Death of the doorbuster: Black Friday shatters online shopping record with more than $9 billion in sales as in-store participation wanes
- Black Friday online sales reached a record-high of $9.12 billion, according to Adobe Analytics.
- Meanwhile, brick-and-mortar traffic appeared to decline, with reports of empty stores and parking lots around the country.
The days of pushing and shoving to score a discounted flat-screen TV on Black Friday may be over, but Americans instead are turning to e-commerce with growing excitement.
Black Friday shoppers shattered online sales records this year, reaching $9.12 billion, up from 2.3% in 2021, according to Adobe Analytics data. The online sales growth came as brick-and-mortar foot traffic appeared to decline, with reports of barren parking lots and sparsely populated aisles at big-box stores like Walmart and Target — traditionally known for wooing crowds with doorbuster deals.
Adobe's findings showed e-commerce growth was driven largely by shoppers turning to the flexibility of buy-now-pay-later options like Klarna and Afterpay as they navigate record-high inflation. Buy-now-pay-later orders increased by 78% during the week of Nov. 19 to Nov. 25 compared to the same period last year, according to Adobe.
"As Black Friday hit record spending online, we're also seeing more prominent signs of a budget-conscious consumer this year," Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, said in a statement. "Shoppers are embracing the Buy Now Pay Later payment method more this year to be able to buy desired gifts for family and friends."
Electronics largely led online sales growth, alongside other top categories like audio equipment, toys, and exercise equipment, the findings showed.
Shifts away from same-day Black Friday sales also may be attributed to Americans beginning their holiday shopping earlier, a trend that began during the pandemic and has since persisted, according to the National Retail Federation.
"While consumers continue to save the bulk of their holiday shopping for later in November and December, some of that spending has shifted into October," Phil Rist, executive vice president of Strategy at Prosper Insights, told the NRF in a statement.
Looking ahead, Adobe predicts additional growth on Cyber Monday, still the biggest online shopping event of the season, with a forecast of $34.8 billion in online sales, up 2.8% from last year.
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