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Retail transformed: Black Friday sales hit record high

Retail transformed: Black Friday sales hit record high
Retail transformed: Black Friday sales hit record high

The dust settled on another Black FridayCyber Monday and the figures are tallied, showing how consumers adapt to evolving trends. Looking back, the peak in sales also highlights the evolving dynamics of the logistics sector. 

The surge in sales gives insight into how consumers adapt to different economic climates, and how retailers must continually innovate to meet demands. 

Record-breaking Black Friday sales

Shopify merchants recorded $4.1 billion in sales, which is a 22% increase from 2022. Additionally, Shopify stock price reached a high of $70.96 per share last week, closing at a one-year high. The shares rose by an additional 4.9% after Cyber Monday, closing at $73.70.

ALSO READ: Black Friday tracker: Insights from Shopify’s real-time data

Amazon has yet to provide an overview of its Black Friday sales but analysts at Wedbush believe the company’s recent ramp-up in fulfillment capacity positions it for a strong peak season. 

“Amazon Logistics handles more than two-thirds of orders globally, and we expect a large portion of Amazon customers in the US will still be eligible for delivery on December 24th [which falls on a Sunday],” the report states

Between a rock and credit card

Retailers faced a challenge: they needed to captivate customers who were out looking for bargains beyond the stretch of their budgets. 

Any deals on offer had to stand out from the sea of competition, while also including flexible payment options like ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ (BNPL) services. This was vital if retailers were hoping to reach a broad range of consumers. 

Insider Intelligence reports that BNPL transactions increased by a staggering 72% by mid-November when compared to data collected just two weeks prior. In addition, there was a 47% increase in BNPL revenues during this period.

The data also shows that credit card sign-ups decreased by 37% since 2015, but sign-ups for regular credit cards increased by 33%. This is largely due to the high interest rates on store cards – averaging around 29%. 

Online growth vs in-store sales

According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, e-commerce sales soared by 8.5%, while in-store spending saw a modest increase of only 1.1%. E-commerce sales returned to pre-pandemic patterns, showing a 2.5% year-on-year growth. 

Retailers slashing prices ahead of Black Friday likely contributed to this growth, with toys marked down by 28% as compared to October prices. Electronic prices were slashed by 27%, while apparel was down 24%, according to Adobe Analytics. 

By leveraging massive price cuts on the most sought-after items for online deals, retailers were able to hone in on consumers’ evolving needs.

The bigger picture

The key takeaways here are: 

  • Alternative payment methods such as BNPL aided retailers in drawing in budget-conscious consumers. 
  • Despite early sales in October, Black Friday remained the key period for holiday shopping.
  • This year’s e-commerce success underscores the growing importance of digital channels in retail.

About the author

Cheryl has contributed to various international publications, with a fervor for data and technology. She explores the intersection of emerging tech trends with logistics, focusing on how digital innovations are reshaping industries on a global scale. When she's not dissecting the latest developments in AI-driven innovation and digital solutions, Cheryl can be found gaming, kickboxing, or navigating the novel niches of consumer gadgetry.

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