Get ready for Black Friday 2022 with updated stats and trends

A woman holding a credit card makes an online purchase during a Black Friday sale using her laptop.

Black Friday is one of the year’s busiest shopping days, and businesses that capitalize on the holiday can earn big profits. But even so, changes brought about by the pandemic, the economy, and updates in technology may have companies wondering where to focus this year.

After all, shopper behavior has changed dramatically over the past few years, and it’s getting harder to predict where you should route your resources — or which trends are really worth the hype. With worries about inflation and a possible recession, consumers are understandably going to adjust their holiday shopping behavior this year.

This guide will cover all of the important trends for Black Friday 2022, backed up with recent statistics and predictions, to help you make the best decisions for your business.

In this article, you’ll learn:

2021 Black Friday retrospective

On average, on Black Friday 2021, 88M Americans bought online deals, spent $5.1B, increased orders by 9%, and spent $430 individually.

While 2022 is a different animal, it’s still important to look at Black Friday statistics from 2021. Despite the ongoing pandemic and economic uncertainty, last year’s Black Friday was still a resounding success for brands.

Top-selling products on Black Friday

Black Friday shoppers viewed an average of 5.3 products. You can’t expect shoppers to buy your products the first time they see them, so make sure you’re driving demand this year to keep your brand top of mind.

Some products sell better than others on Black Friday. Although this changes from year to year, some of 2021’s top sellers were:

As you can see, electronics are always popular sellers. It’s no wonder why most of Amazon’s top deals were in the consumer electronics category, while kids clamored for toys like the Nintendo Switch, Barbie, and Oculus VR during last year’s Black Friday sales.

Several Black Friday predictions say that 2022 shoppers will be looking for small appliances, cookware, smart home devices, gaming consoles, and fitness trackers.

Shopper demographics

Shopper behavior changes over time, but it’s also important to remember that shoppers differ by age too. The shopping habits of a Gen Z college student and a retirement-age baby boomer are completely different, so you have to know what your demographic wants to see.

Millennials (particularly the 35–44 age group) were the biggest spenders for Black Friday last year. However, people aged 18–24 were the second most likely to take advantage of Black Friday deals. Strangely enough, technology-loving millennials and Gen Z were more likely to shop in store for Black Friday, while Gen X and boomers were more likely to shop online.

In terms of gender, 29% of women planned to shop on Black Friday, compared to 27% of men. However, if brands offered a really good deal, 59% of men and 57% of women said they could be coaxed into making an unplanned purchase.

Online Black Friday sales vs. in-store sales

So, where are shoppers making their purchases? The good news is that Black Friday sales increased by 12.1% overall in 2021 over 2020 figures. Online sales grew by 5% year-over-year in 2021, and in-store sales increased an impressive 40% — which isn’t a big surprise, given the COVID-19 shutdowns of 2020.

Shoppers spent $8.9 billion online just on Black Friday, although retailers saw a pleasant 19% increase in in-store traffic too.

Shoppers spent $8.9 billion online just on Black Friday, although retailers saw a pleasant 19% increase in in-store traffic too. For those who shopped in person, many consumers opted for convenient options like curbside delivery and buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS). In fact, BOPIS accounted for 18% of all Cyber Monday sales in 2021.

Speaking of Cyber Monday, 77 million people shopped on Monday, while 88 million shopped on Black Friday, so Black Friday is clearly the more popular shopping day. In 2021, shoppers spent $8.9 billion online during Black Friday and $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday.

Online shopping is clearly still popular with shoppers, and they seem to prefer a few major platforms. Amazon by and large won Black Friday last year, earning an enormous 17.5% of all Black Friday sales. Walmart came in second place at 10.9%, and Target was third at 5.7%.

It’s no secret that shoppers are glued to their mobile phones. In 2021, 42% of Black Friday sales came from mobile phones, accounting for $3.7 billion in sales. That was a 2% increase over 2020 figures, and we expect to see this trend continue in 2022.

However, not everyone is ready to pull the trigger when they shop from their mobile device. Nearly 70% of shoppers say they research products on their smartphone, but many will wait to buy until they’re on their desktop. This means retailers need to optimize their product pages for both mobile and desktop — and cross-channel data optimization doesn’t hurt, either.

Consumers will shop early and online

While consumers were worried about out-of-stock items in 2021, 2022 is a different matter. This year, shoppers are worried about inflation and the economy, so they’re thinking with their wallets. There’s a good chance that 2022 Black Friday consumers will get their shopping done earlier, too. They’re hoping to find better deals online so they can save money this holiday season, which is something retailers need to consider.

In fact, 56% of consumers report that they started holiday shopping in October 2022 instead of waiting until later. Half of all shoppers say they would switch retailers if they could find a better deal, so online price comparisons will be popular too. This is why Black Friday sales are starting earlier and earlier each year. But since this is what 2022 shoppers expect, it isn’t a bad idea for brands to promote holiday sales long before late November.

On average, in-store discounts are 20% off just before Thanksgiving and 37% off afterward, with online Black Friday deals seeing an average 34% discount. While brands used to be able to offer sales in the week before Thanksgiving, that isn’t what shoppers expect in 2022. Remember, shoppers are looking for deals as early as October, so brands need to offer discounts and holiday-themed deals ASAP.

This means brands need to do a few things:

In 2021, 57% of sales came from desktop computers while 43% of sales came from mobile phones.

Change has been the norm for 2022, and that holds true for Black Friday as well. Based on these Black Friday statistics, we predict that these three trends will be the most important for brands in 2022.

1. Early shopping

The world is crazy right now, and shoppers don’t want the uncertainty of shopping for gifts at the last minute. While you could get away with a simple Black Friday campaign in years past, your brand now needs to promote sales from October through the first week of January. Don’t wait to launch your Black Friday campaigns — start now to capture shoppers at every stage.

2. Discounts

While discounts are always an important factor for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, shoppers are feeling the pinch this year particularly. Inflation and recession woes are on everyone’s mind, so discounts are even more important. Try to offer impressive discounts to persuade shoppers to go with your brand over everyone else. If you’re worried about your margins, try offering bundles, BOGO deals, or starter kits to encourage sales without hurting your bottom line.

3. In-person shopping

It sounds counterintuitive given how much shoppers love technology, but they also want to shop in the store again. After years of lockdowns and isolation, shoppers are returning to retail locations to do their holiday gift shopping. If you haven’t already, reinvest in your retail locations and enhance the in-store experience.

You should also make plans for curbside pickup or BOPIS. These holdouts from the lockdown days are a favorite for customers who want the convenience of online ordering with the immediacy of in-store shopping.

Are you ready for Black Friday 2022?

The way consumers shop has changed drastically since 2020. It’s never been harder for business owners to forecast where they should route their resources or capitalize on trends. With consumers gearing up to spend a lot of money this holiday season, it’s your chance to capitalize on the busiest shopping season of the year.

Evaluate how ready your team is for Black Friday by asking yourself some key questions — are your marketing materials ready? Are your inventory and order management programs running smoothly? How streamlined is your store fulfillment? Are you using the best ecommerce platform?

No matter where you’re at in your journey, don’t try to do it alone. Adobe can help. Businesses of all sizes rely on Adobe Commerce to reach customers wherever they are, across devices and marketplaces. It’s more than a flexible shopping cart system — it’s the building block for business growth.

Watch the Adobe Commerce overview video or take a product tour to learn more.