Black Friday Experiences New E-Commerce Sales Records

Online sales boomed this Thanksgiving holiday weekend, with record-breaking $4.2 billion in purchases on Turkey Day, followed by $7.4 billion spent on Black Friday. Although this was a new high — up $1.2 billion from last year’s Black Friday — it didn’t meet Adobe Analytics’ prediction of $7.5 billion. Salesforce reported $7.2 billion in sales, even lower than Adobe’s numbers. Of those numbers, $2.9 billion in sales were conducted on smartphones that day. Top-selling electronics included Apple laptops, AirPods and Samsung TVs.

TechCrunch reports that “popular products included toys on the themes of ‘Frozen 2,’ L.O.L. Surprise, and ‘Paw Patrol’.” The transition to shopping via mobile phones is expected to grow. “With Christmas now rapidly approaching, consumers increasingly jumped on their phones rather than standing in line,” said Adobe Digital Insights principal analyst/head Taylor Schreiner.

“Even when shoppers went to stores, they were now buying nearly 41 percent more online before going to the store to pick up.” Mobile, he added, is “a growing opportunity for smaller businesses” to extend Small Business Saturday to the rest of the holiday season. People browsed on mobile devices, with 61 percent of all online traffic to retailers coming from smartphones.

Shoppers are buying more expensive goods. Adobe Analytics, which tracks sales in real-time for 80 of the top 100 U.S. retailers, noted that “Average Order Value was $168, a new record level yesterday for Black Friday, up 5.9 percent on a year ago.”

But e-commerce companies with over $1 billion in annual sales had a 62 percent boost in sales this year, compared to 27 percent for smaller vendors. Those bigger sellers, says TechCrunch, “can simply afford to give bigger markdowns … [and] often have more flexible delivery options.” Adobe reported that “those using click-and-collect orders, or buy online, pick up in store/curbside grew by 43 percent.”

CNBC reports that, according to ShopperTrak, “Black Friday sales for brick-and-mortar stores dropped 6.2 percent after shopping on Thanksgiving Day rose 2.3 percent.” ShopperTrak also noted that “eight of the 10 busiest shopping days are still to come in 2019.”

Whereas Amazon “gained about 20 percent this year,” department stores including Macy’s, Kohl’s and Foot Locker are all down more than 25 percent. Adobe estimated that Cyber Monday is on track to be the biggest online sales day ever, at $9.4 billion.

CNN reports that the Nintendo Switch “was among most popular items sold on Black Friday,” which sold with a free download of “Mario Kart 8” for $299. Wedbush declared a discounted “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” as the “video game winner this past weekend.”

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives estimated that Apple sold more than three million AirPods Pro over the weekend. Other hot sellers on the weekend were Fitbit, Logitech non-gaming keyboards and Roku devices, all of which were offered with deep discounts.