According to preliminary data released by Adobe Analytics, online spending during this year’s Black Friday holiday shopping day achieved a new record as growing COVID-19 infection rates motivated more consumers to prefer online shopping for either holiday or essential shopping needs.

The data indicates that shoppers spent $9 billion in online purchases the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., a year-over-year increase of 21.6 percent according to Adobe when analyzing website transactions extracted from 80 of the top 100 U.S. based online retailers. Adobe indicated an online spending rate of $6.3 million per minute with $27.50 being the average spend per person. The firm indicated that this data represents the second-largest online spending amount across the U.S. behind that of Cyber Monday of 2019.

Online customer fulfillment

Taylor Schreiner, a Director at Adobe Digital Insights, indicated in a statement to CNET a different shopping pattern for online consumers:

New consoles, phones, smart devices and TVs that are traditional Black Friday purchases are sharing online shopping cart space this year with unorthodox Black Friday purchases such as groceries, clothes and alcohol, that would previously have been purchased in-store

Indeed a published report from Business Broadcast Network CNBC cites preliminary data originating from Sensormatic Solutions indicating that traffic as physical stores on Black Friday fell by 52.1 percent compared with last year’s similar activity.

Today’s Cyber Monday shopping event is expected to also set a new milestone with Adobe already indicating today’s event to be the largest online sales day in U.S. history, with estimated spending of $10.8 billion to $12.7 billion.

Many retailers had opted to not open their physical stores during the Thanksgiving Holiday because of the pandemic, fearing long lines of crowded shoppers. Instead, shoppers had the choice to either shop online or visit a store during Black Friday.


Supply Chain Matters Insight

From our lens, what the above data suggests is that the increase in online shopping is a co-mingling of the 2020 holiday fulfillment with everyday needs for food, grocery and everyday living items. It is a reflection of what is likely to be a permanent shift toward more online buying in the months to come as consumers gain added convenience and retail shopping options. With today’s Cyber Monday volumes yet to be announced, the numbers for the combined five-days of online shopping spanning Thanksgiving thru Cyber Monday could indeed set new milestones. The number to pay very close attention to is the overall average spend by consumer since that will be the determinant as to whether retailers have a financially successful holiday period.

The most significant to watch is the impacts to logistics, transportation and last-mile delivery networks over the coming days.

As indicated in our prior blog commentary, there are discerning signs from Amazon and other online retailers of capacity crunches already underway, which are sure to be protracted into the first half of December.


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