BFCM 2023: Trends and Predictions For Your Holiday Selling Strategies

Doki Nguyen
Jun 14, 2024
3 min read

Tis' the season for the steeped discounts that everyone's been waiting for! The Black Friday-Cyber Monday 2023 (BFCM 2023) frenzy is upon us.

So put on your Santa hat, grab a cup of caffeinated cheer, and get ready to sleigh your holiday selling strategies with the latest trends and predictions for this BFCM season.

Before being creative to design BFCM deals that can make your online shoppers say "ho-ho-hold my wallet!", you’ll need some insights and tactics to sleigh BFCM 2023 like a pro.

Let’s check it out!

Consumer trends this Black Friday & Cyber Monday

1. Customers are cutting costs

Although the COVID-19 pandemic can now be considered an echo of the past, its impact on the economy and customer behaviors is still lingering.

The US economy remains uncertain, with mixed signals such as lower inflation rates (still higher than expected though), increased interest rates, and a tight labor market. Consumer sentiment mirrors this complexity.

Americans worry about rising prices and job security but stay optimistic about the near future.

ℹ 27% more people expect the economy to regain momentum than last summer, with the Gen Z cohort being the most confident about the economic rebound in two to three months.

Driven by optimism, consumers’ spending has increased steadily since late 2022. However, consumers are both cutting costs by choosing cheaper brands and splurging on certain items.

In a McKinsey survey, 80% of the survey respondents said they’re changing their shopping behavior by trading down. They alter the quantity or pack size of what they purchase or switch retailers for lower costs.

consumer trend bfcm 2023

Under the influence of inflation and economic impact, most customers will either buy holiday items on sale or buy fewer items overall.

consumer trend 2023 inflation

Source: Numerator

If your customers are cutting on expenses, what does this mean?

It means that they are looking for anything cheaper - coupons, discounts, and deals that help them save more.

According to Numerator, 88% of respondents acknowledged that inflation would affect their holiday spending, with 67% of them planning to hunt for significant bargains as their strategy to mitigate the impact (compared to 50% who indicated they would purchase fewer items).

👉 To sum up:

Expect your shoppers to spend less this BFCM 2023, but it doesn't mean they won’t open their wallets. Cheaper brands, big deals, and discounts will be their priority.

2. Customers are buying on SNS shops (social commerce)

With the increasing adoption of social media checkout and shopping integrations by brands, tech-savvy millennials and Gen Z, who are influenced by and familiar with influencer (KOL) content, are expected to participate in social commerce actively.

🧠 Brainy tips:

  • Spend time to rebuild your social storefront and profile
  • User-generated content, such as text, videos, images, and reviews showcasing your brand, plays a pivotal role in enhancing your credibility.

More tips at Top 5 Strategies to Harness Social Commerce for BFCM

Online merchants now have the advantage of leveraging built-in eCommerce platforms like TikTok Shop, Instagram Shopping, Facebook Shops, and Pinterest's shoppable ads to target potential customers effectively.

The rise of shopping from social media storefronts is a notable trend, exemplified by TikTok's recent introduction of an in-app shopping experience that eliminates the need for external web browsers.



What makes the success of social shopping?

It’s influencer marketing. Your shoppers would buy from you if a famous social KOL suggested them.

By incorporating influencer marketing and live shopping, you can further enhance your holiday sales potential.

Influencer marketing not only drives organic traffic and attracts new customers at a lower cost but also yields an impressive return on investment, generating $5.78 for every dollar spent.

3. Customers prefer in-app purchases (m-commerce)

The use of mobile applications for shopping continues to rise as consumers prioritize convenience.

Mobile apps offer a streamlined purchasing process, allowing users to buy items with just a few taps on their smartphones. Designed specifically for mobile users, these apps provide an optimized shopping experience.

ℹ In 2023, a significant 79% of smartphone users have utilized their mobile devices for making purchases.

By 2024, m-commerce is projected to account for 44% of total eCommerce sales.

Guess who loves buying over their phone?

Millennials, and especially Gen Z - the younger customers.

What does this mean?

Gen Z is the holiday shopping force that you can’t ignore.

With over 68 million individuals in Generation Z, this tech-savvy cohort shows resilience in the face of inflation, as 72% eagerly anticipate holiday shopping.

4. Customers choose to support small businesses

Thanks to the emergence of social commerce in recent years, small businesses have the equal opportunity to compete with larger brands by leveraging influencer marketing and social media advertising.

Through social platforms, small businesses can connect directly with their target audience and establish a strong online presence, driving growth and success in the digital marketplace.

As millennials and Gen Z are the main social commerce shoppers, it’s a trend that they also prefer small businesses over enterprise brands.

Did you know?

During Prime Day 2023, Amazon provided an extensive range of deals for small business products - more than ever before - resulting in remarkable sales growth for companies like Caraway, True Classic, and TUSHY, with their average daily sales in Amazon's stores increasing by over 18 times on the event's first day compared to the previous year.

Now, let’s see what small business categories had the most search interest over the year.

top small businesses


BFCM 2023 predictions

Cyber Monday will continue to be the biggest shopping day for customers

Although Black Friday comes first, the spotlight for the biggest sale event of the year belongs to Cyber Monday.

Online sales during the BFCM 2022 period reached a staggering $11 billion on Cyber Monday and $9.12 billion on Black Friday, as reported by TechCrunch.

🔖 Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday, what customers tend to spend on?

During Black Friday 2022, consumers showed a higher inclination towards purchasing clothing, shoes, and accessories, with 53% of shoppers allocating their budget to this category.

On the other hand, Cyber Monday 2022 saw a greater focus on electronics, as 43% of consumers chose to spend their money on electronic items.

Statistics by NIQ

What does this prediction mean to your business?

When preparing for the BFCM period, it's crucial to recognize that while Black Friday will undoubtedly be significant, Cyber Monday is expected to surpass it in terms of order volume and customer support inquiries.

To optimize your sales, strategically allocate your best discounts and promotions for Cyber Monday, ensuring that you seize the opportunity to attract and engage with a larger customer base.

Expect and prepare for a high return rate

As the BFCM 2023 approaches, it is important to anticipate a potential increase in returns.

Why does this happen?

Your online shoppers are likely to order multiple products, leading to a higher likelihood of returns.

ℹ According to Kortx, online returns have already seen an 11% increase during Q1 2023.

ecommerce return category

Source: Statista

Each year, holiday return rates tend to hover at approximately 17.9%. This is primarily driven by various factors, such as gifts that recipients don't really like or shoppers having second thoughts about recouping their spending from holiday-induced splurges.

As a result, eCommerce brands experience a surge in returns during December, January, and February compared to other times of the year.

High return rate during holiday selling season: What can you do?

Make sure that everything you do is to keep 100% satisfaction for your customers.

ℹ Salesforce reported that after encountering a negative return experience, a significant 81% of shoppers have revealed that they ceased purchasing from a brand or retailer altogether.

Online brands with physical retail stores can offer customers the option to return items in-store, which not only provides convenience but also presents an opportunity to engage customers and potentially prevent future returns by allowing them to try on different sizes or explore other products.

Alternatively, eCommerce-only brands can follow a popular returns process where customers send back the item to the brand's warehouse or fulfillment center for inspection and eligibility confirmation.

However, you can save time by utilizing return management apps.

Holiday selling strategy: The most popular products to sell during the holiday season

Gift guides? Yes.

Based on Statista's research on holiday gifts planned to be bought, over 75% of respondents expressed their intention to purchase these items for their loved ones during the upcoming holiday season.

Additionally, Adobe's research identified the hot holiday products for the 2022 season, which included toys, games, electronics, as well as other items like air fryers and gift cards.

Furthermore, fashion and apparel emerged as the leading gift category, accounting for 45% of gift purchases during the 2022 holiday season, followed by toys and games (35%) and beauty items (32%).

How about the Black Friday in July this year - Amazon Prine Day 2023?

amazon prime day 2023 categories


As in the report, the top categories purchased are Home Goods (27%), Household Essentials (26%), Apparel & Shoes (25%), Consumer Electronics (21%), and Beauty & Cosmetics (20%).

What do these numbers mean?

By tracking the top product niches in demand, you can understand what customers are currently interested in and tailor your inventory accordingly. You can also keep an eye on these categories for your own niche inspiration.

Your BFCM 2023 will be a success!

This is our last and favorite BFCM 2023 prediction.

By embracing the latest holiday shopping statistics and understanding consumer behaviors, you can confidently navigate the competitive market during the 2023 holiday season.

Following these trends and prioritizing exceptional customer experiences, you're all set for a successful holiday season.

Happy holiday selling!

Doki Nguyen
Content Marketing Specialist
June 17, 2024
7 min read