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2023 Black Friday Survey: How will People Shop this November?

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The 2023 Black Friday Consumer Sentiment Survey, released by Boston Consulting Group, unveils the anticipated spending behaviors of global consumers.

With insights drawn from over 7,000 respondents across seven markets (Australia, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, the UK, and the US), the survey offers valuable information for retailers and shopping centers gearing up for the upcoming Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

Anticipating Record-Breaking Sales

As the cost of living tightens household budgets, an impressive 74% of consumers express their intent to take advantage of the November sales  —an increase of 7 percentage points from 2022.

Black Friday Consumer Sentiment Survey Infographic
2023 Black Friday consumer sentiment survey by Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

The survey projects record-breaking consumer spending during Black Friday (24th November), and Cyber Monday (27th November). Notably, US consumers lead in planned spending, allocating an average of $460, followed closely by Switzerland ($390) and Germany ($385). Average spending is expected to exceed 2022 levels by up to 22%, as consumers shift their holiday shopping to November in order to leverage bargains.

Jessica Distler, BCG Managing Director and Partner, emphasizes the intensified consumer focus on deals this year, stating:

Black Friday is a highly anticipated part of the annual shopping calendar. As consumers feel pressure on their personal finances this year, they are more deal-focused than ever. The challenge for retailers will be to stand out among the noise.

Consumer Shifts for Financial Relief

In response to inflation, consumers are adapting their buying habits.

More than 50% have reduced non-essential purchases in the past three months, 49% are diligently comparing prices, and 41% are making purchasing decisions based on deals and promotions. Notably, consumers are turning to November sales events to address basic needs rather than focusing solely on high-end items. Adult clothing and consumer electronics remain popular, though electronics experienced a decline compared to 2022.

Moreover, 68% of consumers plan to leverage November sales events for Christmas and New Year gift shopping.

Preferred Deals and Expectations

When asked about the minimum discount considered a “good deal,” consumers expect at least a 30% discount.

Across all surveyed countries, consumers express a preference for clear discounts on all items over steep discounts on select items, free/reduced shipping deals, or bundle deals.

Favorite November Sales Events

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday maintain global recognition at 95% and 86%, respectively, Singles’ Day on the 11th of November is gaining popularity beyond Chinese calendars.

Singles Day is especially embraced in European markets. The survey shows that the day is known by 56% of Polish consumers, 41% of German consumers, and 37% of Swiss consumers.

Autumn: Extended Season of Bargain Hunting

Consumers are embarking on deal hunting well before the November sales events.

Over 60% of consumers surveyed said they start actively researching deals early—some as early as October. Furthermore, when they begin deal hunting, more than 70% of consumers said they don’t know exactly what brand or product to purchase—leaving retailers room to shape buying decisions.

Julia Hohmann-Altmeier, an Associate Director in BCG’s Marketing and Sales practice, highlights the extended season of bargain hunting, stating:

November sales events are blurring into a whole season of bargain hunting. And this year, consumers are ready and willing to shop around to get the best value for their dollar.

As we anticipate a highly competitive shopping season this November, retailers are urged to provide relevant discounts and targeted ads based on product interests and key moments to convert shoppers into buyers.

For more advice check out: 5 Ways to Maximise Profits on Black Friday

For a comprehensive look at the 2023 Black Friday Survey findings, download a copy here.

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