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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Black Friday online sales to hit new record, expected to top $9 billion

This will likely end up the biggest Black Friday ever online.

Overall online sales for the day after Thanksgiving are expected to top $9 billion, according to Adobe, which tracks sales on retailers’ websites. That would be a record.

Through 6 p.m. ET, shoppers spent $7.28 billion at websites. That number could balloon to as much as $9.2 billion before the day is done, Adobe said.

The record-breaking spending comes on the heels of a strong day of Thanksgiving shopping, in which consumers shelled out an all-time high $5.29 billion online, up 2.9% year-over-year. Typically, shoppers spend about $2 billion to $3 billion online in a day, according to Adobe. 

Black Friday shoppers at the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville, Tennessee, on November 25, 2022.Seth Herald / AFP via Getty Images

The company said shoppers were picking up Apple products such as watches and AirPods, smart speakers and televisions, espresso machines, and gaming consoles, as well as toys from Funko, Hatchimals and Squishmallows.

Adobe noted that mobile shopping also hit a record high this year, with sales from smartphones accounting for 55% of online sales on Thanksgiving Day. These sales are expected to account for 53% of total Black Friday sales, the company predicts.

Additionally, strong discounts enticed inflation-weary consumers to put more items in their carts. The average order volume was up 12% during the season. Toys, in particular, drove significant demand, with deals as high as 33% off.

For retailers, these numbers may be a promising indicator about the weeks ahead. Early holiday forecasts have been muted. Target, Macy’sNordstrom and other companies reported a lull in sales in late October and early November. Consumer sentiment has weakened in the past month as inflation hovers near four-decade highs.

That has ratcheted up the pressure for retailers on Black Friday weekend — a time that’s often associated with the biggest deals of the holiday shopping season.

Adobe expects Cyber Week, the five days from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, will generate around $34.8 billion in online spending, up nearly 3% compared to 2021. Cyber Monday is expected to be the biggest online shopping day, with sales slated to top $11.2 billion, the company forecast.

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