black friday ecommerce

The holiday shopping rush is in full swing!

Preliminary data shows that 2023 Black Friday and Cyber Monday were record-breaking days for online retailers as more consumers did their holiday shopping online. While most major retailers easily handled the high volumes, a few experienced outages or long delays that frustrated shoppers and led to lost sales.

eCommerce platforms and order management systems were pushed to their limits, processing unprecedented order volumes over the busy Cyber Monday shopping period. The massive surge in online orders exposed weaknesses in some companies’ systems that struggled under the weight of more traffic and transactions than ever before.

Black Friday Recap: Online Sales Sets New Highs

According to Adobe Analytics, online spending during the recent Black Friday shopping period reached an estimated $9.8 billion—that’s a 7.5% increase over last year’s Black Friday recap sales of $9.6 billion. Mobile shopping contributed to 27.7% of all digital sales as more shoppers used smartphones to browse deals and check out.

Electronics experienced substantial increases in online purchases, as did apparel, toys, jewelry, appliances, furniture, bedding, and personal care products. These numbers are an optimistic demonstration of the eCommerce industry’s growing resilience. The rise of mobile shopping also signals that eCommerce businesses must prioritize building fully responsive sites that provide an excellent experience across all devices. Retailers should therefore invest in their online stores, mobile optimization, and digital marketing.

Cyber Monday Recap

2023 Cyber Monday also saw digital sales jump to an estimated $12.4 billion, beating the 2022 record of $11.3 billion, states Adobe Digital Insights. What’s impressive is that a significant portion of online sales during the recent Black Friday shopping period came from smartphones. A whopping 54% of all digital purchases were made on mobile devices, an increase from approximately 48% in the previous year.

Smartphone sales are estimated to have totaled $5.3 billion. Adobe Analytics predicts this may be the first year where the value of mobile commerce surpasses that of online shopping via desktop computers for Black Friday. If this trend continues, mobile shopping could eventually dominate the eCommerce landscape for major sales events.

This holiday season, many shoppers opted for standard shipping to allow more time for delivery without paying higher rates for expedited options. “Economy or budget” shipping was selected for most Cyber Monday orders because shoppers wanted gifts delivered on time. Such shipping preference over faster, more costly alternatives indicates online shoppers are now planning ahead and leaving a buffer in their delivery timelines for gifts.

According to Forbes, it also suggests that eCommerce retailers have successfully convinced shoppers to start their holiday buying earlier, rather than waiting until the last minute to place Cyber Monday orders.

Lessons for Improving and Optimizing Future Sales

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales continue to soar year after year, data shows that online shopping remains hugely popular. Companies must analyze 2023 numbers to optimize marketing strategies and sales operations heading into next year’s holiday season. Businesses that want to attract busy shoppers should focus on fast and easy checkout experiences across all devices.

The mobile shopping trend indicates the need for optimized mobile sites and apps. Order and inventory management solutions will also be critical to helping eCommerce businesses scale up to process higher volumes and meet consumer demand during peak sales periods. Any issues with fulfillment could lead to damaged brand perception.

Retailers also need accurate, real-time inventory data that integrates with their online stores and apps, so mobile shoppers aren’t frustrated by out-of-stock messages on their purchases.

Consider M.O.M., our order and inventory management system purpose-built to help eCommerce businesses scale. M.O.M.’s real-time inventory visibility and order fulfillment automation capabilities can help retailers avoid delays, backorders, and lost sales.

Contact us or book a demo today to learn how M.O.M. can streamline order processing across all channels this holiday season and beyond.