2023 Black Friday sales break records despite cost-of-living rise

2023 Black Friday sales break records despite cost-of-living rise

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have continued to set records for global commerce in 2023, despite inflation and the rising cost of living in some countries. Adobe Analytics reported that US online sales on Black Friday rose 7.5% to $9.8bn, while Shopify reported that total sales across merchants using its platform globally rose 24% to $9.3bn over the entire weekend.

Shopify sales increase, cross-border share remains level
Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and % of orders that are cross-border

In total, more than 61 million consumers made purchases from brands powered by Shopify – a jump from 52 million last year. The number of orders that were cross-border grew but accounted for the same share of total orders last year at 15%, a smaller share than in 2018/2019 – though overall sales have grown significantly since then.

Shopify didn’t appear to share its top corridors this year, but its top-selling countries over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend were the US, the UK, Australia, Canada and Germany. The share of sales from Black Friday alone was 44%, though this was down from 45% last year.

Shopify also noted that the average cart price was $108.12 ($107.53 on a constant currency basis), up by nearly 6% compared to average consumer spend last year. Total order numbers grew 17% YoY, slower than the 24% growth in sales. This difference in growth rates could indicate the rising cost of products, though it should be noted that average consumer spend has risen consistently for Shopify over the last few years.

Another potential signal of rising living costs is a rise in buy now, pay later (BNPL) purchases over Black Friday. For example, Adobe Analytics reported that British consumers spent £475m through BNPL services through 24 November and 27 November, a 15.8% rise compared to the same period in 2022.

How does pricing impact cross-border ecommerce?

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