Black Friday Sees $5.03 Billion in Ecommerce Sales, Up 16.9%

A record $5.03 billion was spent online this Black Friday, up 16.9% from $4.3 billion in 2016, according to data from Adobe. It’s also been a very mobile holiday thus far, with over half of ecommerce traffic coming through smartphones or tablets for the first time, Adobe reported.

The National Retail Federation will come out with its overall Black Friday sales figures on Tuesday; it is predicting a 4% gain over 2016.

Adobe is predicting Cyber Monday will be the largest U.S. online shopping day in history, at $6.6 billion in sales, which would represent a 16.5% jump over last year. The company had predicted $5 billion in sales for this Black Friday.

Adobe measures 80% of online transactions at the largest 100 U.S. e-retailers, representing. The company handles $7.50 of every $10 spent online with the top 500 U.S. retailers.

The largest spenders on Black Friday were actually Canadians, at an average order value of $157.56, followed by shoppers in the U.S. ($142.86) and the U.K. ($136.65), according to data from Monetate. According to Adobe, overall AOV on Black Friday was $135, up just 0.9% from 2016.

With many more retail chains saying their locations would remain closed on Thanksgiving, that day witnessed a huge boost in online sales, up $0.94 billion or 18.3% to $2.87 billion, surpassing Adobe’s own prediction of $2.79 billion.

According to data from Criteo, the number of purchasers on Thanksgiving increase 26%, with an average order value of $180, vs. $168 on Black Friday. Backing up Adobe’s findings on mobile’s strength this season, Monetate found mobile page views were up 30% on Thanksgiving Day.

Top-selling items on Black Friday, according to Adobe, included the Nintendo Switch, Hatchimals and Colleggtibles toys, PJ Masks, L.O.L. Surprise Dolls, Ride On Cars, as well as Google Chromecast and Roku streaming devices.

Criteo said the number of shoppers increased 3.5% on Black Friday, while the number of purchasers was up 12.5%. “The relatively higher number of purchasers compared to shoppers indicates that people had already shopped around for goods and were ready to buy,” Criteo reported. The company’s figures are based on billions of product searches and millions of completed transactions on retail sites.

Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 24, $38.3 billion has been spent in online shopping, or approximately $1.6 billion per day, according to Adobe. This was up 17.8% from last year. This “gray November” phenomenon, with deals being offered all month long leading up to Cyber weekend, has somewhat lessened its impact. In fact, Criteo found that days in the first week of November showed ecommerce sales gains north of 50%.

Mobile devices drove 54.3% of visits and 36.9% of revenue on Black Friday, Adobe reported; Criteo had a very similar figure of 40% of revenue from mobile. Smartphones represented 44.6% of site visits and 26.0% of revenue. Conversion rates across all devices saw double-digit growth, with tablets at 5.9%, up 13%, and smartphones at 3.5%, up 16.5%. Conversion rates for desktop grew as well, at 6.9%, up 13.6%, Adobe said.

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%.

On the physical store side, there were positive reports from a number of major chains for Black Friday, according to CNBC, including Kohl’s, JC Penney and Macy’s. This was a welcome tonic in a brutal 2017 to date that has seen thousands of stores shuttered and several bankruptcies or business closures.

“I think department stores had a reasonable time of it, better than last year,” GlobalData Retail Managing Director Neil Saunders told CNBC.

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