Understanding this year's BFCM trends is vital for any brand aiming to thrive. It's not just about deals any more. It's about delivering unforgettable experiences.
From personal touches to a surge in eco-conscious shopping, we'll dive deep into the core of Black Friday expectations and shed light on Cyber Monday shopping nuances.
So, whether you're refining your landing page, optimising your shopping cart, or bolstering Black Friday campaigns with UGC and social proof, we are here to guide you.
1. Understanding consumer expectations: spending trends
1.1 Economic challenges and consumer optimism
The current economic landscape is influenced by inflation, impacting spending habits for the majority of consumers. Many individuals are displaying resilience, looking for innovative ways to maximise their budgets, take advantage of deals, and seek value for money. An overwhelming 97% of respondents express excitement about BFCM this year, as per the Tapcart survey.
A survey of 3K US consumers by Klaviyo and Qualtrics shows Gen Zs and millennials are optimistic about future spending, especially for holidays.
Brands that understand this and cater to both the constraints and aspirations of their customers are likely to find success.
1.2 Effective pricing and discounts
Understanding the types of discounts consumers anticipate, such as flash sales, bundle deals, and loyalty discounts, is essential. You need to strike the right balance between competitive pricing and perceived value.
Ensuring that your discounts are genuine and trustworthy is of importance. This helps build and retain trust with your customers. Data shows that 37% of consumers indicate that Black Friday deals directly influence their trust in a brand.
According to research conducted by the loyalty platform LoyaltyLion, 92% of UK shoppers acknowledge the impact of rising prices on their budgets.
For their BFCM shopping decisions, price isn't the sole driver. Approximately 62% of consumers prioritize brands they know and trust for their BFCM purchases. Interestingly, even in the face of the severe cost of living crisis, 48% of shoppers actively seek out brands that align with their values.
2. Gaining insight into shopper’s preferences
2.1 The rise of in-app purchases (m-commerce) and social commerce
Mobile shopping remains king. It's estimated that by 2024, mobile commerce (m-commerce) will make up 44% of total e-commerce sales.
Tapcart’s data shows that consumers are 40% more likely to download an app and opt into push notifications during Q4 than during the rest of the year, largely due to special offers (like early access to your sale).
Brands that catch that wave will have a built-in advantage to leverage through 2024 and beyond.
Make sure your site and product are optimised for a mobile shopping experience.
TikTok Shop, Instagram Shopping, Facebook Shops, and Pinterest's shoppable ads offer a unique opportunity to reach potential customers with precision.
One striking trend in the e-commerce landscape is the increasing popularity of shopping directly from social media shopfronts. A perfect example of this trend is TikTok's recent move to introduce an in-app shopping experience, eliminating the need for users to navigate to external web browsers.
Within the last 30 days on TikTok, the Amazon-native brand Wyze sold close to 40,000 units of a product priced at $33.99.
This shift signifies a game-changing development in the e-commerce arena, where convenience and accessibility are key.
Tailoring message frequency to different generations, leveraging app downloads, push notifications or UGC can provide a significant advantage during the holiday season.
2.2 User-friendly website and convenient checkout process
Consumers expect a fast, convenient checkout process. Ensuring a user-friendly website navigation experience is paramount. According to the Tapcart BFCM 2023 Consumer Trends Report, a mere 1 in 10 shoppers will tolerate a slow or poorly designed mobile web experience, irrespective of their generation.
Checklist for BFCM 2023
- Simple checkout process: Ensure your website's checkout process is intuitive and requires minimal steps. Remove unnecessary form fields and offer guest checkout options. The smoother and faster the checkout, the lower the cart abandonment rate.
- Payment options: Introduce a variety of payment methods to cater to different customer preferences. Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options on your site, such as Klarna, Afterpay, Affirm…
- Clear ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival): Communicate delivery timeframes clearly during the checkout process. Being transparent about potential shipping delays, especially during peak seasons, also manages customer expectations and builds trust.
- Proactive tracking: Equip your e-commerce platform with a dynamic order tracking feature, allowing customers to follow their order's journey from the warehouse to their doorstep. Complement this with timely email or SMS notifications at pivotal stages like dispatch, transit, and delivery.
- Simple returns process: Make it easy for customers to initiate returns online. Provide prepaid shipping labels or QR codes for contactless returns. The fewer obstacles customers face when returning items, the better.
- Extended return policies: During the holidays, extend your return window to accommodate gift recipients. A generous return policy, such as 60 or 90 days, can reassure hesitant shoppers.
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3. The growing demand of sustainable and ethical shopping
In recent years, consumers have become increasingly environmentally conscious. This awareness extends to their shopping choices, including shipping methods.
By 2030, e-commerce logistics in key global cities might produce around 25 million CO2 metric tons, as per Statista. E-retailers face the dual challenge of streamlining an eco-friendly supply chain while meeting the expectations of consumers who desire swift and affordable deliveries.
A survey by Descartes of 8,000 e-consumers across Europe, the U.S., and Canada showed that 54% are okay with longer deliveries if it means supporting green companies.
A further 20% would even pay a premium for such deliveries. Echoing this sentiment, a Drapers study from January 2023 reveals that 81% of consumers now demand sustainable packaging, marking a significant stride in the fight against plastic waste.
How to answer the rising concerns?
- Work with a sustainable logistic partner: Ensure that your delivery and supply chain partners are equally committed to sustainability. Verify that they optimise delivery routes, use plastic-free packaging and use renewable energy sources wherever possible. Bigblue is committed to working towards greener logistics.
- Offer carbon-neutral shipping: Partner with shipping providers that offer carbon-neutral or eco-friendly shipping options. This allows customers to reduce their carbon footprint with each purchase.
- Eco-friendly packaging: Consider sustainable packaging materials that are recyclable or biodegradable. Highlight your commitment to eco-friendliness in your product descriptions and communications.
- Educate and engage: Share information about your eco-friendly initiatives on your website and in marketing materials. Engage customers by explaining how your products are made and what initiatives you put in place.
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4. Tailoring the customer experience
4.1 Harnessing the power of personalisation
Personalisation goes beyond just addressing a customer by their first name in an email. It involves tailoring every aspect of the shopping journey to cater to the individual preferences and needs of your customers.
This includes recommending products they're likely to love, creating a website experience that aligns with their interests, and offering targeted promotions that genuinely resonate with them.
4.2 Elevating the unboxing experience
One often overlooked aspect of personalisation is the unboxing experience. When customers receive their orders, the moment of unboxing is a special one. It's an opportunity to surprise and delight your customers, leaving a lasting impression.
Consider custom packaging with your brand's unique style, personalised thank-you notes, or exclusive offers tailored to the customer's preferences.
Going the extra mile in the unboxing experience makes your brand memorable and encourages customers to share their excitement on social media, providing valuable word-of-mouth marketing.
Staying ahead of the game
BFCM 2023 presents both opportunities and challenges for e-commerce experts.
By staying attuned to evolving consumer expectations and trends, optimising the shopping experience, offering attractive pricing and discounts, ensuring seamless logistics, and embracing sustainability and personalisation, brands can not only meet but exceed customer expectations.
The time is now to leverage consumer optimism and create a memorable BFCM experience that resonates well beyond the holiday season.