Black Friday online sales drop, but not by much

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black friday seems to be losing some of its online mojo as retailers are offering deals earlier in the holiday season. That’s the word Saturday from Adobe Analytics, although it added that Black Friday, Thanksgiving Day and Cyber ​​Monday remain by far the biggest online sales days of the season.

“For the first time ever, Black Friday saw a reversal of the growth trend of the past few years,” said Vivek Pandya, principal analyst at Adobe Digital Insights. “Shoppers are being strategic in their gift shopping, buying much earlier in the season, and being flexible about when they shop to ensure they’re getting the best deals.”

Still, total online spending for Black Friday this year was only slightly lower than last year, at $8.9 billion compared to $9 billion. And overall for the season so far, online spending is buzzing.

Online consumer spending has hit new highs, topping $2 billion every day and surpassing $3 billion in 19 days so far this holiday season, Adobe said. At this point last year, he said, only five days had seen the $3 billion mark passed and 22 days had seen the $2 billion mark passed.

Adobe says it analyzes direct consumer transactions online, including more than a trillion visits to US retail sites, 100 million unique items for sale, and 18 product categories.

The categories seeing the most spending so far are toys, books, video games and home appliances, Adobe said. But it hasn’t always been easy for buyers to get their hands on what they want. Out of stock messages were on the rise 124% in November compared to pre-pandemic levels in January 2020. Electronics, appliances, janitorial supplies, and home and garden items were the most likely to be difficult to sell. get.

Trends included an increase in curbside pickup, with this option up 70% so far in November compared to pre-pandemic levels in November 2019. Buy-it-now and pay-later options have also seen strong increases so far this month compared to November 2019, with total spend up 422% and order volume up 438%.

And Adobe said online shoppers still prefer to browse on mobile but shop on desktop. During Black Friday, smartphones accounted for 62.2% of visits to merchant sites but only 44.4% of online sales.

If you feel like you’ve missed the boat on Black Friday, don’t worry. Adobe said that Saturday offers some of the biggest discounts on electronics and home appliances, Sunday is a bargain day for apparel and sporting goods, and Cyber ​​Monday is a good day for Good TV Deals.

You can check out CNET’s coverage. There is the 57 best Black Friday deals still available ahead of Cyber ​​Monday, as well as our Black Friday live blog of the best deals you can still buy and the best TV deals you can buy right now. We also have a list of Cyber ​​Monday deals are available now. And be sure to take a look at CNET’s holiday gift guide, which directs you to other offers.

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David A. Albanese