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Inflation hits Cyber Weekend 2022 as the average selling price of North American goods rises 8.5% causing unit sales to slip -9.3% year-over-year

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Inflation hits Cyber Weekend 2022 as the average selling price of North American goods rises 8.5% causing unit sales to slip -9.3% year-over-year


Despite a dip in unit sales, NA retailers’ overall dollar sales rose 14.7% (vs global sales +8.9%) and average order value 10.6% (vs global AOV 6.2%), leading to a healthy weekend performance, despite consumer spending constraints amid high inflation


New York, December 1, 2022 – Nosto, the leading Commerce Experience Platform (CXP), has released its annual Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) 2022 data.


Analyzing more than 107 million website visits to 1,269 online stores during the BFCM weekend that use Nosto’s CXP (which includes merchants in North America, United Kingdom, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific), they found that, while the BFCM weekend saw encouraging year-over-year growth in overall traffic (global +5.4%, NA +12.5%), sales (global +8.9%, NA +14.7%), and average order value (global +6.2%, NA +10.6%), inflationary pressures pushed the average selling price up (NA +8.5%), dragging down unit sales year-on-year (global -4.8%, NA -9.3%)[1].


Revealing the sharp rise in ecommerce personalization, Nosto also tracked the number of personalized product recommendations served across the BFCM weekend[2]: 3 billion personalized product recommendations were served globally across the four days, equating to 780 million per day, 32 million per hour, and 9,000 per second.


“Predicting consumer behavior this Black Friday/Cyber Monday was always going to be difficult given the current economic situation. But, the data shows consumers are still spending, especially in North America, though they’re becoming more cautious due to the highest inflation rates we’ve seen for a long time,” said Guy Little, Head of Brand Marketing, Nosto.


The year-on-year analysis, which is of same-store performance across the same period in 2021 and 2022, also shows that, while shoppers globally are hungry for discounts and are browsing more than ever, they’re harder to convert: traffic is up 5.4%, engagement[3] is up 8.4%, but conversion rate drops 4% year-on-year, despite a deluge of discounts.


“Average order value (AOV) and sales are high, in part, because product prices have increased with inflation. They’re also high because consumers feel a greater need to grab the steepest discounts. Traffic and engagement are up, but conversion rates aren’t, despite all the discounts being offered. That’s why online retailers need to ensure that everything a shopper sees onsite is deeply personalized and that the experience they receive is truly 1:1. It’s simple: you have the best chance of converting shoppers if you’re able to understand their behavior and affinities—and then surface the products you know they’re most likely to convert on,” Little said.


When it comes to total weekend sales, Black Friday (BF) reigned supreme, taking 32.8% of the share, leaving Saturday with 22.8%, Sunday with 20.2%, and Cyber Monday with 24.3%.


Cyber Monday (CM), however, saw the biggest year-over-year increase in traffic (+7.5% vs BF’s +6.35%), sales (+11.7% vs BF’s +8.4%), and AOV (+7.6% vs BF’s +4.9%). Despite Black Friday sales taking the crown, Cyber Monday’s YoY increases suggest a growing number of people are becoming more hesitant and searching, or waiting, for deeper discounts to be unveiled on the final day. Shoppers have a keen eye for bargains: on average, consumers bought products at a 40% discount, with 20% as the minimum accepted discount level for most shoppers. Moreover, 83% of all items sold across the weekend had prices slashed.


Device Splits

When we look at device-split, 26.6% of the traffic across the weekend came from desktop, while 73.4% came from mobile. 36.8% of the total sales came from desktop, while 63.2% came from mobile (a 10% YoY rise for mobile). Shoppers are still more likely to convert on a desktop, though (4.5% vs 3.6%); and for AOV, desktop wins seeing $126 vs $100.


Regionally, NA saw strong YoY increases in traffic (+12.5%), sales (+14.7%), and AOV (+10.6%), but a conversion rate drop of -8.9%. The UK was the only region analyzed to demonstrate an increase in conversion rate (+15.1%).


Vertical Splits

Looking at the global vertical splits, the strongest performance was in health and beauty, which saw large YoY increases in traffic (+13.5%), sales (+22.6), and, contrary to the general trend, CR too (+7.5%). Meanwhile, fashion saw the biggest YoY increase in AOV (+9.8%). Both demonstrate that consumers are still willing to spend on non-essential items, despite current economic conditions.


Suggesting shoppers are potentially returning to physical stores in some categories, home & garden (-5.9%) and food & beverage (-2.7%) both saw a drop in overall sales since 2021. However, the average order value in these categories was up, by +5.5% in home & garden and +6.2% in food & beverage—consumers buying online for these categories are checking out fuller carts.


“When it comes to vertical markets, we’ve seen double-digit growth in health & beauty and sporting goods, and a near 10% increase in average order values for fashion. In contrast, sectors such as home & garden and food & beverage have slipped back, potentially as shoppers return to physical stores. Retailers in these areas should therefore focus on how they bring the benefits of the in-store experience to their online experience, such as being able to examine goods in detail and seeing them in context in the case of homewares,” Guy said.


Shopify merchants demonstrated the strongest performance of the tracked platforms[4], showing a +9.5% increase in traffic (Magento +6%, Prestahop -2%), a +16.4% increase in sales (Magento -9%, Prestashop -9.9%), and a +8.3% increase in AOV (Magento +4.8%, Prestashop +10.2%). Continuing the trend, the conversion rate dipped across all platforms (Shopify -2.4%, Magento -11.6%, and Prestashop -17%).


[1] 2021 saw 14,932,336 units sold globally, while 2022 saw 14,202,738 units sold globally between common Nosto merchants, representing a -4.8% decrease YoY; in NA specifically, 2021 saw 9280523 units sold, while 2022 saw 8421395 units sold, representing a -9.3% decrease YoY


[2] 3,038,482,745 across the weekend, 759,620,686 per day, 31,650,861 per hour, 8,791 per second


[3] Engagement = time spent on page


[4] Platforms tracked include Shopify, Magento, Prestashop and others and performance represents common merchant’s activity on the respective platform from 2021 to 2022


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