We analyzed 8 billion mobile messages: Here’s what we learned about holiday shopping trends of 2023 

Deep dive into over 8 billion mobile interactions that took place on our platform via chat apps, social media, and SMS during Cyber Week and discover how mobile messaging and chat apps have taken a front seat in holiday shopping experiences worldwide this year. 

Content Marketing Specialist

Monika Karlović

Content Marketing Specialist

The holiday shopping season has changed drastically from what it was famous for in the past. We no longer see massive lines outside department stores, people camping out in tents on the eve of Black Friday, or the rush to get the items on your wish list as soon as the store doors open.  

That’s not to say that consumers aren’t still shopping on Black Friday – sales in the US saw a 7.5% increase compared to last year. Customers now prefer the convenience of mobile and online shopping, where they can compare deals and find the best prices in the comfort of their homes. The majority of online sales came from mobile shopping – $5.3 billion to be exact.  

Leading this change to a more phygital holiday season is mobile messaging via chat apps, social media, and SMS – the channels customers use daily. We reached a record high number of digital interactions, with 8.2 billion messages being sent globally over mobile and digital channels.  

Quick summary of holiday messaging statistics:

  • 8.2 billion mobile interactions during Cyber Week 2023 (15% increase) 
  • 2.7 billion mobile interactions on Black Friday (16% increase) 
  • 2.5 billion mobile interactions on Cyber Monday (14.5% increase)
  • SMS: interactions increased by 10% compared to Cyber Week 2022
  • WhatsApp: interactions increased by 40% compared to Cyber Week 2022
  • MMS: interactions increased by 18% compared to Cyber Week 2022
  • Google’s Business Messages: 2x more interaction than last Cyber Week
  • Apple Messages for Business: 28x more interaction than last Cyber Week
  • RCS: 2x more interaction than last Cyber Week

And each of these interactions contributed to raising awareness on promotions, engaging with customers and eventually purchase.

We analyzed over 8 billion interactions that took place on digital and mobile channels during Cyber Week on our platform to highlight major trends in mobile messaging that will influence the way businesses and shoppers approach the holiday shopping season in the future.   

Holiday shopping season trends of 2023

1. Entering the era of conversational experiences

We have officially entered the era of conversational experiences. Businesses have been adapting a conversational approach to their messaging strategies and customers are no longer willing to turn back. The sheer number of interactions over conversational channels on our platform this year tells us that customers are looking for instant communication with brands, and brands have been adapting this approach.  

We witnessed a record surge in digital messaging this year, with 8.2 billion messages being sent during Cyber Week over mobile-friendly, conversational channels: 

WhatsApp interactions increased by 40% from last year 

RCS interactions increased 4x compared to last year 

Viber interactions increased 7% compared to last year

Social media advertising, such as click-to-chat ads have made it comfortable for customers to shop and spend on their mobile devices while making it easy to switch between channels to complete a purchase. There was a 46% increase in social media interactions such as Instagram and Messenger compared to Black Friday 2022.

Brands have begun to use different combinations of channels to adapt to what their customers are looking for. It’s all part of becoming more flexible and adding conversational experiences to the customer journey with ease. If brands can interact with customers on the digital channels they love and offer automated and fast support when needed, they are well on their way to impressing their customers.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer retailers and eCommerce brands a significant opportunity to gain sales. While these days remain as popular as ever, consumers are changing how they want to interact with businesses.

So, to stand out and drive sales, retailers and eCommerce companies must adopt a conversational strategy and offer interactive and two-way communications with their customers through their preferred channel.

Supported by a market-leading global cloud communications platform, conversational chat apps and generative AI, we were able to help our clients create seamless experiences for their customers and boost engagement and sales this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Ivan Ostojić

Chief Business Officer at Infobip

2. Channel usage is diversifying

While SMS and Email continue to be a mainstay for transactional messages, announcements of flash sales and authentication, the paradigm around the Cyber Week shopping experience has changed. Customers want to be in the driver’s seat, they want the ease of online shopping along with the hyper-personalized experience of the best deals that suit their budget and interests, on the conversational channels they love. 

This means that businesses are starting to look at different channels for use cases like promotional messages, cart abandonment, and back-in-stock alerts to quickly grab their customers’ attention. 

Emerging chat apps saw a 2x increase in interactions since last year:

RCS also saw a 4x increase, and with Apple announcing plans to adopt the channel to iOS devices, we can expect even greater popularity emerging for this channel in the new year. Brands are already exploring RCS and seeing great results for their marketing campaigns.  

3. Finance industry feels the surge of mobile holiday shopping

Boosts in online and mobile shopping means more interactions are happening between financial institutions and their customers. Banks always need to validate their customers’ purchases, especially during the busy season when larger purchases are common, and fraudsters are on the hunt for vulnerable victims.


more interactions for financial institutions compared to last year


increase in interactions compared to 2 weeks before Black Friday

Overall, during Cyber Week, financial institutions saw a 12% increase in interactions compared to last year. Banks are sending more and more messages like OTPs on Black Friday to secure purchases and are adopting a more conversational approach to engaging with customers overall.

4. Brands are sending promotional messages earlier

To prep customers for upcoming sales and grab their attention ahead of time, brands started sending messages to customers earlier than before. This could include promotional messages, with early-bird deals, abandoned cart reminders, or alerts on what items customers can expect to see on sale for Black Friday.

MMS messages doubled in volume in the USA from November 20th all the way up to Black Friday. MMS is an ideal channel for promotional messages because of its rich features like images, branding, and weblinks. These grab a customer’s attention better than just a text message and have a much higher open rate compared to email- making it a favorite channel for American retailers in 2023. 

5. Voice reliability helps with overloaded web and apps

Web and apps can quickly become overloaded with shoppers, especially on busy days like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Brands who have adopted an omnichannel approach to communication know that adding support or fallback channels can ensure your customers can always reach you, even during peak hours.

Voice is a reliable and familiar channel for customers. Although chat apps increased in popularity, Voice remains a strong channel that customers rely on to reach support when automated messages or chatbots can’t help anymore.  

In fact, on Black Friday, Voice saw an increase in 17% more interactions than last year, meaning customers still rely on it for customer service during the busy season.  

Find out how to enhance your Voice service with an automated and efficient IVR system:

Holiday mobile messaging trends

Mobile messaging: USA

As the birthplace of Black Friday, it’s no surprise that the USA is one of the top countries for holiday shopping dates. This year, they experienced $9.8 billion in online sales – a record high. Take a look at how mobile messaging played a role in Americans’ holiday shopping experience:

Total interactions on Black Friday: 1.6 billion – 32% more than last year

Total interactions on Cyber Monday: 1.5 billion – 18% more than last year

SMS and MMS have always been popular and staple channels for American customers. SMS has the most reliable delivery, ideal for reminders and transactional messages and MMS adds rich messaging features perfect for promotional messages. WhatsApp is increasingly becoming more popular in the USA. It has conversational messaging features that make it easy for shoppers to access product descriptions, get answers to FAQs, and add items to their carts all on a single channel.

Learn how to master marketing campaigns on WhatsApp:

Industries making the most impact with interactions in the USA:

  • Marketing and advertising: saw a 200% increase in messaging during Cyber Week compared to 4 average days in November 
  • Retail and eCommerce: interactions increase by 53% compared to last year’s Cyber Week  
  • Finance and banking: interactions increased by 42% compared to last year’s Cyber Week  

These three industries show how the impact of mobile shopping has spread across customer interactions with various brands. Customers get promotional ads or commercials on various channels or apps and are encouraged to purchase from eCommerce brands where they get transactional messages, cart abandonment or other types of messages. And finally financial institutions play a pivotal role in securing purchases for customers with OTPs.  

Mobile messaging: Canada

Following in its neighbor’s footsteps, Canada has seen popularity increase during cyber week. Statista reported that 37% of Canadian consumers planned to buy something during Cyber Week 2023. Let’s see how they approached messaging this holiday season.

Total interactions on Black Friday: 7.5 million – 24% more than last year

Total interactions on Cyber Monday: 6.7 million – 21% more than last year

Industries making the most impact with interactions in Canada:

  • Marketing and advertising: interactions increased by 80% compared to last year’s Cyber Week 
  • Retail and eCommerce: interactions increase by 149% compared to last year’s Cyber Week  
  • Finance and banking: increased by 54% compared to last year’s Cyber Week 

Canada follows similar patterns as the USA when it comes to customer interactions during the holiday shopping season. North Americans are continually exploring new channels and using their mobile devices more and more to complete purchases. This is something to remember for next year’s shopping season. 

Learn how to build an end-to-end shopping journey on WhatsApp

Mobile messaging: United Kingdom

The UK was one of the first countries across the pond to embrace Black Friday. Statista reported the 2/3 of consumers said they were planning on shopping during the November sale events. Let’s break down how UK brands approached messaging with customers this year:

WhatsApp experienced a sharp spike in usage during Cyber Week this year in the UK. Customers are already using the chat app daily to communicate with friends and family, making it ideal for brands to use to grab their attention fast. You can create an entire customer journey on WhatsApp and offer customers easy access to information with a WhatsApp chatbot. SMS is ideal to get urgent or transactional messages across and ensure they are seen, or to be used as a failover channel in case a message does not go through on WhatsApp.

Although SMS and WhatsApp are staple channels in the UK, RCS is making an appearance as a channel to lookout for in the new year. It has the reliable delivery of SMS, mixed with the rich features of OTT channels like WhatsApp.

Conversational channels such as WhatsApp and RCS were the places to be this Black Friday, with more customers moving towards mobile shopping to find the best deal and compare prices. The combination of communications technology, customer data and smart automation have empowered businesses to use cost-effective and more interactive ways to drive more customer sales.

James Stokes

Head of Enterprise & BFSI – Western Europe, Infobip 

Industries making the most impact with interactions in the UK:

  • Marketing and advertising: interactions increased by 134% compared to last year’s Cyber Week 
  • Retail and eCommerce: interactions increase by 45% compared to last year’s Cyber Week  
  • Travel and hospitality: interactions increased 4X compared to last year’s Cyber Week 

Travel and hospitality made a huge impact on mobile messaging this year in the UK. This gives way to other industries taking advantage of shoppers who are looking for end-of-year deals. Cyber week is not exclusive to just clothes, electronics, toys, and other gift items. Shoppers are open to looking for deals on flights, hotels, and other hospitality offers.

Emerging countries for holiday shopping

November holiday shopping dates are no longer restricted to the Western world. Now countries across the globe are adopting Cyber Week sales and are using mobile messaging to interact with shoppers and manage large volumes of queries during this busy season.  

A closer look at Cyber Week

Top channelsInteractionsIncrease from CM 2022
SMS4.1 billion10%
Email318 million203%
WhatsApp250 million40%

Channels to look out for:

Google’s Business Messages – 2x increase from last CW

RCS– 5x more interactions from last CW 

Apple Messages for Business – 28x increase from last CW

Industries with the most interactions on Cyber Week:

  • Marketing and advertising – 30% increase from last year
  • Retail and eCommerce – 58% increase from last year 
  • Transport and logistics – 13% increase from last year
  • Finance and banking – 12% increase from last year

More on Black Friday

Top channelsInteractionsIncrease from BF 2022
SMS1.34 billion9%
Email129 million238%
WhatsApp73 million27%
MMS65 million18%

Black Friday is becoming more popular in these countries:

  • Philippines 
  • Indonesia 
  • Mexico 
  • Kazakhstan 
  • Poland 
  • Egypt 
  • Tanzania 
  • Portugal 

Industries with the most interactions on Black Friday:

  • Retail and eCommerce – 43% increase from last year 
  • Transport and logistics – 18% increase from last year
  • Marketing and advertising – 36% increase from last year
  • Finance and banking – 8% increase from last year

More on Cyber Monday

Top channelsInteractionsIncrease from CM 2022
SMS1.2 billion10%
WhatsApp78 million36%
MMS65 million29%

Cyber Monday is becoming more popular in these countries: 

  • Indonesia 
  • Mexico 
  • South Africa 
  • Ghana 
  • Kenya 
  • France 
  • Sweden 

Industries with the most interactions on Cyber Monday:

  • Retail and eCommerce – 76% increase from last year 
  • Transport and logistics – 30% increase from last year
  • Marketing and advertising – 25% increase from last year
  • Finance and banking – 6% increase from last year

White Friday makes an impact on holiday shopping interactions

What is White Friday?

White Friday is a holiday shopping day in November that takes place in the Middle East on the same day as Black Friday in North America. This year, shoppers spent 40% more on White Friday than on a “quiet” day in November.

On our platform, we analyzed over 10 million interactions between brands and their customers during White Friday. We found the most popular countries that saw significant growth were Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

In today’s highly competitive digital landscape, businesses are constantly looking for ways to attract customers and meet their expectations. We are witnessing a significant shift towards digital communication and conversational experiences.  

Companies are now focusing on meeting customers on their favorite channels which presents a great opportunity for brands across industries in the MENA region to adopt omnichannel communication and drive personalized experiences. 

White Friday, in particular, serves as a gateway for these brands to leverage the power of digital communication platforms and connect with their customers in a more personalized and convenient manner. By embracing this trend, businesses can enhance customer engagement, drive growth, and establish themselves as leaders in their industry. 

Zeid Shubailat

Sales Direct MENA Region at Infobip

Here’s a breakdown of what messaging looked like on White Friday in those countries this year: 


  • Total White Friday interactions: 3.5 million
  • Change from WF 2022: 67%
  • Change from average day in November: 99%
  • Most popular channel: SMS
  • Most popular industry: Transportation and logistics

United Arab Emirates

  • Total White Friday interactions: 3 million
  • Change from WF 2022: 26%
  • Change from average day in November: 11%
  • Most popular channel: WhatsApp
  • Most popular industry: Retail and eCommerce

Saudi Arabia

  • Total White Friday interactions: 2.2 million
  • Change from WF 2022: 22%
  • Change from average day in November: 35%
  • Most popular channel: WhatsApp
  • Most popular industry: Retail and eCommerce


  • Total White Friday interactions: 560k
  • Change from WF 2022: 113%
  • Change from average day in November: 30%
  • Most popular channel: WhatsApp
  • Most popular industry: Retail and eCommerce

It’s clear that mobile messaging during White Friday has increased by a large margin. Rich messaging on WhatsApp appears to be the most popular way to communicate with customers in the Middle East, while Egypt still relies heavily on SMS.  

Interestingly, the industry that saw the most messaging activity on White Friday in Egypt was transportation and logistics. A whooping 130x more messages were sent compared to last year on White Friday.  

Egypt has become a popular delivery hub for Africa and the Middle East since eCommerce adoption rose to popularity in 2020-2022. People are always looking for fast and convenient delivery, and with the uptick of digitalization in Egypt, it’s made the transportation industry flourish as local Egyptian delivery companies provide services to the Middle East. 

But why is transportation so popular on White Friday? It is likely because consumers are looking for same-day delivery or pick-up options after they order. In fact, the search for “same-day delivery” and “pick-up options” has grown by 25% in the region in the last year.

So, as retail and eCommerce brands must prep for the high messaging expected on White Friday, transportation and logistics companies also must accommodate for large volumes of messages on the popular shopping day or meet customers’ expectations. 

Holiday shopping messaging trends: Key takeaways 

Customers are more and more eager to shop during November for deals than ever before. The current economic state has forced customers to stretch every dollar and find the best deals possible. It might be the reason why shopping hasn’t slowed down despite hard times.

Brands need to adapt to the needs of customers during this busy season, and converting to more mobile messaging support is the way to go.

  1. Adapt a conversational approach to communication 
  2. Explore different channels and their features to offer the best use cases 
  3. Look for ways to automate simple interactions (ie. chatbot or IVR) 
  4. Start sending promotional messages early to grab attention 
  5. Always have a backup or failover channel like Voice or SMS to ensure the best experience 

Holiday shopping is never really over. Next up is Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year’s, Eid and even Valentine’s Day. More and more brands have become accustomed to offering deals on seasonal holidays, and offering simple and efficient messaging support during these busy times can make your reputation with customer’s skyrocket.  

Want to get even more messaging trends?

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Download messaging trends 2023
Dec 6th, 2023
2 min read
Content Marketing Specialist

Monika Karlović

Content Marketing Specialist