RIYADH: US consumers spent $14 billion online during Thanksgiving and Black Friday, according to data from Adobe Analytics, a wing of Adobe’s business that specializes in data insights and tracks transactions at 80 of the top 100 US retailers.
The report said $8.9 billion were spent on Black Friday and $5.1 of online sales were reported on Thanksgiving. Sales on both occasions slid in 2021 as compared to the previous year.
Forbes quoted Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights, as saying: “We are seeing that more purchasing was done earlier in the season as retailers put forth promotions as early as October prompting consumers to shop early.”
Many retailers closed physical stores on Thanksgiving this year, as they did in 2020, amid a labor shortage and the coronavirus pandemic. Stores reopened the day after Thanksgiving, and shopper visits increased by 47.5 percent compared to 2020, but fell by 28.3 percent when compared to 2019, the last pre-pandemic year, according to data from Sensormatic Solutions.
Supply chain challenges and shipping delays may have prompted shoppers to visit stores in order to increase the chances of securing gifts in time for Christmas. More are making purchases online that they can pick up in-store, which keeps shipping costs down.
Macy’s, Walmart, Target and Kohl’s , for example, gave shoppers the flexibility to shop online, in stores or through hybrid methods, walked away as winners on Black Friday, said Louis Navellier, chairman of investor Navellier & Associates.
Of those purchasing online, slightly more used their smartphones. Canadian e-commerce company Shopify said the number of shoppers on its platform who used smartphones to make purchases increased this year to 72 percent from 67 percent last year.
Retailers’ moves to encourage buying holiday gifts earlier could also lessen the importance of Cyber Monday, the first Monday after Thanksgiving.
Buy-now-pay-later solutions like Sezzle, Afterpay, Plan It by American Express and PayPal’s Pay in 4 are growing in usage as consumers look for ways to manage their holiday budgets. BNPL revenue is up 422 percent in November and is over pre-pandemic levels (Nov 2019) for online purchases.
Cyber Monday sales
Adobe is predicting that Cyber Monday will be the biggest online shopping day of 2021, with between $10.2 billion and $11.3 billion in online spending.