Black Friday Online Spend Up a Record 23.6%
A record $6.22 billion was spent online by the end of Black Friday, an increase of 23.6 percent year-over-year, according to data from Adobe Analytics. What's more, smaller retailers (less than $1 billion in annual e-commerce revenue) were 8.6 percent more effective at getting visitors to fill shopping carts. The holiday season to date (Nov. 1 – Nov. 24) shows $44.2 billion in e-commerce revenue, 19.2 percent growth year-over-year. Other holiday findings from Adobe include the following:
- Mobile shopping: A large portion of the e-commerce growth retailers saw this past holiday weekend is coming from mobile devices. Black Friday purchases made on smartphones smashed the current record ($1.4 billion) set on Cyber Monday 2017 with over $2.1 billion of sales coming from smartphones. What's more, 33.5 percent of online Black Friday sales were made on smartphones, compared to 29.1 percent on Black Friday last year.
- Top promotion drivers: Direct site traffic ranks highest for driving sales this season at 27.2 percent share of sales (up 0.3 percent year-over-year), followed by paid search at 24 percent (up 6.1 percent year-over-year), natural search at 20.8 percent (down 5.5 percent year-over-year), and email at 20.4 percent (up 2.6 percent year-over-year).
- Cyber Monday: Today is expected to be the largest online shopping day in U.S. history, generating $7.8 billion in sales, up 17.6 percent year-over-year.
"Shoppers capitalized on deep discounts on Black Friday, resulting in the largest Black Friday online ever with spend totaling $6.2 billion," said Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights. "Even consumers who shopped online made trips to retail stores, with buy online pick up in-store up significantly (73 percent) from Thursday to Friday. Retailers have done their part to build better mobile experiences for consumers, turning nearly 10 percent more smartphone visitors into buyers this Black Friday vs. last."
Total Retail's Take: So, does this mean we will no longer see images of people being trampled at the mall on Black Friday as they reach to grab HDTVs? Sort of. Foot traffic at malls and stores across the U.S. this past holiday weekend wasn't as strong as last year, ShopperTrak said Saturday. Preliminary data that tracks shoppers’ visits to physical stores Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday show a year-over-year decline of 1 percent, ShopperTrak said. Meanwhile, store visits on Black Friday itself were down 1.7 percent. This traffic variance is consistent with data results over the last several years. However, retail stores don't need to fret just yet, there are plenty of additional opportunities to get shoppers in-store. For example, eight of the 10 ShopperTrak-predicted busiest shopping days are still to come, including Super Saturday, which will fall on Dec. 22, and the Sunday before Christmas, Dec. 23. Notably, for the third year in a row, there are four Saturdays in December prior to Christmas Day, which will enhance the importance of both Dec. 8 and Dec. 15. In addition, similar to last year, the Saturday after Christmas, Dec. 29, is expected to be one of the busiest shopping days (it occupies the last spot on ShopperTrak's list). And, as Adobe mentioned above, consumers who didn’t want to shop in stores nonetheless flocked there to pick up goods with click-and-collect orders this year. Perhaps next year retailers can take advantage of this opportunity and find ways to have them shop in-store while picking up merchandise as well.
Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.