Square and Afterpay Sellers Hit Record-Breaking Black Friday and Cyber Monday With 70M Transactions

Nov 29, 2023

Over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, millions of Square and Afterpay sellers across the world set a new record with 70M transactions, up 14% from last year. In Australia, growth was even more pronounced with a 24% year on year increase in transactions over the sales weekend.

Aussie consumers continued to display diverse shopping habits as in-person shopping increased 26%, while online cart sizes were 4x higher than in-person, reinforcing the need for sellers to optimise their omnichannel strategy for the remainder of the holiday season. Similarly, 11% more businesses leveraged the power of omnichannel by attracting buyers both in-person and online.

All year-over-year data compares the Black Friday through Cyber Monday weekend of 2022 to 2023, and can also be viewed here.

Some Australian Black Friday and Cyber Monday Global insights:

  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend proved to be busy for businesses beyond traditional retail. According to Square data, Australian restaurants experienced a 24% increase in transactions, while 62% more restaurants sent Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday discounts to promote their business.
  • Square found 117% more beauty and wellness sellers in Australia leaned into the shopping weekend by sending Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday discounts. Considering that in 2022, the most popular time for holiday appointments was December 20 - December 23, beauty sellers used the weekend to promote their services early in the holiday season.
  • Aussies shop before lunch: the peak minute of shopping occurred at 11am AEDT on November 24, 2023.
  • Despite a big weekend, the shopping season is just beginning. Last year, cart sizes in food, retail, and beauty grew 12% globally between the first week of December and the week before Christmas as consumers increased budgets to spoil friends and family.

Aussies proved they want convenience and options with activated subscriptions growing 128% and pre-orders for hot-ticket items leading to transactions being 2.5x higher than the average Square Online order. Gift cards also reigned supreme with more than 50K sold, and most notably in food and beverage, retail, and beauty and personal care.

The average discount offered was 31% across all channels, with 63% more sellers offering discounts over the weekend. Square and Afterpay’s Festive Forecast found that 71% of Aussies intended to shop for cheaper alternatives this holiday season as they look for deals to maximise savings, and sellers clearly understood this sentiment by leaning into a discounting strategy.

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) transactions through Afterpay increased 25%, and Square sellers in Australia saw their Afterpay transactions more than double (103%). The largest Afterpay item categories outside of fashion and beauty were Hardware, Home and Garden, Arts and Entertainment, Office Supplies, and Electronics as consumers used BNPL for more choice and flexibility at checkout during the holidays. As the popularity of mobile commerce increases, more consumers turned to the Afterpay app for all their shopping needs, with app usage up 16%.

The top selling items for Afterpay’s Australian merchants were:

  1. PlayStation 5 console
  2. Dreamworld annual passes
  3. Nintendo Switch
  4. Advent calendars
  5. Galaxy S23 Ultra
  6. Nike men’s shoes
  7. License Drop short sleeve from Cotton On
  8. Dyson vacuum
  9. Dyson Airwrap
  10. Xbox console


All data presented are unaudited and subject to adjustment.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Square and Afterpay analysed millions of transactions across all seller industries globally in 2023 from November 23, 11:00 UTC to November 27, 23:59 UTC. Countries included in global stats include the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, France, Ireland, Spain, and New Zealand.