Forget the weeks leading up to Christmas – this year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are set to out-strip Christmas for spending, a new study from Honeycomb Strategy has revealed.

The leading specialist research agency released the findings from its Black Friday and Christmas shopping spending research, which questioned Australians about their proposed spending habits in the all-important spending lead-up to the festive season.

The data revealed Black Friday has become a pivotal moment in the Australian retail calendar, with close to two-thirds (65%) planning to shop the Black Friday sales on November 24. More than one in four (27%) said they would proactively seek out deals for Black Friday ahead of time, while one in 10 are signed up to Black Friday newsletters in anticipation of savings.

According to the research, nearly half of Australians plan to use Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals for Christmas shopping, with more than half saying they’d be buying gifts for loved ones in the sales.

Of those doing their Christmas shopping during Black Friday, nearly half (45%) said they’d use the sale to do all their festive gift buying. In a sign of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, Australians are set to cut back on spending this Christmas, with one in four (23%) saying they’re planning to spend less on gifts this year.

Nearly all shoppers who are planning on cutting back attributed living costs to their decision to reduce their spending. In bad news for toy stockists, one in five (20%) said they were planning on spending less on toys this year, while clothing, electronics, good and gourmet treats, home décor and furnishings are also set to take a hit.

Bricks-and-mortar shopping is still set to have its place in 2023, with more than half (54%) saying they still enjoy the experience of visiting physical stores to shop, particularly in December. Gift vouchers are also set to have a resurgence in 2023, with Aussies forecasting to buy more gift cards than ever this festive season.

Honeycomb Strategy managing director, John Bevitt said the research shows retailers and brands can’t underestimate the increasing power of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in bringing in dollars.

“Traditionally, Black Friday and Cyber Monday were perceived as more US-based shopping events. Now, Australian shoppers are taking advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, particularly as more brands and retailers offer special deals across the sales weekend,” he said.

“Retailers and brands have already jumped the gun, with early sales deals and discounts and VIP specials to entice shoppers. This takes on more potency in 2023 as the cost-of-living crisis continues. More Australian shoppers this year will be looking to save money where they can, especially in the lead up to Christmas, and this is where the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales can swoop in.”