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11/30/2020

Black Friday weekend breaks e-commerce records

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Consumers may have avoided stores during Black Friday weekend, but they didn’t stop holiday shopping.

According to multiple sources, traffic and spending by online shoppers surged from Thanksgiving (Thursday, Nov. 26) through Sunday, Nov. 29. Consumers flocked to e-commerce sites during the four-day holiday weekend as they visited stores in much lower numbers compared to the same period in 2019.

Data from Adobe Analytics indicates online spending on Black Friday, Nov. 27 hit a new record with consumers spending $9 billion, an increase of 22% year-over-year from $7.4 billion on Black Friday 2019. This is the second-largest online spending day in U.S. history as recorded by Adobe, coming in behind Cyber Monday 2019. 

Black Friday mobile shoppers spent $3.6 billion, according to Adobe Analytics, up 25% year-over-year and representing 40% of total online spend. In-store and curbside pickup increased 52% on Black Friday compared to the same day a year earlier.

Adobe Analytics analysis also shows consumers spent a new record of $4.7 billion online on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28, representing 30% year-over-year growth. Online spending across the holiday weekend from Thanksgiving Day through Sunday, Nov. 29 totaled $23.5 billion, a 23% increase year-over-year. Adobe expects Cyber Monday 2020 to become the largest online sales day in history, with spending between $10.8 billion (15% year-over-year growth) and $12.7B (35% year-over-year growth).  
 
Salesforce tracked similar e-commerce trends over the long holiday weekend. Analysis from the CRM technology platform indicates that after lower-than-expected year-over-year growth in digital traffic on Thanksgiving —7% globally and 12% in the U.S. — website traffic to retailers and brands globally grew 17% on Friday and 28% on Saturday year-over-year (U.S. saw year-over-year growth of 22% on Friday and 28% on Saturday). According to Salesforce, U.S. brands and retailers pulled in $12.8 billion in revenue on Black Friday, up 23% from 2019. Globally, digital revenue reached $62.28 billion, a 30% year-over-year jump.

Globally, Salesforce data indicates that consumers spent 116.6 million hours shopping online during Black Friday, representing 20% growth year-over-year. This equates to every one of the 4.3 billion people estimated to have internet access across the globe shopping for an average of 1.5 minutes online. Salesforce says the combination of new people embracing online shopping since the onset of the pandemic, along with people spending more time on retailer and brand websites, contributed to this growth.

Other interesting e-commerce data points from the holiday weekend include:

•    69% of Black Friday sales on e-commerce platform Shopify were made via mobile device.
•    The average Shopify Black Friday cart price was $88.60.
•    According to retail marketing technology provider Bluecore, there was a 26% average year-over-year increase in online Black Friday orders.
•    Bluecore data indicates an average of 59% of retailers’ online Black Friday orders came from first-time shoppers.
•    The week leading into Black Friday, virtual sales platform Salesfloor saw an increase of up to 55% year-over-year in sales.

“Consumer behavior during Cyber Week mirrors much of what the industry experienced throughout the pandemic,” said Rob Garf, VP of insights and strategy at Salesforce. “Shoppers embraced digital and store pickup for health, safety, and convenience — creating a new baseline for online traffic and sales that will remain well after the pandemic.”