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Thanksgiving Day on Track to Hit $2 Billion in Online Sales

Adobe released data on Thursday evening showing online sales figures and retail trends for Thanksgiving Day (between midnight and 5 pm Eastern).

So far (as of 5 pm on November 24, 2016), Thanksgiving Day has brought in $1.15 Billion in online sales, a 13.6% YoY increase. A record $449 Million in revenue came from mobile devices ($322M smartphones; $127M tablets), 58.6% more than last year. The remaining $702M were generated via desktops.

Thanksgiving Day is still on track to either hit or come close to $2 Billion, although heavy discounting seen in the early hours of the day has slowed revenue growth. Tablets, television, toys and pet care items are seeing much larger discounts than last year, with most promotions coming through search advertising and shopper helper sites like RetailMeNot.

Tablets, for example, are seeing a 25.1% discount on average today compared to just 12.2% on Thanksgiving Day ’15.

Highlights include:

Strong mobile performance: Mobile accounted for 54% of visits (44% smartphone; 10% tablet) and 39% of purchases. Conversions on smartphones have increased since the AM, averaging 1.7%; Desktop 3.4% and tablets 3.2%

Lower prices: Retailers pushed out deals earlier on Thanksgiving Day this year, with many categories seeing lower prices today compared to last year.

Smaller order sizes: Consumers are spending less per order on video game consoles (-13% compared to 2015), toys (-14%), televisions (-7%), jewelry (-20%) and computers (-15%).

Where retailers see traffic come from: Search ads are driving the most sales with a 33.3% share; Shopper helper sites come in second with 20.7%. Email drives the third most sales at 17.6%. Display ads come in at 2.3%, Social at 1.2%.

Top selling products: For electronics, HP Inspiron Computers (new), iPads and Samsung 4K TVs (same as this AM); For toys, Drones and Nerf Guns (new), Electric Scooters & Vehicles for Kids (same as this AM)

Out of stock rising: Out of stock messages increased to 7.8% (up from 6.4% this morning), but are still lower than the 11% level seen in 2015.

  • Highest out of stock risk electronics: NES Classic Edition, New Nintendo 3DS Super Mario, PlayStation VR Launch Bundle (all same as this AM)
  • Highest out of stock risk toys: Kurio Smart Watches (new); Hatchimals and Cozmo by Anki (same as this AM)

Adobe’s latest insights are based on aggregated and anonymous data from 21 billion visits to retail websites. Adobe’s retail reports offer the most comprehensive data compilation in the industry, measuring 80% of all online transactions from the top 100 U.S. retailers. $7.50 of every $10 spent with the top 500 retailers goes through Adobe Marketing Cloud.

Adobe Digital Insights Principal Analyst and Director Tamara Gaffney had this to say:

“Mobile sales have totaled an incredible $449 Million, an increase of 58% from this same time last year. Mobile has become a standard in the American household, and Thanksgiving has become the day where consumers “shop on the sly,” as nearly a quarter of people we surveyed said they use mobile devices so they aren’t obvious to friends and family at the dinner table. We’ve also seen larger pricing decreases come into play in key categories such as tablets and toys, which could affect the final numbers to come in just shy of the predicted $2 Billion.”

SourceAdobe Digital Insights 2016 Holiday Results

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.