Thanksgiving Shoppers Move Online, Spend Record Amount
According to Adobe Analytics data, Thanksgiving Day hit a new record with consumers spending $5.1 billion online, an increase of 21.5 percent year-over-year (YoY). Furthermore, nearly half (46.5 percent) of all online sales came from smartphones yesterday, a new record. Retailers that offer curbside pickup benefited from a 31 percent higher conversion rate of traffic to their sites.
Adobe analyzes 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs, and 80 of the 100 largest retailers in the U.S.
As to what to expect today, Black Friday, traditionally one of the the biggest in-store shopping days of the year, analysts are calling for more of the same — consumers opting to do the majority of their holiday shopping online vs. in-store. Adobe expects Black Friday and Cyber Monday to become the two largest online sales days in history. It's forecasting Black Friday online sales to come in between $8.9 billion (20 percent YoY growth) and $10.6 billion (42 percent YoY growth). Adobe is reaffirming its forecast that the full holiday shopping season will amount to $189 billion (33 percent YoY growth) in online spend as e-commerce continues to sustain record-breaking levels this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which is increasingly driving worried consumers to their laptops and smartphones to shop rather than their local mall, had on impact on Thanksgiving's sales numbers, and will do the same for the rest of the holiday weekend (including Cyber Monday). Consider the following data from Adobe Analytics:
- this week, 9 percent of all sales have been generated by net new online shoppers as traditional brick-and-mortar customers moved online in light of store closures;
- in states that had put COVID-19 restrictions around family gatherings, we saw 3.4x higher YoY growth in online shopping compared to states with less restrictions;
- 41 percent of consumers say they began shopping for the holidays earlier this year due to seasonal sales, more than ever before.
"While yesterday was a record-breaking Thanksgiving Day, with over $5 billion spent online, it didn’t come with the kind of aggressive growth rate we’ve seen with the start of the pandemic," said Taylor Schreiner, director, Adobe Digital Insights, in a company press release. "Heavy discounts and aggressive promotions starting in early November succeeded at getting consumers to open their wallets earlier. While COVID-19, the elections and uncertainty around stimulus packages impacted consumer shopping behaviors and made this an unprecedented year in e-commerce, many consumers are still holding off on remaining gift purchases until today and Cyber Monday in hopes of scoring the best deals."