And the results are in! Black Friday is over and here are the sales stats:
A big win for Shopify
The platform set a new record, processing nearly $2.9 billion during Black Friday. This was up 21% from 2020 and more than double from 2019.
Here are a few more interesting stats from the Shopify announcement:
- 72% of sales during Black Friday were made on a mobile device. Only 28% were made on a desktop.
- The top product categories were apparel and accessories, followed by health & beauty and home & garden.
- The average cart price was $101.02.
- 15% of orders were “cross-border,” with the most popular cross-border routes being the United States-Canada, Canada-United States, and United Kingdom-United States.
Black Friday isn’t what it used to be
According to Adobe Analytics, online spending in the U.S. was flat this Black Friday compared to last year.
The holiday season has been stretched.
In order to avoid receiving out-of-stock messages, more people start their shopping as early as October.
Retailers have been extending their promotional offers as well.
With this pace, we might have to eventually rename “Black Friday” to “Black November.”
Cyber Monday sales fell
That’s how much Americans spent on Cyber Monday, according to Adobe’s Digital Economy Index, which tracks over one trillion visits to U.S. e-commerce websites.
This is down 1.4% from last year.
Does this reflect lower consumer confidence?
Why there’s a drop
Fear. People have started shopping earlier due to fears of shortages, according to Adobe.
This is supported by the data. In November for example, consumers spent $109 billion, an increase of 11.9% over last year.
Looks like people would rather be “safe than sorry” and begin their holiday shopping before, you know, the holidays.
What you can do about this as a marketer
Be aware that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are starting earlier and earlier each year.
So start your promotions earlier (like October) as well to capture the purchase intent.
Otherwise, you might wonder “why my Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales are down” when you only advertised on Friday and Monday.
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Reports from Amazon, Shopify, and Facebook
While things appeared down a bit, in comparison, Amazon, Shopify, and Facebook Marketplace all reported record-breaking sales during the holiday season:
- Amazon reported record sales during the period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- According to Shopify, merchants’ Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales were higher than last year.
- Facebook Marketplace has seen a 40% increase of people searching the term “gifts.”
What all of this means
We did some digging.
Adobe Analytics is primarily used by enterprise companies while Shopify, Amazon, and Facebook Marketplace are used by smaller sellers.
Could all of this mean that people are buying more from smaller merchants than from larger companies?
Although we don’t have official data to back it up, this early evidence is promising.
Mastercard’s SpendingPulse report
According to Mastercard’s SpendingPulse report, the 2021 holiday season was not quite like the year before but it wasn’t horrible either.
This report looks at the retail sales in the US from November 1 to December 24 (what’s considered “the Holiday Season”).
And while you might hear often that 2021 was tougher than 2020 (which is true), it still wasn’t bad.
Here are some of the numbers:
- Total retail sales (excluding auto sales) grew 8.5% in 2021 vs 2020 and 10.7% vs 2019.
- E-commerce grew 11% in 2021 vs 2020 (which doesn’t sound like much). But it did grow 61.4% vs 2019, the last pre-pandemic holiday sales season.
So, even with fewer restrictions in place these days, e-commerce is still continuing on its upward trajectory.
This is how much U.S. consumers spent during the holiday season (November 1 to December 31), according to Adobe.
Not just a guess
The data comes from Adobe Analytics, which tracks 100 million SKUs and more than a trillion visits to US retail sites.
According to Adobe’s statement, their Analytics product tracks more data than “any other technology company or research organization.”
BNPL on the rise
According to the analysis, the buy-now-pay-later industry grew double-digits this year.
In numbers, revenue increased 27% year-over-year, and the average order value was $224, with 3 items in the shopping cart.
Desktop is where the action is
43% of online sales come from smartphones. Mobile has been the rage in marketing for a while.
Generally speaking, the more serious the purchase, the more likely people are to use a traditional setup.
Shopping began earlier
Consumers spread their shopping outside of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Holiday shopping began a few weeks before Thanksgiving as a matter of fact.
The weeks following Cyber Monday also saw a rise in orders by 5.6% compared to last year.
Retail sales fell 1.9% in December compared to the previous month, according to data obtained by Axios.
The reason: People began their holiday shopping early.
According to a recent Mastercard report, if you “extend” the holiday season from November 1 to December 24, US retail sales actually increase.
Mastercard also recently said that online spending last year has been “relatively positive.”
What marketers can take away from this
Consider starting your holiday promotions earlier this year.
All reliable data we’ve found so far indicates that people are starting their holiday shopping earlier due to rising inflation and supply chain issues.