7 consumer trends that retailers should know ahead of BFCM

- November 15, 2023 3 MIN READ

The biggest shopping event of the year is almost upon us and two-thirds of Australians are planning to take advantage of Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) deals, explains Shaun Broughton, Managing Director, Shopify JAPAC.

Despite tightening their belts in recent months, 63 per cent of Aussie shoppers are planning to spend more or the same this BFCM compared to last year.

Ahead of the 2023 Black Friday Cyber Monday weekend, Shopify commissioned Sapio to survey 2,000 consumers and 350 businesses across Australia to learn what is motivating consumers and shaping retail this year.

Here are seven consumer trends to watch out for ahead of BFCM

1. AI drives product discovery

While much of the focus around AI for retailers has been based on how it can help them unlock efficiency, the research shows that 69% of Australian consumers believe AI will make it easier to discover new brands and products — a belief shared even more widely among high income earners (77%).

In addition, 67% of shoppers agree AI can help them get personalised purchase recommendations and a more personalised shopping experience overall.

2. Tech-enabled shopping = loyal customers + bigger spenders

More and more shoppers are demanding tech-driven shopping experiences. Close to 1 in 4 consumers are inclined to buy from brands with technology-enabled shopping experiences (24 per cent), almost a quarter expect brands to embed technology into the shopping experience (24 per cent), and 23 per cent are more likely to spend money with brands that offer tech-enabled shopping experiences.

Interestingly, it is the biggest spenders who are most likely to adopt the latest shopping technology. Consumers planning to spend over $855 this BFCM are also the most likely to make use of virtual fitting room services (32 per cent), virtual assistants (31%), spatial commerce such as virtual showrooms (30 per cent), and QR codes or digital display screens (36 per cent).

3. Meaningful purchases trump big splurges

High-quality purchases that bring a sense of happiness or wellbeing are expected to trump big splurges this BFCM. 80% of consumers are looking for high-quality products, 78 per cent intend to buy small indulgences that provide everyday satisfaction, 63 per cent want products that will aid wellbeing, and 69% are prioritising sustainable products.

4. Everybody loves a bargain on BFCM

With cost-of-living pressures mounting, it’s no surprise 72 per cent of consumers plan to use BFCM to take advantage of the major savings on offer. More than four in five Australians (84 per cent) say they will compare prices to find the best deals and discounts. Offering discounts during major sales events is a good way for brands to get in on the action, however, retailers should be conscious that consistent discounting can position a brand as ‘cheap and cheerful’, which may not suit a retailer aiming for premium perception.

5. Social shopping isn’t niche – it’s mainstream

Shoppers across the nation are not just discovering new products on social media platforms, but making purchases there too. More than a third (37 per cent) of Australian consumers are happy to buy on Facebook, 35 per cent will buy through Instagram, 31 per cent will buy through YouTube, and 26% will buy via TikTok.

6. Physical stores are a fave for product discovery

It may sound old-fashioned, but it’s true: 42 per cent of consumers said browsing in a brick-and-mortar store is their favourite way to discover new products, beating online stores by only one percentage point (41 per cent).

Keep in mind that shoppers often begin their research online but may still like to see and feel products before committing to a purchase. Providing a seamless omnichannel experience can connect the disparate parts of the shopping journey and support a successful conversion.

7. Shoppers want to see your BFCM deals before they start

Many consumers will start planning their BFCM purchases ahead of time, and 69 per cent of them said they want retailers to communicate their offers before the sale starts. Given that two in five consumers (44 per cent) will begin looking for deals anywhere from a week to a few days before the sale, it’s wise for retailers to start communicating before then to ensure their brand is top of mind.

BFCM is brimming with opportunities for retailers to make sales. Those who understand what consumers want, and cultivate shopping experiences to match, are the most likely to achieve success throughout BFCM and beyond.

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