US consumers spent around $9 billion online on Black Friday – but
could top this, making it the biggest online shopping day in US history, according to estimates from analysts.
Through the year, retailers have been trying to convince customers to shop online to avoid crowds during the pandemic. As the holiday season approaches, it seems to be working.
The US’s biggest online shopping day to date is Cyber Monday 2019, when consumers spent around $9.4 billion online.
But the figure for this year could be more than a third higher at $12.7 billion, Adobe Analytics said in its holiday forecast. It set its minimum estimate at $10.8 billion.
This is despite
falling slightly short of Adobe’s estimates. It had expected US consumers to spend $10.3 billion online – $1.3 billion more than they actually did.
Total US online sales over the holiday shopping season will reach around $189 billion, Adobe added. This represents two years of growth in just one season.
Part of this is because people are shopping online for things such as groceries and alcohol that they bought in stores before the pandemic, Adobe said.
Read more: Here’s a checklist to prepare your business for the holiday rush of marketing, inventory, shipping, and customer service
The holiday shopping season started early this year. Amazon held its Prime Day in mid-October, and many retailers including Walmart split their Black Friday deals across November.
On Black Friday, online sales rose by 22%. Across the 1,500 e-commerce sites using services from the website optimization company Yottaa, there was a roughly 60% increase in online traffic year-on-year, the company told Business Insider.
Online sales platform Shopify also has a record-setting Black Friday. Around $2.4 billion in online sales went through checkouts powered by Shopify, which is 75% higher than last year. This came from more orders which also had a higher value – the average basket size was $90.70, up 11% on last year.
As online sales grew, in-store shopping plummeted. Only half as many people visited brick-and-mortar stores on Friday compared with last year, according to Sensormatic Solutions, leaving many stores and shopping centers without their usual Black Friday crowds.
The PlayStation 5 was one of the only products drawing crowds on Black Friday as customers raced to bag one of the in-demand consoles, with shoppers queueing outside from Wednesday.
Sales on Cyber Monday now top Black Friday
In recent years, online sales on Cyber Monday have topped those on Black Friday.
A survey by Business Insider and Morning Consult last year showed that shoppers across nearly all demographics prefer to make purchases on Cyber Monday.
Many consumers view Black Friday as a means for browsing deals, as opposed to Cyber Monday, when shoppers are making purchases with intent.