Black Friday spending expected to increase while shoppers hunt for deals

Zachary Russell
Digital Editor
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Black Friday
Shoppers across the North America and Europe plan to take advantage of Black Friday sales.

In an effort to save on gifts ahead of the holidays, the average spend on Black Friday is expected to increase between 3-22% compared to 2022, according to a new survey.

Per the 2023 Black Friday consumer sentiment survey by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which interviewed more than 7,000 consumers across the U.S., Canada and several European countries, 74% of consumers say they will take advantage of Black Friday deals. This figure is an increase of seven percentage points over last year.

Over the course of this Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Singles' Day, US consumers plan to spend the most ($460), followed by Switzerland ($390), and Germany ($385).  BCG says this planned increase in spending signals the growing hunt for deals amid continued inflation.

"Black Friday is a highly anticipated part of the annual shopping calendar. As consumers feel pressure on their personal finances this year, they are more deal-focused than ever," said Jessica Distler, a BCG Managing Director and Partner and coauthor of the study. "The challenge for retailers will be to stand out among the noise."

To cut costs, more than 50% of those surveyed reported that they have cut back on non-essential purchases in the past three months, while 49% check and compare prices more frequently, and 41% buy more based on deals and promotions.

Across every country surveyed, consumers said that their preferred type of deal was a clear discount on all items instead of free shipping, bundle deals or a steep discount on select items. When asked about the minimum discount that would qualify for a "good deal," BCG survey respondents said they expect at least 30% off.

Consumers began hunting for deals last month. Over 60% of consumers surveyed said they start actively researching deals early. More than 70% of consumers said they don't know exactly what brand or product to purchase, providing an opportunity for retailers to shape buying decisions.

"November sales events are blurring into a whole season of bargain hunting. And this year, consumers are ready and willing to shop around to get the best value for their dollar," said Julia Hohmann-Altmeier, an associate director in BCG's Marketing and Sales practice and a co-author of the Black Friday study. "Retailers need relevant discounts and targeted ads based on product interests and key moments if they're going to convert shoppers during what is sure to be a highly competitive shopping season."