Key Takeaways From BFCM 2022

This Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw record-breaking sales and increases in AOV despite the fact that average items per order was down and inflation was up. So, what really happened on BFCM and what are the key takeaways?

For months, consumers and retailers alike have waited for Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM), the biggest shopping event of the year. The initial numbers are now in, and sales did not disappoint! Online shoppers in the U.S. spent a record-setting $9.12 billion on Black Friday 2022, up 2.3% from last year. Even more significant was the revenue from Cyber Monday, which Adobe Analytics recorded at a whopping $11.3 billion – an increase of 5.8% from 2021. Top product categories included electronics, toys, exercise equipment, apparel, and accessories.

“This is the time of year when shoppers are scouring the internet, looking for the best deals they can find on products they’ll love or that they can gift to friends and family. Giving shoppers a friction-free product discovery experience is crucial for eCommerce brands, retailers and marketplaces,” said Syte CEO Vered Levy-Ron. “Black Friday shoppers showed up this weekend ready and willing to convert. Brands that prepared in advance and focused on creating seamless and enjoyable product discovery experiences are the ones that came out ahead.” 

While the numbers certainly look good at first glance, there are some underlying statistics worth looking at to see how BFCM 2022 stacks up against previous years. For example, experts have said that much of this year’s increase in spending is due to inflation, which rose 7.7% year-over-year for October. This means 2022 shoppers likely paid more to buy less, despite the great deals over the holiday weekend. 

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what really happened on Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2022, including unique data from shoppers who used Syte’s product discovery solutions to find their holiday purchases this year. 

Important BFCM 2022 eCommerce Data Points 

Let’s examine three market categories from this year’s BFCM shopping weekend:

Mobile shopping 

Mobile devices represent 48% of all Black Friday online sales, up 4% from last year. The growth of m-commerce aligns with the global increase in smartphone use, with 83.32% of the world population (6.64 billion people) owning a smartphone in 2022. 

person scrolling through an online shoe store looking for BFCM deals on their mobile device

Key takeaway: Mobile-oriented marketing strategies are now an essential part of holiday sales success for online brands and retailers. 

Learn more: Check out our masterclass here for practical pointers on upgrading your mobile experience for the holiday season. 

Brick-and-mortar stores

In-store purchases were made by 67% of all Black Friday shoppers, highlighting the importance of retailers focusing on and developing omnichannel marketing strategies. 

woman buying clothes from clerk in a brick-and-mortar retail shop on BFCM

Key takeaway: When people make an in-store purchase in 2022, the decision is often already made online. They’ve done the research, they’ve got the awareness, and they walk into the store ready to buy. 

Learn more: Deliver an immersive and flawless omnichannel retail experience with these nine specific strategies.

Buy Now Pay Later

During Black Friday 2022, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) payments rose 78% compared with the previous week. This means it’s more important than ever for brands and retailers to provide a personalized UX on their websites so that shoppers only view highly relevant products that match their unique intent, taste, and style during the discovery period. 

a stack of $100 bills wrapped in a red bow

Key takeaway: We can see from this data the importance of inspiration in the shopping journey. Even if people don’t have the means right now, they’ll still commit to paying later for an item they love.

Learn more: Watch this Syte Studio video with five practical steps on how to create a truly personalized online shopping experience.

Syte Insights on BFCM 2022 Consumer Behavior 

Drilling down into some of the most interesting data we saw from consumers using Syte solutions, we can report increases in Average Order Value (AOV) and Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPPU) while conversion rates were relatively flat compared to 2021. 

Overall, the data suggests that shoppers were more discerning in their purchasing this year, as expected. It’s not that shoppers aren’t buying, it’s just that they’re putting more thought into each purchase. This is in line with findings from a recent National Retail Federation (NRF) study, which reported that half of U.S. consumers are shopping for cheaper alternatives and 40% are making cuts to afford necessities. 

woman considers making an online purchase with her credit card on BFCM

Here are some more key takeaways from collected Syte data: 

  • Conversion rates: There were slight increases in conversion rates (CVR) for apparel items over last year while home decor and jewelry – often bigger ticket items – saw slight declines.
  • Average number of items per order: The average items per order was down from 4.5 to 3.01 in apparel, and relatively flat in home decor and jewelry. 
  • Average order value: Though the average number of items per order dropped, there was an increase in AOV. “This is definitely a trend that we are seeing in eCommerce right now,” said Dana Zachor, Enterprise Customer Success Manager at Syte. “People are spending more and buying less.” Across the board, on average, shoppers who engaged with Syte’s visual AI product recommendations and image search solutions spent more in 2022 per order of their apparel, home decor, and jewelry items. Our reports show an AOV of $552.50 for home decor (up 81.7% y-o-y), $261.10 for jewelry (up 1.2% y-o-y), and $129.10 for apparel (up 27.7% year-over-year). There are several factors at play here. Namely, manufacturing and shipping delays combined with inflation means everything is going up in price. 
  • Average revenue per paying user: Syte customers saw increases in ARPPU from all traffic sources, across the board. Notably, there was a 48.74% increase in ARPPU sourced from Pinterest and a 30.76% increase in ARPPU sourced from email marketing. 
  • Mobile vs. desktop purchases: More shoppers used mobile devices to buy apparel during BFCM this year (a 7.42% increase), but this wasn’t the case for jewelry and home decor shoppers. In these categories, we saw drops in mobile transactions of 3.27% for jewelry and 1.51% for home decor.
  • Traffic from organic google search: There were more conversions based on organic google searches during BFCM 2022 than the previous year. This is an indication that shoppers are spending more time trying to find exactly what they want and googling until the right product surfaces. 

Pushing Through to Christmas 

Though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, the momentum for holiday shopping is in full swing. With Christmas only three weeks away, it’s more important than ever for eCommerce brands and retailers to focus on the lessons we can learn from BFCM 2022. This includes providing hyper-personalized shopping experiences – both on desktop and mobile – as well as offering multiple payment options, especially BNPL. Additionally, with higher prices due to inflation and supply issues, more shoppers will do their research online before purchasing in stores – making omnichannel retail strategies another top priority. Ultimately, brands and retailers are going to have to work harder to get shoppers to convert and, to do that, they will need to provide the best and most seamless shopping experiences possible. To learn how Syte can improve your brand’s UX, contact us for a demo