Thanksgiving 2022 online sales beat forecast at $5.3 billion, up 2.8% from last year, mobile accounted for 55% of all purchases

Black Friday 2022 Ecommerce Hits Record $9.12 Billion, Thanksgiving $5.3 Billion; BNPL and mobile are all the rage

Analysts and e-commerce leaders have predicted a muted holiday online shopping season this year, with sales in the first three weeks of November essentially flat over a year ago due to an economy lower, inflation and more people returning to shop in stores. in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. But on the face of it, the Thanksgiving long weekend appears to be more buoyant than expected — though growth has definitely slowed this year after the pandemic-era boom.

Black Friday surpassed $9 billion in sales for the first time yesterday, with online sales reaching $9.12 billion, according to figures from Adobe Analytics. That’s a record number for the day, up 2.3% from sales figures a year ago, and slightly higher than what Adobe had estimated before the day. Adobe doesn’t detail volumes in its report, so it’s unclear if these numbers are due to items simply costing more this year due to inflation, or if the higher numbers are the result of purchases. more important.

Black Friday is a key objective for those measuring how the e-commerce market and consumer confidence are doing in both what is the biggest and most important shopping time of the year.

Salesforce releases its own numbers based on 1.5 billion buyers, and it noted that online sales hit $8 billion in the U.S. and $40 billion globally as of 5 p.m. ET on Black Friday, the most discounted items in the United States appearing in appliances, clothing, health and beauty, and… luxury handbags.

“Our data shows such a strong correlation between discount rates and online sales because consumers cling to the biggest and best deals,” said Rob Garf, VP & GM of Retail at Selling power. “Consumers with stretched wallets are looking for value and price. And retailers responded on Black Friday with the highest discount rates of the holiday season.

Adobe said toys, games and consumer electronics were the most popular categories for people looking for Black Friday deals and discounts.

The day before, Thanksgiving, also saw higher-than-expected numbers: shoppers spent $5.29 billion online on Thursday. That’s a 2.9% increase from a year ago, and ahead of the $5.1 billion Adobe originally announced for the day. Salesforce noted that online sales rose 1% on Thanksgiving Day to $31 billion, while in the United States specifically, they rose 9% to $7.5 billion. Salesforce also said that 78% of sales traffic comes from mobile devices. Average order values, he said, were $105 worldwide and $120 for US sales.

The form of “holiday shopping” has changed significantly with the rise of e-commerce. Not only has online shopping extended shopping days and hours, it has also extended and blurred the whole concept of seasonality in “holiday” shopping. The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday once marked the “first day” of holiday shopping; which disappeared years ago with sales starting on Thursdays.

This of course also had an impact How? ‘Or’ What people shop. Mobile devices are playing an increasingly important role in this regard. A record 48% of all Black Friday e-commerce sales were made on smartphones (up from 44% in 2021). Note: Thanksgiving is always a stronger day for mobile sales, in part because people aren’t at their computers — they’re with friends and family, not at their desks! – and they are not in stores. As of Thursday, some 55% of online sales yesterday were on mobile devices, up 8.3% from a year ago.

“Mobile shopping struggled to grow for many years as consumers found the experience lacking compared to desktop,” Vivek Pandya, principal analyst, Adobe Digital Insights, said in a statement. “This year, Thanksgiving has become an inflection point, where smartphones have driven real growth and underscores how much these experiences have improved.

And the use of buy-it-now and pay-later services is on the rise, a sign both of its growing ubiquity as an alternative to credit, but also of the need for consumers to take this route. Black Friday saw BNPL orders increase by 78%, and they were up 81% in sales figures, compared to the same day a week ago. Notably, this is a big spike from the day before. At Thanksgiving, buy it now and pay later increased by 1.3% in sales and 0.7% in orders (indicating that more of it is being used for more expensive items) . It’s fine, as long as it doesn’t result in unsustainable longer-term debt.

Adobe claims to have analyzed some 1 trillion visits to US retail sites, tracking sales of some 100 million SKUs and 18 product categories. Its analytics will include anonymized data from some of its customers: it is used by about 85% of the largest online retailers in the United States. He said that so far some $77.74 billion has been spent online since November 1.

Salesforce and Adobe may have different numbers and metrics, but both are growing, so the bigger question may actually be whether the surge in activity seen on Thanksgiving will continue through the rest of Cyber ​​​Week – which includes today’s Black Friday, Cyber ​​Monday, and the weekend in between – and actually the rest of the days and weeks leading up to the New Year. together, Adobe predicted that Cyber ​​Week will generate $34.8 billion in online spending this year, up 2.8% from a year ago when the week brought in 33.9 billions of dollars in sales.

Cyber ​​Week 2021 was actually down 1.4% from 2020, so that’s a turnaround.

For comparison on those numbers, the National Retail Federation predicts 6-8% sales growth over the holidays, while another analyst group, Digital Commerce 360, predicts 6.1% growth for the period.

Either way, sales might not be fully sustained or even in the next few days. Adobe predicted that today’s sales – the famous Black Friday – should reach $9 billion, an increase of only 1% compared to 2021 figures.

The holiday shopping season is an important time to follow for several reasons. First, it’s traditionally a retailer’s most lucrative selling time, a time that can make or break the whole year. (That’s why recent earnings from Amazon, which provided a reduced sales forecast and warned of lower-than-expected holiday spending, sent its stock down nearly 20%.)

Because of this outsized importance, collectively, the e-commerce holiday numbers can serve as a barometer for the e-commerce market as a whole.

But if growth is what we seek, there are indicators of rough waters ahead. Adobe found that the first three weeks of November saw flat online sales of $64.59 billion, up just 0.1% from 2021.

This is in a context where physical retailers are becoming more and more aggressive to win back their audience. The National Retail Federation in the United States said it expects 166.3 million consumers to shop over the long weekend.

“While there is much speculation about the impact of inflation on consumer behavior, our data tells us that this Thanksgiving holiday weekend will see robust in-store traffic with record numbers of shoppers. taking advantage of value pricing,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. . “We’re optimistic that retail sales will remain strong in the weeks ahead, and retailers are ready to meet consumers, but they want to buy great products at prices they want to pay.”

We will post more updates on the sales figures as they come in.

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