People look at jewelry in Macy’s Herald Square during the early opening Black Friday sale in Manhattan, New York on November 27, 2020.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters
Black Friday online sales are well on their way to hitting a record high this year as bargain hunters scoured websites for deals, according to preliminary data from Adobe Analytics, and avoided deals during the coronavirus pandemic.
As of late Friday, online sales were between $ 8.9 billion and $ 9.6 billion. This corresponds to an increase of between 20% and 29% over the previous year, depending on how many shoppers shop until late at night. Almost 42% of sales were generated with smartphones after 4:00 p.m. ET, a 7% increase over last year.
The data suggests the one-day Christmas sales, usually coupled with a long line shop frenzy and the pursuit of coveted gift items, most of which are done online. With the rise in online shopping on Black Friday, U.S. consumers will have spent at least $ 6.2 million per minute on the day of the Christmas sale, according to Adobe.
Adobe expects Cyber Monday to be the largest online sales day in history, with online sales of $ 11.2 billion to $ 13 billion – a 19 to 38 percent increase from last year.
On Thanksgiving Day, online sales also hit a record, increasing 21.5% to $ 5.1 billion, according to Adobe. The company analyzes website transactions from 80 of the top 100 US online retailers. Almost half of those sales came from smartphones. Retailers have also increased their sales by offering roadside collection. Companies that offered the faster alternative of delivering a package to their customers’ homes saw a 31% higher conversion rate for traffic to their websites.
With many retailers starting holiday sales in October and posting some of their deepest discounts on their website, shoppers have had less reason to go to stores in person on that Black Friday. More brick-and-mortar sales were made in stores and malls, with fewer queues and emptier parking spaces than in previous Christmas sales.
Pandemic restrictions and Covid cases also shaped behavior. Shoppers were more likely to buy gifts online if they lived in states with Covid-19 restrictions on family gatherings. On Thanksgiving, Adobe saw online shopping growth in these areas 3.4 times faster than in states with fewer restrictions.
During Black Friday, Star Wars items, Hot Wheels, Nerf toys, and video games were the top-selling toys, including Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Madden NFL 2, and NBA 2K21. In the electronics category, Apple AirPods, air fryers and Amazon Fire TV were the best sellers.
Toys and personal care products were among the top spending categories, according to Adobe. Online toy spending increased 294% and personal care products increased 278% compared to the daily average in October. Office supplies and bed linen sales rose 114% and 109%, respectively.
Although clothing spending on Thanksgiving increased compared to retailers’ average daily spending in October, it is still below the prior-year level. Sweaters and other clothing aren’t high on the gift list as many Americans work from home and opt for casual wear, Adobe said.