The data points to day-long vacation selling, typically associated with a frenzy of long-line store shopping and the pursuit of coveted gift items, mostly online. With the surge in Black Friday online shopping, U.S. consumers will have spent at least $ 6.2 million per minute on holiday sales day, according to Adobe.
Adobe predicts Cyber Monday to become largest online sales day in history, totaling $ 11.2 billion to $ 13 billion in online sales, up 19% to 38% year over year on the other.
Online sales also hit a record high on Thanksgiving Day, climbing 21.5% to $ 5.1 billion, according to Adobe. The company analyzes transactions on the website of 80 of the top 100 US online retailers. Almost half of those sales came from smartphones. Retailers also increased their sales if they offered curbside pickup. Companies that offered the fastest alternative to delivering a package to customers’ homes had a 31% higher conversion rate for traffic to their sites.
With many retailers starting the holiday sales in October and putting some of their biggest discounts on their website, shoppers had less reason to visit in-store in person this Black Friday. Stores and malls saw fewer physical sales, with fewer lines and more empty parking lots than holiday sales events of the past.
Restrictions related to the pandemic and the Covid cases have also shaped behavior. Buyers were more likely to purchase gifts online if they lived in states with Covid-19 restrictions on family reunions. Adobe saw 3.4 times higher year-over-year online shopping growth in these areas on Thanksgiving Day compared to states with fewer restrictions.
During Black Friday, the top selling toys were Star Wars items, Hot Wheels, Nerf toys, and video games including Super Mario 3D All-Stars, Madden NFL 2, and NBA 2K21. In the electronics category, Apple’s AirPods, Air Fryers, and Amazon Fire TV were the top sellers.
Toys and personal care products were among the highest spending categories, according to Adobe. Online spending on toys was up 294% and 278% on personal care products compared to daily October averages. Sales of office supplies and bedding increased by 114% and 109% respectively.
Although spending on clothing increased on Thanksgiving Day, compared to average daily retail spending in October, it is still lower than last year’s levels. Sweaters and other clothing don’t top gift lists because many Americans work from home and opt for casual wear, according to Adobe.