Published Nov 22, 2023

Changing Shopping Habits: Rise of Early Bird Shoppers and Shifting Black Friday-Cyber Monday Trends



The holiday shopping season is a time of excitement and anticipation for consumers, and this year, shopping habits are undergoing significant transformations. Early bird shoppers are taking the lead, opting to start their holiday shopping well in advance of the traditional Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events.

This shift was a top result when Celigo surveyed 1,000+ U.S. consumers on meeting and exceeding holiday shopping expectations.

Other key survey findings included:

Review the full 2023 Holiday Shopper Survey here.

In this article, we delve into the evolving trends of early holiday shopping and the changing importance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2023.

The Emergence of Early Bird Shoppers

The days of waiting for last-minute deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday seem to be fading away, as 29% of shoppers plan to kickstart their holiday shopping as early as October. Consumers are proactively seeking opportunities to get ahead of the holiday rush and secure their desired items before they sell out.

Retailers must adapt to this early shopping trend by launching pre-holiday promotions and exclusive offers to capture the attention of early bird shoppers.

Starting in September: The Quest for Deals and Planning

Interestingly, 19% of shoppers are keen to begin their holiday shopping in September. This trend is fueled by consumers’ eagerness to capitalize on early sales, discounts, and promotions offered by retailers ahead of the holiday season.

Planning ahead allows shoppers to carefully curate their gift lists and avoid the holiday rush. To cater to this segment, retailers should consider extending their holiday deals and promotions to earlier months, attracting consumers with enticing offers.

Time Spent Holiday Shopping

This year, 38% of shoppers are prepared to dedicate 3 to 5 hours to their holiday shopping. On the other hand, 20% will spend 1 to 2 hours on their shopping endeavors. This variance in shopping time reflects the diverse preferences and needs of consumers.

Retailers can optimize their customer experience by offering streamlined and efficient shopping journeys, accommodating both time-conscious shoppers and those who enjoy leisurely browsing.

Changing Perspectives on Black Friday

The significance of Black Friday appears to be undergoing a transformation, with 28% of shoppers stating that it will not be crucial to their 2023 holiday shopping plans. Traditionally known for doorbuster deals and massive crowds, Black Friday is now being overshadowed by the allure of early promotions and online shopping convenience.

Retailers must adapt their Black Friday strategies to cater to the changing preferences of consumers and offer unique value propositions to captivate customers.

Reimagining Cyber Monday

Similarly, 26% of shoppers have indicated that Cyber Monday will not hold significant importance in their 2023 holiday shopping plans. While online shopping remains popular, consumers no longer feel constrained to a single day of exclusive online deals.

Retailers should reconsider their Cyber Monday marketing approach and embrace an extended holiday shopping season to align with consumers’ evolving shopping habits.

Meeting the Needs of Early Bird Shoppers

The 2023 holiday shopping season is characterized by the rise of early bird shoppers and shifting perceptions of traditional shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Consumers are increasingly embracing the convenience and value of early shopping, seeking to avoid the holiday rush and secure the best deals. Retailers must adapt to these changing trends, offering pre-holiday promotions, extended sales events, and a seamless shopping experience to cater to the needs of early bird shoppers.

By reimagining the importance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and aligning their strategies with evolving consumer preferences, retailers can stay ahead in the competitive holiday market and ensure a successful and enjoyable shopping experience for all.

Gain more insights on this transition in holiday shopping.

–> Get the full 2023 Holiday Shopper Survey here.