As most analysts expected in this most strange of holiday seasons, consumers dramatically shifted toward online purchases and set records on Black Friday.

The recent spike in coronavirus cases underscored consumers’ momentum to choose safety and comfort over the clogged parking lots and aisles of in-store shopping.

As of late Friday, Adobe Analytics data reported online sales were projected to reach more than $9 billion, up 25% or more from last year. As of 4 p.m. ET on Friday, more than 40% of sales came from smartphones.

Thanksgiving Day online purchases rose by nearly 22% this year to $5.1 billion, after totaling $4.2 billion on Thanksgiving in 2019. 

“Retailers of all sizes appear to have successfully moved shoppers to buy earlier in the season with early discounts and effective promotions,” Adobe said. 

Stats showed the shift was already in place prior to Thursday as online sales had hit $62.5 billion, up 32.6% from this time last year.

Adobe analyzes online transactions from 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers.

Curbside pickup, earlier online sales and the pandemic were among key reasons for the rise in numbers.

Shoppers in states with COVID-19 restrictions around family gatherings, according to Adobe, drove purchases 3.4 times higher year over year on Thanksgiving Day compared with states with fewer restrictions.

Black Friday top sellers included Star Wars items, Hot Wheels, Nerf toys and video games, while Apple AirPods, air fryers and Amazon Fire TV also proved popular.

Toys and, perhaps not too surprising, personal care products were among the strongest categories, according to Adobe, which added that Cyber Monday will be the top online sales day in history and provide a year-over-year increase up to 38%.

Add comment

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.