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

Nov 28, 2023

In Canada, the peak minute of shopping occurred on Black Friday at 2:28 p.m. EST on November 24, 2023

Canadian cities with the largest volume of sales were Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton Winnipeg, Ottawa and Montreal

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. Consumers continued to display diverse shopping habits as in-person shopping increased 15%, while online cart sizes were 3.9X higher than in-person, reinforcing the need for sellers to optimize their omnichannel strategy for the remainder of the holiday season. Similarly, 9% 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.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Metrics in Canada:

  • Cities with the fastest growth of sales included Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton Winnipeg, Ottawa and Montreal.
  • In Canada, the peak minute of shopping occurred on Black Friday at 2:28 p.m. EST on November 24, 2023
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend proved to be busy for businesses beyond traditional retail. According to Square data, restaurants experienced a 24% increase in transactions, while 74% more restaurants sent Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday discounts to promote their business.
  • Square found 185% more beauty and wellness sellers 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.

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.

Consumers proved they want convenience and options with pre-orders for hot-ticket items leading to transactions being 1.34X higher than the average Square Online order in Canada. Gift cards also reigned supreme with more than 14,500 sold, and most notably in food and beverage, beauty and personal care and retail industries.

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) transactions through Afterpay increased 29% in Canada, and Square sellers saw their Afterpay transactions grow 10%. The fastest growing Afterpay item categories outside of fashion and beauty were home and department stores as consumers used BNPL for more choice and flexibility at checkout during the holidays.

“During the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping weekend, consumers turned out in droves to support their favorite businesses,” said Saumil Mehta, Head of Point of Sale and Omnichannel at Square. “We found that the holidays aren’t just for traditional retailers, as businesses across industries like restaurants and beauty lean into the major weekend. Given consumer sentiment has been positive around the holidays, and we know this weekend is often just the beginning, businesses should continue to expect an influx of shoppers, and be ready to meet them wherever they prefer to shop.”

All data presented are unaudited and subject to adjustment.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Square and Afterpay analyzed millions of transactions across all seller industries globally in 2023 from November 23, 11:00 UTC to November 27, 23:59 UTC. All monetary metrics are displayed in USD. Countries include the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, France, Ireland, Spain, and New Zealand.