First, there was Black Friday—one standalone day that kicked off the holiday shopping season. Then came Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and Small Business Saturday. Stores started opening on Thanksgiving. And this year we saw Black Friday deals dropping online a week before the day itself.
“I call it the graying of Black Friday,” Marshal Cohen, Chief Industry Advisor of the NPD Group, said to the New York Times. “It’s not actually Black Friday anymore, or even Black Friday weekend or Black Friday week. In some cases, it started in October. Lowe’s and Home Depot even had Spring Black Friday sales.”
While 2019 hit records highs, with Thanksgiving sales passing $4.4 billion, and Black Friday saw $7.2 billion in digital sales, up 14% over last year, according to Salesforce, there are some brands and retailers skipping markdown madness and focusing on charitable giving. In 2015 REI launched its #OptOutside campaign, closing stores on Black Friday so employees could spend the day outdoors. Patagonia took a stand in 2016 and started donating 100% of its Black Friday profits to environmental organizations. This year Everlane and Cuyana made a stand against conscious consumerism and put a focus on causes, like transparency and ethical manufacturing, that are part of their brand DNA.
- US consumers spent $4.2 billion on Thanksgiving Day 2019, a YOY increase of 14.5% in revenue according to Adobe Analytics.
- Thanksgiving Day was actually busier than last year, rising 2.3% according to ShopperTrak.
- Salesforce noted US-based digital sales on Thanksgiving grew 17% to $4.1 billion.
- Adobe found 44.9% of Thanksgiving revenue came from smartphones, which is up 24.4% from 2018, while Salesforce said 60% of digital orders on Thanksgiving came from mobile phones.
- According to Adobe, large e-commerce players or those with more than $1 billion in annual revenue got a 244% sales boost on Thanksgiving, which Adobe said is indicative of great mobile shopping experiences.
- Smaller retailers with less than $50 million were up 61%.
- Shopify said 5.3 million consumers made a purchase from one of its merchants on Thanksgiving, with an average cart price of $81.12.
- Salesforce found Thanksgiving Day prices were as low as Black Friday prices for the first time, driving 28% growth YOY.
“Thanksgiving is definitely benefiting the most from the mobile ‘revolution,’ since it’s the most mobile-heavy day of the Thanksgiving weekend,” Taylor Schreiner, principal analyst and head of Adobe Digital Insights, said in a statement. “Just as Cyber Monday became a big shopping day because people had access to the Internet at work, Thanksgiving has gathered momentum as mobile has made it even easier for people to shop while Thanksgiving is going on.”
- Salesforce said sales hit $20 billion as other countries participated in Black Friday.
- Shopper visits decreased by 6.2% year over year, ShopperTrak found.
- Coresight visited 32 retailers last weekend and found 25 offered promotions, with discounts averaging 37% to 47%.
- Adobe called Black Friday “the biggest day ever for mobile,” tracking $2.9 billion in sales from smartphones representing 39% of all e-commerce sales, a 21% increase from last year. The percentage of online traffic from smartphones rose 15.8% from last year to 61%.
- Smartphone revenue share was 11% higher and 66% more efficient at converting mobile visits into sales.
- Black Friday mobile surpassed the 50% mark.
- More than $900 million sales were made by Shopify merchants, 69% of purchases were made on mobile, with the remaining 31% on desktop.
“Black Friday broke mobile shopping records with $2.9 billion spent through smartphones alone,” said Schreiner, noting that the imminent arrival of Christmas in this shortened season makes jumping on the phone preferable to standing in line. “Even when shoppers went to stores, they were now buying nearly 41% more online before going to the store to pick up.”
Photo: Justin Lim via Unsplash