5 trends ahead of BFCM (Black Friday and Cyber Monday) 2023
by Tim Samuel

While they might have originated in the US, Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) have become a crucial time for many British businesses. This year, set against the backdrop of a cost-of-living crisis and mild autumn, it’s predicted that Brits will spend an estimated 3 Billion pounds according to research by finder.

All indications are that this would be a drop of around 23% from 2022’s 3.9 billion total. But while spend is likely to be considerably down, a record 51% of us say we’re likely to make a purchase, making this the most competitive BFCM yet.

So, with so much more competition for less spend, you’ll need a strategy that not only attracts but also retains customer interest over the next few weeks. Here’s 5 key BFCM trends for 2023 designed to excite and inspire consumers:

1. Pre-registration

Some brands have been using FOMO by limiting the number of invites to early access sales or even their entire promotion. Email marketing remains one of the most direct and personal ways to reach your audience, so it makes sense to use BFCM as a hook.

You may already have noticed from your bulging inbox, but the big trend for 2023 has been pre-registration for Black Friday offers. It’s essentially a data capture (email) exercise but it risks extending BFCM over a period of weeks and perhaps losing the big bang impact you get over a long weekend.

2. Returns are being tightened

The Guardian this week reported that returns rose 26% last year, with UK shoppers posting back over £4.1 billion of online clothing last year. With this in mind, many online retailers have adapted their returns policy. While some, like H&M, have removed free returns completely, others like ASOS and Next have taken to writing to serial returners, warning them that they may have their account suspended. Research by parcelLab reveals a quarter of the UK’s 200 leading online retailers are now charging shoppers to return items.

3. Prioritising Gen Z

With more than three-quarters of Gen Z are planning to spend during Black Friday, it makes sense to aim content and select the right channels to prioritise this audience. To put this into comparison, only 32% of Baby Booms plan to buy something over BFCM and only 8% of the Silent Generation say they’ll participate.

4. Sustainability

Can Black Friday ever be sustainable? A time of mass consumerism may sound like an unlikely backdrop, but many brands are looking to push their sustainable credentials. For their Black Friday campaign, Fjällräven – the outdoor clothing brand – chose not to discount, instead launching ‘Long Term Investment Friday’, focussing on the quality of their products.

Many UK brands like Milk & More and Ella’s Kitchen have chosen to change Black Friday to Green Friday. Milk & More planted a tree for all new customers and Ella’s Kitchen donated all online profits from the BFCM weekend to Tree for Life. This strategy will resonate with the 30% of UK consumers said to be re-evaluating their participation in BFCM due to environmental concerns.

5. Testing TikTok

Could 2023 be TikTok’s year? Fospha report that 70% of users expect the platform to inspire a Black Friday purchase, with 40% saying that they purchased something last year that they’d seen on TikTok. Collaborating with other businesses or influencers can also expand your reach, so consider how you can reach potential new customers and gain credibility with your target audience.

Cutting through the noise during BFCM requires a blend of strategic planning, effective digital marketing, and exceptional customer experiences. To discuss how our online team can help your business, contact us today.

November 15, 2023

If our Performance results have piqued your interest, get in touchto see how we can help your business growth.