbes, 2023), Amazon launched its first Prime Black Friday NFL game.

    With a nod to shoppertainment formats (livestreaming blending shopping and entertainment) – minus the livestreamers themselves – Amazon "eventised" the November 24 fixture, combining live football with interactive deal-shopping. The New York Jets and Miami Dolphins match, viewable on Amazon Video by anyone with an Amazon account, contained on-screen limited-edition deals from brands including Dyson, Lego and Nintendo before, during and after the game, with banner ads and QR codes taking shoppers directly to the product page on Amazon. Viewers on Amazon Fire–connected TVs could send ads to their phone or email to shop from there, using the TV remote. 

    See The State of Livestreaming and Livestreaming in Shoptalk 2022 for more.

Amazon

  • Raeburn & Cubitts Turn to Repair, not Retail: Counter to the overall rise in Black Friday spending, 54% of Europeans said they’d think more carefully about what they buy on Black Friday due to environmental concerns, while 32% were not intending to buy anything new. Of the abstainers, 22% were doing so because they believe Black Friday drives consumerism (see Key Stats).

    Brands offering alternative approaches included British sustainable fashion label Raeburn, which closed its online store on Black Friday, providing free repairs on its items in its physical London location instead. It shared the space with British eyewear brand Cubitts, which offered 20-minute “frame rehab” slots, fixing Cubitts frames free of charge. (A service also available at 15 Cubitts stores across the UK.)
  • Raeburn & Cubitts Turn to Repair, not Retail: Counter to the overall rise in Black Friday spending, 54% of Europeans said they’d think more carefully about what they buy on Black Friday due to environmental concerns, while 32% were not intending to buy anything new. Of the abstainers, 22% were doing so because they believe Black Friday drives consumerism (see Key Stats).

    Brands offering alternative approaches included British sustainable fashion label Raeburn, which closed its online store on Black Friday, providing free repairs on its items in its physical London location instead. It shared the space with British eyewear brand Cubitts, which offered 20-minute “frame rehab” slots, fixing Cubitts frames free of charge. (A service also available at 15 Cubitts stores across the UK.)

Raeburn

Raeburn

Raeburn

Raeburn

Cubitts

  • Freitag Offers Loans, not Moans: Swiss sustainable bag label Freitag also shuttered its online and physical F-Stores globally on Black Friday, instead turning them into temporary lending outlets to promote circularity. Offering members of its F-ederation loyalty programme “loans, not moans”, it made 30 different bag styles available to borrow free of charge for up to two weeks.

    For more sustainable marketing services and strategies, see Eco Comms: Autumn 2023.
  • Freitag Offers Loans, not Moans: Swiss sustainable bag label Freitag also shuttered its online and physical F-Stores globally on Black Friday, instead turning them into temporary lending outlets to promote circularity. Offering members of its F-ederation loyalty programme “loans, not moans”, it made 30 different bag styles available to borrow free of charge for up to two weeks.

    For more sustainable marketing services and strategies, see Eco Comms: Autumn 2023.

Freitag

Freitag

Freitag

Freitag

Freitag

Freitag

Freitag

Freitag