holiday ecommerce shopping

The 2023 holiday season began with uncertainty due to the harsh economic times, but it registered record spending. Larger discounts impacted customers’ impulse buying and willingness to spend.

Between the 1st and 27th of November, shoppers had already spent $109.3 billion online, a 7.3% year-over-year (YoY) increase from 2022. The following five categories made up 60% of the sales: Electronics ($21.7 billion), Apparel ($19.2 billion), Furniture ($14.7 billion), Grocery ($6.8 billion) and Toys ($3.1 billion).

We’ve compiled a helpful 2023 eCommerce holiday season recap below, so read on to learn more about trends from this holiday season.

Amazon Record Prime Big Deal Days Recap

The year’s season began in mid-October with, among other retailer promotions, Amazon Prime Big Deal Days. The event took place on October 10th and 11th, surpassing last year’s Prime Early Access Sale as Amazon’s largest October holiday sale kickoff ever. Buyers made purchases worth hundreds of millions, with over 150 million in purchases being from Amazon’s third-party sellers.

The most purchased items were in the Apparel, Home, Beauty and Health, Sports and Outdoor, and Electronics categories. 58% of buyers also went in for the big discounts and promotions. 2nd Generation Apple AirPods Pro, BISSELL Little Green Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner, and Crest 3D Whitestrips were the top deals on the platform, according to Amazon.

Cyber Week 2023 eCommerce Holiday Season Recap

Cyber Week, the five-day shopping period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, saw a strong start with $38 billion in overall sales, an increase of 7.8% from 2022.


Thanksgiving shoppers increased by 0.4% compared to 2022 to surpass the 200 million mark. eCommerce won big on Thanksgiving, with 127 million online shoppers (a 2.1% increase from 2022) and $5.6 billion in spending, up 5.5% YoY.

Black Friday 

Online spending on Black Friday hit a record $9.8 billion, up 7.5% YoY. eCommerce merchants that performed best included:

  • Electronics retailers (including Best Buy) saw visits up 538.1% compared to the 2023 YTD (year to date) daily average and an increase of 517.8% from 2022.
  • Beauty and Self Care products saw a 375.0% increase, a decrease from 390.1% in 2022, perhaps because the category performed well throughout 2023.
  • Department Stores visits were up 338.1% compared to 317.4%, in 2023
  • Recreational and Sporting Goods rose 322.9% compared to 305.2% in 2022
  • Malls sales were up 270.4% from 267.8%  in 2022
  • Apparel sales went up 200.1% from 195.4% in 2022

The three top categories: Electronics Retailers, Beauty and Self Care, and Department Stores continued to enjoy significant weekend sales. Electronics Retailers and Department Stores had larger weekend sales surges this year compared to 2022 while Beauty and Self Care did better last year, showing that retailers concentrated on Black Friday sales. Malls and Apparel registered higher sales over the weekend than the Recreational and Sporting Goods category.

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday 2023 saw $12.4 billion in digital sales, surpassing 2022’s $11.3 billion sales record. This was a 9.6% year-over-year growth, making it the biggest online shopping day in history. Sales increased the most in Electronics, Apparel, Jewelry and Appliances compared to previous months.

The most popular item category was Apparels, which grew 189% compared to an ordinary day in October. There was also a significant increase in demand for Appliances (166%), Toys (140%), Furniture (129%), Electronics (103%), Jewelry (99%) and Sporting items (95%).

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) purchases hit a record high of $940 million in online spending on Cyber Monday, a 42.5% increase from 2022.

Super Saturday 2023 eCommerce Holiday Season Recap

Most retailers consider Super Saturday the busiest shopping day of the year after Black Friday, as last-minute shoppers rush for holiday gifts. This year’s Super Saturday fell on December 23rd, rolling it in with Christmas Eve. While some analysts predicted a dip in sales due to the holiday timing, the combined power of Super Saturday and Christmas Eve seems to have created some retail magic.

After Black Friday, retail visits rose steadily before peaking on December 23rd. Super Saturday saw a record $47 billion in sales, surpassing Black Friday’s $42.6 billion. The categories that experienced the highest Super Saturday spikes were grocery stores, superstores, and discount and dollar stores, where customers can get a variety of food items and inexpensive gift options.

Make The Most of Your Busy Seasons With an Industry-Leading OMS

The 2023 eCommerce season registered record-breaking sales, an unexpected scenario considering the prevailing tough economic times. Some eCommerce merchants were unprepared to handle the increased traffic and order fulfillment demands of the holiday season.

Contact us to how M.O.M., the leading multi-channel order management software for large-scale eCommerce merchants, can help you better manage your busy seasons.