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Do Black Friday Online Sales Portend Holiday Growth?

shopping Returns
Do Black Friday Online Sales Portend Holiday Growth?

Just a few weeks ago, Amazon and some other retailers and marketplaces told Wall Street they weren’t sure what kind of fourth-quarter growth to expect with all the economic uncertainty. But aggregated sales data for Black Friday (November 25, 2022) indicates shoppers are spending, for now.

The following is a roundup of some findings published over the weekend.

  • Despite Black Friday promotions beginning earlier than ever this year, retailers saw an 11% increase in day-of Black Friday site traffic, 5% increase in number of orders, and a 1% increase in average order values compared to last year, according to Bluecore. (Bluecore analyzed 729 million shopper events on brands’ ecommerce sites, including shoppers viewing products and completing sales transactions. The resulting data was derived from 91 million first-party cookies and represents interactions with 4 million unique products, 3.2 million orders and $388 million in total sales.)
  • Online sales broke a record on Black Friday: $9.12 billion – which was up 2.3% year-over-year, according to Adobe. (Based on one trillion visits to US retail sites, 100 million SKUs, and 18 product categories.)
  • US retail sales on Friday were up +12% year-over-year excluding automotive (not adjusted for inflation). In-store sales increased +12% year-over-year, and ecommerce sales experienced sustained growth up +14% year-over-year, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. (Based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and check.)
  • Merchants on the Shopify platform saw sales of $3.36 billion on Black Friday, worldwide, a 17% increase in over Black Friday in 2021 (or 19% on a constant currency basis).

So how were shoppers finding those Black Friday deals? Adobe said paid search was the biggest driver of sales for retailers across major marketing channels for the period of November 21 – 24:

  • Paid search (30%)
  • Organic search (15%)
  • Direct (18%)
  • Email (17%)
  • Social media (less than 5%, but that share was up 32% year-over-year).

Stay tuned for more Thanksgiving-weekend sales data in the coming days.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
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/.

2 thoughts on “Do Black Friday Online Sales Portend Holiday Growth?”

  1. The ONLY reason Amazon saw a 1% increase in the value of orders is because of INFLATION! It’s nothing to brag about and pathetic that it was only 1% considering the inflated pricing they’ve incorporated!

    I’ve started doing price comparisons between Amazon & Walmart, plus going directly to seller’s sites (if they offer free shipping, then a slightly higher price is acceptable.) What I’m finding is that most of the time–not always, but most of the time, Walmart is beating Amazon in price. sometimes I have actually found the Amazon price to be more than twice Walmart’s price. and with Walmart’s new $98 annual membership with free shipping I can have items shipped & not have to deal with their store. (I dropped Prime, but my husband added me to his & now I get the 5% on purchases again. Sweet.)

    In other words, what we have here is a shell game. So play the game.

  2. Gross sales figures will include inflation, however, it’s the increase in foot traffic and online traffic I find intriguing.

    Due to Covid lockdowns, U.S. banks say that consumers had $1.7 trillion in savings and are now spending it. As an Etsy Seller, my activity in my handmade jewelry shop was crazy good this past weekend. I had the most active weekend EVER. People still have money and they want to spend it.

    I heard on CNBC this past week that Walmart is indeed beating Amazon as a preferred Ecommerce site, however, much of Walmarts profits are coming from food sales. With the latest surge in inflation, the low income consumer is running to Walmart for cheaper groceries.

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