After a record-breaking digital sales across smartphones and desktops on the Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday kickoff of holiday shopping season in the United States pulled in a bumper year for e-commerce.
This year, Americans showed an increasing preferences for online purchases while large crowds were absent at the brick-and-mortar stores. According to Adobe Analytics, which tracks enormous transactions across a range of retail sites, about $6.22 billion was spent online, rose more than 23% from last year. On Thanksgiving, the expected sales grew 28% to $3.7 billion.
The emerging shift towards online shopping has forced the retailers across the country to heavily invest in promoting their e-commerce businesses, which also highlights the impact of early promotions and year-round deals. Although most of the shoppers stayed away from stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday in past few years, the weekend this year redefined the importance of Black Friday and turned into a day where shoppers need not flock into retail stores but spent largely online.
E-commerce sales have started to overtake in-store shopping over the weekend, and for retailers and shoppers the two platforms are beginning to converge, according Bill Park, a partner at Deloitte & Touche LP. This is happening more and more, retail consultants and analysts reported, retailers such as Amazon and Walmart are selling through stores as well as online, as gaining transactions is more important than where it occurs.
Over the two days, net sales at brick-and-mortar stores dropped 4 to 7%, as per the preliminary data from RetailNext, while the traffic declined by 5-9%, continuing the trend of recent years. The analytics firm recorded that the decrease in traffic is slightly greater than the past two years, but it is still within expectation.
As reported in TechCrunch, smartphones accounted for over one third or 33.5% of all sales with revenue worth nearly $2 billion. Tablets contributed another 10% of the sales, making overall mobile sales come close to record half of all transactions. Apart from registering a higher online sales than Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday 2018 is on track to be the second-largest e-commerce day in the US history, next to Cyber Monday 2017, which recorded about $6.6 billion, according to Adobe.
However, the numbers are still far behind Alibaba’s Singles Day sales which made about $31 billion earlier this month, TechCrunch reported.