Black Friday pulls in a record $7.4 billion in online sales, as many turn to mobile orders

Posted at 12:32 PM, Dec 01, 2019

This year's Black Friday shaped up to be the biggest yet. Americans spent $7.4 billion online on Black Friday and $4.2 billion on Thanksgiving Day.

With Thanksgiving landing six days later than last year, retailers amped up their advertising and served up deep discounts on items such as appliances, sporting goods, televisions, consumers and toys, according to Adobe Analytics.

"We've got a shorter holiday selling season," Jason Woosley, Adobe's vice president of commerce product and platform, told CNN Business earlier this week. "That's creating a compression effect."

Consumers spent $11.6 billion online over the two days. Friday was also the biggest day ever for mobile sales, as $2.9 billion came from smartphones. People are getting more comfortable with buying online and on smaller screens.

As the cyber weekend continues, Small Business Saturday, a day to support smaller retailers, had pulled in $470 million, as of 9 am ET.

And the shopping sprees are far from over, giving a boost to retailers . Cyber Monday is poised to be even bigger. Adobe is projecting $9.4 billion in online sales. It anticipates that the last few hours of Cyber Monday will attract a lot of sales from people unwilling to miss out on deals.

Woosley estimates that consumers will spend $29 billion online between Thursday and Monday. That five-day "Cyber Week" period should account for a 20% chunk of the $143.8 billion in online sales Adobe predicted for this holiday season.

The most-popular items being tossed into the virtual carts included Frozen 2, NERF, and Paw Patrol toys; video games "FIFA 20," "Madden 20," and Nintendo Switch; and electronics including Apple laptops, AirPods and Samsung TVs, according to Adobe.

Retail sales at brick-and-mortar stores are expected to grow 2% in November and 6% in December, thanks to favorable weather and a "year-end surge" in disposable income," according to IBM, which utilizes artificial intelligence to analyze US Census and retail data.

In New York, on Black Friday, customers crowded brick-and-mortar shops, even as many ordered online and picked up purchases in stores — a way to bypass long checkout lines.

Buying online and picking up in store transactions grew 43.2% this year, meaning retailers have been able to connect their offline and online operations, Adobe said.

Even more were shopping online and on smartphones. While the streets around New York City shopping districts looked tame enough, stores like Japanese retailer Uniqlo and Israeli brand Adika that offered steep discounts saw packed crowds with little room to maneuver.

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