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What can Black Friday can tell us about next year's consumer trends?

Back in July, we predicted consumer trends for this Christmas based on insights from shopper behaviour during the pandemic and Christmas 2020. These included - amongst others - the omnichannel split, mobile commerce, and sustainability.

Now, with Black Friday behind us and peak statistics in, which of this year's trends look likely to dominate 2022? 

Bumper sales

The UK has just had its biggest Black Friday sales day ever.1 The number of payments via Barclaycard were up 23% between midnight and 5pm compared with the same period in 2020,2 whilst Nationwide said its customers had made 5.95m purchases by 5pm, 26% up on last year and 24% up on 2019.3

These are encouraging figures for retailers, surely confirming shoppers' post-pandemic return to big spending. So will this buying confidence remain for next year? Our DHL Customer Insight Manager, Katherine Newton, thinks absolutely: "We definitely expect sales to be as high," she says.

Bricks and clicks

The omnichannel debate continues, bolstered by some intriguing new statistics. Firstly, a survey conducted with global consumers revealed that around 40% of shoppers were likely to choose physical stores for this year's Black Friday shopping.4Conversely, however, almost half of UK consumers plan to shop online during Black Friday and the lead up to Christmas.5

Retail Week described the online versus physical shopping data as still "painting a polarised picture,"6 which looks unlikely to change in 2022. One survey suggests 48% of Christmas purchases will be bought online,7 illuminating just how polarised the bricks versus clicks debate remains. 

As for retailers' wishes for online versus digital in 2022, omnichannel sellers are pleased to see sales so divided. One of our clients, Potters Cookshop, sell kitchenwares from their store in Hockley as well as online. Owner Clive Potter says assuredly, "We want both to happen. In-store business has gone up again but we want to do both. We're committed to online and in-store."

Mobile commerce

One of our July predictions that's come to fruition over the Black Friday weekend is the continued rise of mobile commerce. It seems that 2020's ushering in of mobile-first marketing and buying is here to stay for 2022.

Over the past year, there's been a 40% year-on-year increase in overall app installs.8 Shopify reported a record Black Friday, with sales of almost EUR2.9 billion around the world and data shows that 72% of these global sales were made on mobile.9

These statistics make it overwhelmingly clear that next year's shoppers are more likely to buy on their phones than ever.


At the start of the year, 73% of consumers said they want to be more sustainable in 2021.10 During a survey carried out this peak, 79% of UK Christmas shoppers reported being hyper-aware of sustainability issues around packaging waste from online shopping.11 This all points to predictions of an even greener 2022 being true. 

"Sustainability at the moment is a key concern for a lot of our customers," Says DHL's Client Director Sarah Smith, "We're getting asked more and more about our plans. Our GoGreen plan aims to make DHL carbon neutral by 2050, with 2025 and 2030 milestones that need to be met. There's also GoGreen training for DHL employees to ensure they're acting as sustainably as possible."

Moreover, Black Friday evidence suggests that this 'greener 2022' is likely to extend to ethical buying too - with shoppers favouring independent, local stores over their larger, global counterparts. Amazon's largest UK warehouse was blockaded by climate activists whilst many small stores decided to boycott Black Friday altogether or offer alternatives.12

Delivery and returns convenience

Undoubtedly, the growing popularity of e-commerce has made shoppers more aware of brands' delivery experience. In fact one source suggests that, this Black Friday, a buzz-building peak campaign was as much about offering fast and reliable shipping as it was deals and discounts.13 If this attitude continues throughout 2022, retailers will need to place more emphasis on their delivery and returns than ever before.

DHL work hard throughout the year to deliver the best experience for our customers, evidenced by our impressive overall Reevoo score of 8.7/10.14Katherine Newton comments that, with the importance of convenient delivery and returns only growing, "We definitely need to keep close to our customers." 

DHL Customer Service Team Leader Chris Drinkwater, on the other hand, is confident that everything will be done to ensure consumers' increasing demands are met. "We have a 'customer first' programme," he says, "We put the customer at the heart of everything we do. We focus on our mission: Excellence, simply delivered." 

DHL has everything you need to grow your business in 2022. From an award-winning customer service team to complete ServicePoint convenience and much more. To find out how we can support your sales, visit here

1 The Guardian, 2021
2 The Guardian, 2021
3 The Guardian, 2021
4 Statists, 2021
5 The Drum, 2021
6 Retail Week, 2021
7 Internet Retailing, 2021
8 AppsFlyer, 2021
9 Tamebay, 2021
10 Fashion United, 2021
11 Internet Retailing, 2021
12 The Guardian, 2021
13 The Drum, 2021
14 Reevoo, 2021


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