Black Friday’s Online Sales Surge

While the final numbers are not yet confirmed, Black Friday proved robust for online shopping sales, according to published reports.

Black Friday online sales increased year over year more than 19.6% to $7.4 billion, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracks 80 of the top 100 U.S. retailers. The $7.4 billion made it the second largest Internet shopping day ever, noted Adobe, trailing only last year’s Cyber Monday, which racked up $7.9 billion in sales.

In addition, Thanksgiving Day online sales grew 14.5% year over year to $4.2 billion, according to Adobe Analytics.

Published reports regarding store traffic, meanwhile, seemed to indicate that the anticipated crowds were a bit lighter than in the past. ShopperTrak reported combined store visits on Thanksgiving and Black Friday dropped 3% compared with the 2018 two-day total. Store traffic on Thanksgiving evening, however, increased by 2.3% year-over-year, the report said, while Black Friday store visits dropped 6.2% from a year ago.

Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting for ShopperTrak, said in published reports that in-store pickup of online orders, a growing category, is not included in store traffic count on Black Friday.

RetailNext reported net sales at brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday fell 1.6%, slower than in previous years, according to the analytics firm.

An estimated 165.3 million people were likely to shop Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, according to an annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Thanksgiving Weekend consumers propelled the holiday season forward as an estimated 160 million people flocked to stores over the weekend, according to a new report from ICSC. Beginning on Thanksgiving Day, consumers spent an estimated average of $504, with 50% spending more than last year, setting the stage for a strong season.

Adobe said it is still expecting spending on Cyber Monday, December 2, this year to hit an even bigger record at $9.4 billion, an 18.9% jump from a year ago.