Thanksgiving Day Online Consumer Spend Rises 16.8% YoY

Black Friday shopping at The Corners of Brookfield

Thanksgiving Day online sales as of 5 p.m. ET was $1.52 billion, up 16.8% vs. a year earlier, Adobe Analytics said.

That number is according to Adobe Analytics, which measures transactions at the largest 100 US web retailers, on Saturday.

$1.52bn was spent online in the USA during Thanksgiving (up to 5pm ET), according to figures from Adobe - a growth of 16.8 per cent year-on-year.

Despite anecdotal signs of muted in-store sales - fewer cars in mall parking lots, shoppers leaving stores without purchases in hand - consumers are still expected to spend more overall this holiday season than last, analysts and industry executives said. Adobe Analytics forecasted $6.6 billion in online sales on Monday, which would be a 16.5 percent increase from last year's figure.

The National Retail Federation trade group expects sales for that period to at least match last year's rise of 3.6 percent and estimates online spending and other non-store sales will rise 11 to 15 percent.

Search was the top promotion driver on Black Friday, according to Adobe, with paid search representing 23.3% of sales and organic search 19.8%, followed by direct traffic at 25.9% and email at 22.2%. Traffic from tablets sank 5.7% to 10%.

Black Friday shopping
Black Friday shopping

Retailers have additionally started offering more deals all year round, making Black Friday less of a special event. Electronics was sixth on their list with just shy of 100,000 items bought as of publication.

"There has been a significant amount of debate surrounding the shifting importance of brick-and-mortar retail, and the fact that shopper visits remained intact on Black Friday illustrates that physical retail is still highly relevant and, when done right, profitable", Brian Field, a senior executive at ShopperTrak, said in a statement.

We wonder whether the Black Friday event over a number of weeks has become too all consuming.

"Based on several years of overall retail traffic data, we know that opening on Thanksgiving Day was merely pulling shopping visits from Black Friday, as opposed to creating an additional opportunity for shoppers to hit the stores", he said.

Second, a record-breaking day of sales on Thanksgiving Day reveals the increasing irrelevance of Black Friday as a single day of sales. Last year, retail sales nearly doubled when comparing the week before Thanksgiving to the week after.



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