Online sales on Black Friday hit a new record high this year, while Cyber Monday is on track to become the biggest online shopping day in United States history.
According to Adobe Analytics, Americans spent about $9 billion shopping on websites the day after Thanksgiving — a 22% hike from the previous peak of $7.4 billion last year — as consumers’ anxieties over visiting brick-and-mortar stores led them to digital platforms. The data research firm also shared predictions for Monday to be the largest online sales day in the U.S., with spending of between $10.8 billion and $12.7 billion — a 15% to 35% gain from the prior year.
According to Adobe, both big-box retailers and small businesses recorded gains over the weekend: It estimated that sales at major chains surged 403% on Turkey Day and Black Friday compared with the daily average in October, while those at smaller companies advanced 349%.
“We are seeing strong growth as consumers continue to move shopping from offline to online this year,” Adobe Digital Insights director Taylor Schreiner added. “New consoles, phones, smart devices and TVs that are traditional Black Friday purchases are sharing online shopping cart space this year with unorthodox Black Friday purchases such as groceries, clothes and alcohol, that would previously have been purchased in store.”
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Shorter-than-usual lines and sparsely populated parking lots were among the scenes spotted across the country during the holiday shopping weekend as the U.S. continues to experience spikes in COVID-19 cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had previously issued guidance on its website that included “shopping in crowded stores” as one of the holidays’ “higher risk activities.” Other such activities include attending crowded parades and large indoor gatherings with people from outside one’s household.
Due to the pandemic, this year was already shaping up to be very different for retailers: Since Amazon hosted its highly anticipated Prime Day event, which occurred in the pre-holiday month of mid-October instead of its usual date in July, retailers had already begun putting out promotions and marking down merchandise well before the late November shopping rush. Rivals Walmart and Target, as well as department stores Nordstrom and Kohl’s, specialty retailer Old Navy and athletic-outdoor chain Dick’s Sporting Goods were among the boldface names that staggered their deals over the course of days or weeks and turned to digital channels to offer discounts that are ordinarily reserved for brick-and-mortar shopping.