Shoppers turned to their computers for Black Friday sales

Andrew Cummings
December 2, 2019

"Even when shoppers went to stores, they were now buying almost 41% more online before going to the store to pick up". Americans spent $7.4 billion online on Black Friday and $4.2 billion on Thanksgiving Day. In the video game category, the top sellers were Federation Internationale de Football Association 20, Madden 20 and Nintendo Switch.

A key insight is that the 2019 online holiday shopping season is projected to be $143.7 billion, which is 14.1 percent higher than previous year.

Buying online and picking up in store transactions grew 43.2% this year, meaning retailers have been able to connect their offline and online operations, Adobe said.

The most popular electronics were Apple laptops, AirPods and Samsung TVs.

In New York, on Black Friday, customers crowded brick-and-mortar shops, even as many ordered online and picked up purchases in stores - a way to bypass long checkout lines.

But some shoppers still prefer the Black Friday in-store experience, which can be a family hunting-and-gathering expedition after Thanksgiving festivities. Winning the transaction, whether online or in-store, has now become more important for retailers than where it occurs. Despite that, 36 percent of sales completed on Black Friday were conducted via smartphones, a total of $2.7 billion. "Small Business Saturday will accelerate sales for those retailers who can offer unique products or services that the retail giants can't provide".

This year's holiday season will not only test the resilience of such companies but will be a challenge for most retailers as President Donald Trump's trade war with China begins to take its toll on margins.

"We've seen many merchants start their promotions pretty much right after the trick-or-treaters have gone to bed", said Lauren Bitar, head of retail consulting at analytics firm RetailNext.

The other is that the bigger stores often have more flexible delivery options. On average, Americans had already completed nearly a quarter of their shopping, the most in the history of NRF's surveys. Edison Trends notes that some big platforms are actually seeing very mixed results this time around. Shoppers have already spent $470 million, and Adobe believes it will pass the $3 billion mark.

Analysts at Adobe predict that Cyber Monday sales will hit $9.4 billion by close of business on Dec 2., setting a new online shopping record in the United States.

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