eStar client services manager Liam Collins discusses how resilient Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend shopping has become.

As the curtains drew on the 2023 Black Friday to Cyber Monday shopping extravaganza, the retail landscape witnessed an impressive display of resilience and growth. The data reveals a story of eCommerce triumphs and shifts in consumer behaviour over the four-day event. New heights were achieved compared to previous years for order volumes and transactions.

Consumers broke records during the recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) weekend sales, as retailers estimated a spending spree of over $6 billion across the four-day sales frenzy. This marked a 3% increase from the previous year. According to a Small Business Connections article it suggests that this surge in spending over the BFCM weekend will represent a substantial portion of this year's holiday purchases.

Thriving Amid Economic Shifts: Black Friday 2023's Retail Landscape

Despite the challenges posed by the global economic landscape, the total dollar value of transactions during this year's Black Friday weekend experienced a notable uptick compared to 2022, according to transaction data collected by NAB. This with the overall volume of transactions, showed an increase from the previous year, highlighting the consistent resilience of the e-Commerce sector.

Compared to the figures observed during the 2022 BFCM event, there has been a noticeable uptick of 5% in the volume of purchases conducted through digital platforms across various online channels in Australia. Market research conducted by Sapio Research revealed an intriguing trend: twice as many individuals (27%) were inclined to increase their spending during this peak retail period compared to those planning to cut back (13%). This indicates a robust consumer eagerness to capitalise on enticing deals, especially amidst the current economic climate.

Furthermore, this same study found 70% of surveyed Australians expressed a heightened interest in shopping during events like BFCM to maximise their purchasing power. This increased consumer enthusiasm and willingness to spend during this period, suggest that the success of BFCM is poised to surpass even the traditional Boxing Day sales.

In the face of economic uncertainties, the 2023 Black Friday to Cyber Monday four-day event proved to be a resounding success for many retailers. The increase in total order volumes, coupled with a modest rise in total dollar value transactions, demonstrates the adaptability of the e-commerce sector in meeting evolving needs of consumers.

Promotion Trends, Fulfilment, and Sales Growth

It was observed that many retailers kicked off their BFCM promotional offers early, some by up to 10 days, resulting in robust transactions and total order volumes. Most prominent Australian and international retailers introduced "early bird" Black Friday deals, giving discounts from 20% to 70% in anticipation of the main event. Analysts noted that in 2023 retailers offered some of the most substantial discounts ever witnessed across the industry for this progressively popular shopping occasion.

Some retailers that began BFCM promotions early, observed a smoother fulfilment process by spreading the operational demand over several days, which resulted in meeting their customer delivery expectations.

During the BFCM event, businesses employing store fulfilment methods for online sales witnessed consistent year-on-year growth. This strategy, transforming stores into micro fulfilment centres, has proven crucial in expanding retailers' online offerings while significantly increasing sales. This approach, particularly when supported by real-time inventory updates via an intelligent Order Management System (OMS), not only minimises cancellations but also drastically reduces delivery times by fulfilling orders closer to the customers. Notably, many retailers who employed in-store fulfilment methods experienced a plummet in cancellation rates to a remarkable 0.6% during BFCM, setting a new standard for best-in-class performance.

Throughout the BFCM weekend, several retailers observed a remarkable 40% surge in Click & Collect demand. Store fulfilment has emerged as a pivotal factor driving sales growth, ensuring enhanced product availability for these orders while catering to the escalating preference among customers for this convenient service. Providing consumers choice on how their goods are delivered is important, along with the ability to easily return items if required.

During peak sales periods when orders surge, making omnichannel fulfilment more intricate, your OMS must have the capacity to expand alongside your business. The key elements are reliability and efficiency, paired with adaptability to accommodate growth.

As we reflect on the data, the digital marketplace continues to thrive, offering a compelling narrative of growth and resilience in the ever-changing landscape of retail against the backdrop of present economic conditions.

It is without doubt a four-day event to remember. High five to all those involved in the success of 2023. Bring on 2024! 

Viare, an eStar company, has developed its technology over twenty years and helps facilitate more than $1.5B in annual sales online. Viare scales to manage a high volume of orders across multiple Sellers and inventory locations and allows retailers to make all store stock available for sale enabling store-based fulfilment to be a retailer’s competitive advantage. Its intelligent order management has been recognised by Gartner as one of the leading distributed order management systems in the world. 

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