Black Friday online shopping hits record $9.8B in US, $70.9B worldwide

The rush of deep discounts and the growth of flexible payment options were the drivers behind $9.8 billion in US online sales on Black Friday – a record number for the day. According to Adobe Analytics, sales are up 7.5% on last year’s numbers (you can see it here).

Sales quickly surpassed Thanksgiving numbers and growth rates, as well as Adobe’s own predictions for the day. On Thursday US consumers spent, $5.6 billion, up 5.5%; analysts originally predicted sales of $9.6 billion for Black Friday.

Salesforce, which uses a variety of Adobe metrics and says it crunches the number of transactions for about 1.5 billion consumers, also said that Black Friday online sales exceeded its expectations. They reached $16.4 billion in the US and $70.9 billion worldwide, and a record 79% of all shopping traffic — both browsing and purchasing — was done on mobile handsets.

Black Friday is a bellwether shopping day, for many years seen as the day that the holiday sales season, the most important for retailers, begins. These numbers will provide some surprise holiday cheer to retailers, who have seen, in general, slow growth. According to figures from US Census Bureau, retail sales last quarter only grew 2.3% over the same period last year. E-commerce, as a young and smaller proportion of that (about 15% of all sales), usually grows faster and the last quarter also grew around 7%.

“Online sales performance on Black Friday exceeded retail executive expectations,” said Rob Garf, VP and GM of Retail at Salesforce, in a statement. “Retailers are upping their discount game and shoppers are, in turn, clicking the buy button.”

Adobe works with hundreds of large and small online retailers and says it bases its calculations on more than 1 trillion visits to US retail sites, the movement of about 100 million SKUs and 18 product categories.

Inflation of more than 3% is certainly down from last year (when it was more than 7%) but economic uncertainty continues to weigh on consumers, so it’s rare that buy now, pay later options , as a complement to other types of credit, continues to grow in popularity. Adobe said orders using BNPL rose 72% over last year in the entire week leading up to Black Friday, and BNPL’s revenue as a result rose to $79 million for the period.

The big question is whether retailers can continue to grow in the coming weeks. The next big barometer-style sales day is Cyber ​​Monday, in two days. We will provide further updates as the numbers come in.

Some notable details from yesterday:

– Discounts remain a big driver for sales and reach as high as 35% of the retail price. The name of the game remains buying gifts and home electronics.

– Smartphones account for $5.3 billion in sales per day, increasing 10.4% in 2022 and representing 54% of all online sales. Adobe predicts that will become the norm of the season: mobile sales will actually overtake desktop this holiday season, it says, with more than 51% of sales.

— Perhaps because people are still worried about spending, they choose the cheaper “standard” shipping more often than in previous years. (And frankly why get something faster now if it’s for a gift for the end of December?) Adobe says that 80.5% of all orders use standard shipping.

— Adobe estimates that “Cyber ​​Week” (from Thanksgiving to Cyber ​​Monday) will rack up $37.2 billion in US online sales, nearly 17% of all sales for the period holidays. Salesforce is especially strong: it says it will account for 25% of all holiday purchases this year and amount to $53 billion worldwide.

“Black Friday reasserted its dominance this season with record spending of $9.8 billion driven by renewed demand for the day’s major sales,” said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst, Adobe Digital Insights. , in a statement. “The drop in online prices last year has created a favorable environment for consumers with strong discounts this season that will tempt even the most price-conscious consumers.”

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