Lower than expected Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday online sales

Consumers fell short of analysts’ forecasts for spending on Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, two of the biggest shopping days of the year. Adobe Analytics reports that consumers spent $ 10.7 billion to shop online on Cyber ​​Monday, down 1.4% from a year ago.

It was the first time since 2012 that sales declined compared to the previous year. Adobe said online spending for Black Friday was $ 8.9 billion, up from $ 9 billion a year ago. Despite the drop, Adobe expects the entire holiday season to see record e-commerce sales. They said sales were down because consumers had already started shopping for the holidays long before Thanksgiving weekend.

“Black Friday is still a major online shopping day, but the increase in online shopping stems from the least-sold days of the season,” said Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights.

Sensormatic reported that in-store traffic increased 48% on Black Friday, compared to last year, but still lagged behind store levels in 2019.

“Everyone started earlier and, more importantly, the buyer started earlier,” said Brian Field, senior consultant at Sensormatic. “Going back to pre-pandemic times, the holiday season very clearly started Black Friday week. You can bet on it.

Field also said he expects in-store visits to be 10% to 15% off from 2019 for the entire holiday buying period. He said given inventory constraints and supply chain challenges, consumers are more inclined to shop in-store to avoid shipping delays.

Curbside pickup has increased this year from pre-pandemic levels, increasing by 33%. It was used in 18% of all online orders, according to Adobe, which noted that it was used in 25% of all online orders last year. Adobe researchers reported that over 41% of online sales were made with smartphones, while smartphone visits to e-commerce sites reached 59.4%, an indication that shoppers often start shopping. via their smartphone.

As the holiday shopping season was underway, a new threat to the economy emerged as the COVID-19 variant known as Omicron made the news. Matt Shay, CEO of the National Retail Federation, said on Tuesday that Omicron could spend more dollars on electronics, toys, clothing and other items instead of vacations and movie tickets. Despite the appearance of the Omicron variant at a key period for holiday shopping, Shay reiterated the NRF’s forecast for retail sales of between $ 843.4 billion and $ 859 billion for November and December. He said it would be an all-time high for vacation spending.

“We know, unfortunately, that when the variants had a real impact on the economy, the goods side of the economy actually benefited as people change their behavior away from the experience side of the economy and spend more money. time and more money involved. on the goods side of the economy, ”he said.

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David A. Albanese