- Economic Climate and Impacting Factors
- Black Friday and Christmas
- Measuring Black Friday Data
- The 2022 Results
- Keyword Searches and Trends
- Payment Trends
- Retail Footfall
Economic Climate and Impacting Factors
Experts anticipated rumbles of uncertainty around our financial climate and predictions of a recession would impact sales figures for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Towards the end of 2022, news outlets were heavily broadcasting stories of increasing bills, skyrocketing heating costs, and high-interest rates. In addition, money-saving tips were publicised with the understanding that financial hardship was likely to impact many people.
Despite the tightening of budgets, new shopping trends emerged as people invested in energy-efficient appliances and products. For example, air fryers, heat pump tumble driers and microwave ovens increased in popularity due to cheaper running costs. Not only does this demonstrate that households are willing to invest in new, money-saving appliances, highlighting a shift in spending patterns. It’s also of interest as BF/CM discounts are often beneficial to those looking to purchase big-ticket items.
Black Friday and Christmas
Black Friday is less than a month away from Christmas and during this period, we see a significant shift in spending patterns. The average household spends £700 more in December than in other months. However, Christmas spending was anticipated to drop by £4.4bn in 2022, with over 40% saying they would cut down on all spending.
The desire to save money over Christmas can lead to an increase in spending over BF/CM, with shoppers hunting for the best money-saving bargains. Longer Black Friday sales hosted by retailers can also cause cannibalisation in Christmas sales.
In addition, postal strikes and delivery delays prompted shoppers to consider purchasing Christmas gifts early to avoid disappointment.
Measuring Black Friday Data
As Black Friday / Cyber Monday has grown, sales have also extended. Discounts were initially limited to the last Friday in November and the following Monday, with some retailers halting deals over the weekend. However, more recently, retailers have started Black Friday sales earlier in the hope of increasing sales. For example, Amazon hosted a 2022 Black Friday event with deals from the 18th to the 28th of November. The extension of these sales means it’s hard to compare the data year-on-year as a significant number of sales occur outside of the traditional BF/CM dates.
The 2022 Results
Unsurprisingly, the above factors had a knock-on effect on Black Friday spending. However, it was not as bleak as some economists predicted.
A report by SaleCycle shows overall Black Friday spending was £8.7bn in 2022, compared to 8.9bn in 2021 and £9bn in 2020.
This was reflected in SaleCycle’s customer data as they saw online sales decrease with £22,146,993.00 spent in 2022, compared to £24,813,852.26 in 2021. Despite the fall in sales, the same report shows that individual spending per session has increased by £17.33 in 2022 to £125.43. There were fewer online sessions, fewer baskets created, and lower basket abandonment rates.
Keyword Searches and Trends
Keywords and search trends provide valuable insight into the language, interest and intent of an audience. Identifying popular keywords and terms can help retailers to target their audience through SEO and paid advertising.
A report by High Fly Media has delved into the popularity of keyword searches year on year.
- ‘Amazon Black Friday deals‘ remained the same at 14,800.
- The search volume for general terms such as ‘Black Friday deals‘ dropped from 165,000 to 90,500.
- ‘Black Friday laptop deals‘ decreased from 14,800 searches to 5,400.
- Certain brands saw a drop, ‘John Lewis Black Friday‘ declined by just less than half, from 22,200 to 12,100. Similarly, ‘Boots Black Friday Deals‘ showed an interesting trend as this search dropped by a third to 3,600 searches. Having said this, Boots saw their online sales increase by 18% compared to the previous year.
The significant variation in specific keywords and terms highlights changes in the user journey, rather than a significant decrease in interest.
There are a variety of online payment options available for customers including debit cards, credit cards and e-wallets. Payment providers such as Klarna, Clearpay and Stripe offer Buy-Now-Pay-Later options, allowing customers to pay for items in instalments or as a single repayment at a later date. This method has increased in popularity over recent years.
In 2019, this equated to just 1% of sales during Black Friday compared to 2.5% in 2020. Buy-Now-Pay-Later payment options had record-breaking numbers in 2021, which increased by 57% in 2022 and accounted for 6% of spending for Black Friday.
A challenging economic climate can have a varying impact on footfall within our shopping centres and retail outlets. On the one hand, the number of shoppers on our high streets can drop due to a reduction in consumer spending. Alternatively, it can also increase due to cautious spending and customers preferring to view products in person.
Black Friday footfall got off to a slow but steady start. Although footfall increased by 4.6% in all shopping destinations compared to 2021, it has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels. In fact, the 2022 footfall was 22.4% lower than 2019 and 15.3% lower than 2018.
A report from Sensormatic showed that high streets saw a year-on-year rise of 10.9% on Saturday following Black Friday and 8.1% on Sunday.
In summary, although the overall revenue fell compared to last year, Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2022 was not as challenging as predicted. While there was a reduction in the overall revenue achieved, individuals were spending more per person than last year. In addition, it’s likely that external factors such as the cost-of-living crisis and postal delays actually had some benefits to BF/CM retail. Customers carefully considered their purchases and saw this as an opportunity to get the best bang for their buck.