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Black Friday Breaks Online Shopping Records

Black Friday

It’s official: No longer is it necessary to leave the comfort of the couch to take advantage of the best Black Friday deals. No longer is it necessary to forego sleep, push, shove, wait in line eternally and pretend to think the group of women with matching Black Friday ‘crew’ T-shirts is interesting in any way. 

Instead, you can fully engage in America’s commercial excesses online, with little to know consumer punishment for not showing up in person. 

Black Friday 2019 broke every record for online shopping, beating out brick-and-mortar efforts hands down. 

ShopperTrak data shows that Black Friday sales for brick-and-mortar stores dropped 6.2%--and that’s not because sales were down overall. Shopping after Thanksgiving Day was actually up 2.3%; it just wasn’t being shared in the physical realm. 

Online Black Friday shopping hit a record $7.4 billion, based on data from Adobe Analytics, compared to $1.2 billion in online sales for Black Friday last year. Even if it fell slightly short of Adobe’s predictions of $7.5 billion, it’s still a massive 43% increase that has officially killed physical Black Friday. 

According to Adobe Analytics, Americans will spend billions more this holiday season on the phones, compared to 2018. In fact, smartphone shopping will account for nearly 50% of holiday retail sales growth. 

Phone shopping is even set to beat out desktop shopping for the first time ever on Christmas Day.  

Adobe is also predicting that today--Cyber Monday--will hit $9.4 billion in sales--which would be an 18.9% increase over 2018. Last year, Cyber Monday took in $7.9 billion. 

During peak shopping hours today, from 11:00pm ET and midnight, Adobe expects shoppers to spend $11 million per minute. 

Some analysts attribute the record-breaking increase in online spending to the weather and the fact that there is less time between Cyber Monday and Christmas this year, so there’s a bit of a rush on to get holiday shopping done and dusted.  

But it’s not likely just the weather, or the clock. Brick-and-mortar has been dying a slow death, and America’s malls have been relative ghost towns long before Black Friday. 

On Black Friday, they should have been teeming with crowds and shopping tension. Instead, it was just another day in the life …

According to RetailNext, mall traffic was down 2.1% on Black Friday, with average transaction values dropping 6.7% and overall sales down 1.6%. 

Pop into any Target on Black Friday, though, and you will see where all the people are. While the malls were deserted, Targets across the country were likely putting off shoppers who refused to stand in line for an hour. 

And now that the battle between online and brick-and-mortar has largely been decided, there’s another battle brewing between America’s biggest online retailers: Amazon versus Walmart and Target. 

By midday Monday, with Cyber sales in full swing, everyone was wondering how much of a threat Walmart and Target will be to Amazon. Both saw bigger sales jumps in the first two weeks of November, year-on-year, than Amazon. 

According to Edison Trends, for the first two weeks of November, Walmart saw a 51% increase and Target saw a 47% increase--compared to Amazon’s 32% bump. 

By Tom Kool for Safehaven.com 

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