Records Fall As Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend Soars

The Thanksgiving weekend period was busy, particularly cold in some places, and productive from a retail perspective, market research firms analyzing sales data and at least one key retailer already have reported.

According to Adobe, which has released its 2018 online shopping data for the holiday week, Cyber Monday sales should come in at $7.9 billion, making it the largest online shopping day ever in the U.S. By 7 p.m. eastern time, Cyber Monday sales had increased 19.7% year-over-year. Thanksgiving Day rang up sales of $3.7 billion, a 28% advance from the year previous, while Black Friday generated sales of $6.2 billion, a 23.6% advance from the year previous.

The Saturday and Sunday of the holiday period set a new record as the biggest online shopping weekend in U.S. history, at a combined $6.4 billion in sales, growing faster than Black Friday and Cyber Monday with gains of 25% each day. The holiday season, beginning November 1, drove $58.5 billion in online sales through November 26, up 19.9% from the season a year prior, Adobe maintained, with each day generating over $1 billion in retail revenue.

Buy online, pickup in-store activity saw a record 50% increase year-over-year during the holiday weekend, Adobe noted. Retailers with physical stores enjoyed 28% higher conversions online over the period.

Revenue generated by smartphones should hit $2.1 billion on Cyber Monday, as per the Adobe projection, versus $1.4 billion in 2017. Mobile overall represented 51.4% of site visits, with 43.6 percentage points coming from smartphones and 7.8 points from tablets, and 34% of revenue, with 26.3 points coming from smartphones, and 7.7 points coming from tablets, making this year’s date the first Cyber Monday when more than half of visits came from mobile.

In looking at brick and mortar store action, ShopperTrak noted that consumer store visits for the combined Thanksgiving Day/Black Friday period visits slipped 1% year over year despite increased emphasis on omnichannel selling, with a 1.7% decline in traffic on Black Friday versus the 2017 date.

“The fact that the combined shopper visits remained almost the same this year compared to the last three years proves that the notion of Black Friday not being popular anymore is a myth,” said Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting for ShopperTrak.

For its part and although it hasn’t yet released actual figures, asserted that Cyber Monday once again registered as the single biggest shopping day in company history, even as the five-day holiday period broke records in the U.S.

Smart home devices on Amazon also broke records, with bestselling devices including the iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum. For the second year in a row, Amazon added, Whole Foods Market broke its record of turkeys sold during the Thanksgiving season.