Black Friday, Thanksgiving Day Both Set Records in U.S. Ecommerce Sales

Black Friday mobile commerce feature

Even with a shorter season and earlier deals, Black Friday is still a mammoth shopping phenomenon, with a record $7.4 billion in ecommerce sales this year, according to data from Adobe Analytics, up 19.6% from $6.2 billion last year.

It was the second largest online sales day ever in the U.S., after Cyber Monday 2018, at $7.9 billion, according to Adobe.

Thanksgiving Day ecommerce sales were also a record $4.2 billion, an increase of 14.5%, marking the first time it surpassed the $4 billion mark. Large ecommerce companies of $1 billion and over saw a 244% gain in Thanksgiving Day ecommerce sales, while smaller retailers – those with $50 million or less in annual sales – saw a 61% increase.

Importantly, 39% of Black Friday ecommerce sales, or $2.9 billion, came from smartphones, an increase of 21% over 2018. Over 60% of all online traffic to retailers on Black Friday came from smartphones, up 15.8% from 2018.

Mobile played an even bigger role on Thanksgiving – which only makes sense, considering most of us are gorging and lounging with food comas vs. hitting the increasing number of open stores. Almost half of Thanksgiving Day ecommerce revenue (44.9%) came from smartphones, an increase of 24.4% over last year and up 30.5% over the season-to-date trend.

While retailers continue to offer earlier and steeper discounts, Black Friday remains a major shopping day, helped in part by this year’s shorter peak holiday season calendar. Average order value (AOV) for Black Friday was $168, according to Adobe, up 5.9% over 2018 as consumers get more comfortable with larger baskets and bigger ticket items online.

As many retailers have been offering buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) both as a customer option and a fulfillment and supply chain cost saver, it continues to gain momentum. BOPIS orders were up 43.2% this Black Friday.

Ecommerce giants performed better in mobile on Black Friday, according to Adobe data, with a smartphone revenue share that was 11% higher than smaller players, and they were 66% more efficient at converting customer smartphone visits into sales.

Even so, smaller retailers have been seeing performance gains, with revenue nearly quadrupling compared to an average day last month, and a 140% boost in sales from Thanksgiving to Black Friday. While small retailers were stronger than large retailers at getting consumers to add products to cart (13% better on mobile and 51% better on desktop), large retailers were 60% better at getting consumers to complete a purchase on a desktop.

The hottest products over Thanksgiving and Black Friday, according to Adobe, were “Frozen 2” toys, L.O.L Surprise and Paw Patrol. Top video games included FIFA 20, Madden 20 and Nintendo Switch. In electronics, winners were Apple laptops and Airpods and Samsung TVs.

According to Adobe, $53 billion was spent online between Nov. 1-27, up 16.1% from the same period in 2018. All days that month surpassed $1 billion in ecommerce sales, with eight days surpassing the $2 billion mark. In that same period U.S. consumers made $18.2 billion in purchases via smartphones, up 49.5% from last year.

Adobe’s analysis is based on more than 1 trillion visits to retail sites and 55 million SKUs, including transactions from 80 of the top 100 U.S. ecommerce sellers.

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