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Black Friday Sets Online Sales Record

Tim Denman
Editor in Chief
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After the table was cleared and the dishes put away the real business of Thanksgiving could commence ― the annual kickoff of the holiday shopping blitz.

Although, the planners among us have been squirrelling away holiday gifts throughout the year, the majority of the population doesn’t get into the full swing of holiday shopping until the season kicks off in earnest on Thanksgiving.

The early results of the weekend are a mixed bag for retailers. Store traffic continues to decline as foot falls dropped 6.2% year-over-year on Black Friday. But, online sales are soaring. Black Friday tallied $7.4 billion in online sales, making it the second best digital shopping day in history ($7.9 billion Cyber Monday 2018), according to Adobe Analytics.

Below is a quick look at the results of the Thanksgiving Weekend shopping festivities. Stay tuned to RIS over the next few days as we continue to chronicle the results and take a deep dive into the Cyber Monday returns.

Thanksgiving Day

  • Thanksgiving digital sales increased 17% year-over-year to $4.1 billion. ― Salesforce
  • Social channels captured almost 30% of total conversion activities — compared to 16% last year. PMG
  • Stores enjoyed a 2.3% increase in year-over-year traffic. ― ShopperTrak
  • Retailers sent more than 3.6 billion e-mails sent on Thanksgiving Day, and text messaging sends increased 117% year-over-year. Salesforce
  • Most talked about retailers on social media:  Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Gamestop and Etsy. Salesforce

Black Friday

  • Black Friday was the second largest online sales day ever at $7.4 billion – Cyber Monday 2018 spending was $7.9 billion.Adobe Analytics
  • The early hours and late-night hours were some of the most successful revenue-driving hours of the entire day. ― PMG
  • More women than men were shopping in-store on Black Friday, including at the hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s. ― Near
  • Gen X and Millennials (age 26-35) shopped brick-and-mortar locations more than any other age group. ― Near
  • Store traffic decreased by 6.2% year over year. ― ShopperTrak
  • $7.2B in digital revenue, amounting to 14% year-over-year growth. ― Salesforce
  • Mobile ordering increased 35%, with 65% of all digital orders coming through a mobile device. ― Salesforce
  • Malls and shopping center traffic was down 2.1%, average transaction values dropped 6.7%, and overall sales declined 1.6%. However, shoppers visiting a store who made a purchase rose 1.7%. ― RetailNext 
  • Ann Taylor, Bed Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdale’s, Ulta Beauty and Walmart were the top five retailers. – Coresight Research

Holiday Shopping Season

  • More than 60% of the merchandise at mid-tier department will also be on sale this year, which could further continue to hurt profits.Refinitiv
  • For consumers Black Friday (43%) beats Cyber Monday (26%) and Prime Day (12%) as the most important shopping day of the year. ― Killi
  • 63% of shoppers plan to spend between 0-$500 on holiday gifts this year, and 3% plan to spend $2,000 or more. ― Killi
  •  43% of U.K. consumers and 53% of U.S. consumers plan to use buy online, pick up in-store this holiday season. ― Aptos
  • Procrastination Tuesday sales (the day after Cyber Monday) have increased more than 400% in each of the last two years and are growing 10% faster than Cyber Monday sales year-over-year. ― Edge by Ascential
  • More than 40% of all online spending for the Thanksgiving period is expected to occur on Cyber Monday, of those who plan on shopping online, 72% will do so on Cyber Monday. ― Deloitte
  • Gen X shoppers plan to spend the most during the Thanksgiving period (an average of $452), closely followed by Millennials at ($446), Gen Z consumers will spend considerably less ($335). Deloitte
  • 61% of Americans say they're comfortable receiving a second-hand item as a gift, particularly something one-of-a-kind or especially hard to find. 49% of Americans aged 18-34 would give a used gift of this nature, while only 38% of those aged 55 and older say they would. ― Mercari 

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