Black Friday and Cyber Monday Both Set Sales Records

By Tim Denman — November 29, 2016

While reports and predictions vary upon the success of the unofficial kickoff to the 2016 holiday shopping season, one thing is certain: digital sales have gone through the roof. On Black Friday a new high water mark for online was reached with $3.34 billion tallied the day after Thanksgiving, not to be outdone Cyber Monday pushes the record even higher with $3.39 billion, according to Adobe.

The final numbers continue to roll in, but a quick look at the early results shows that online shopping, including mobile conversions, continues to be a massive growth area for retailers this holiday season — with every key metric increasing year-over-year.

Here is a quick look at the results and some insider commentary on the holiday weekend and Cyber Monday:
 
Thanksgiving Day

  • Average daily e-commerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers on Thanksgiving was 10% higher than this same day last year. —Verizon
  • Thanksgiving e-commerce shopping peaked at 7-10 pm EST. —HookLogic
  • Thanksgiving continues to grow as a popular day for consumers, with spending up 14% over 2015. — Rakuten Marketing
Black Friday
  • Black Friday set a new digital record by surpassing the three-billion-dollar mark for the first time at $3.34 billion (21.6% growth YoY). —Adobe
  • Average daily e-commerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers on Black Friday was up 9% YOY. —Verizon
  • Apparel and accessories ranked as the top product category on Black Friday with nearly $500 million in desktop sales. — comScore
  • Average Black Friday cart size was 3.1 products per cart, with an average cart value of $150. —HookLogic
  • 116 million people visited online retail sites on Black Friday, with 52 million coming via desktop and 90 million via mobile (and 26 million on both). — comScore
Holiday Weekend
  • November 24-27 brought in $9.36 billion online, a 16.4% increase year over year. —Adobe
  • Average daily e-commerce traffic volume to U.S.-based retailers over the weekend was up 10% and 15% respectively from these same days last year. —Verizon
  • Mobile sites received 56% of retail traffic across Thanksgiving and Black Friday. —Rakuten Marketing
  • Average spending per person over Thanksgiving weekend totaled $289.19, down slightly from $299.60 last year. —NRF
  • 44% of shoppers went online and 40% shopped in-store. —NRF
  • The most popular day to shop online was Black Friday, up 1.3% from last year to 74%, followed by Saturday (49%), Thanksgiving (36%), and Sunday (34%). —NRF
  • Throughout the holiday weekend, mobile orders were neck and neck with desktop orders, hovering around the 50% range. —ChannelAdvisor
  • Global retailers saw continued momentum over the weekend with online sales up close to 20% over the same four-day period last year. U.S. retailers saw sales increase more than 9% over 2015. —IBM
Cyber Monday
  • Cyber Monday was the largest online sales day in history with $3.39 billion —Adobe
  • eBay beat out Amazon as the most mentioned online retailer on Cyber Monday followed by Macys, Walmart, H&M, Target, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Home Depot and Gap. —Adobe
Holiday Season
  • More than 70% of desktop e-commerce spending for the season-to-date have come through transactions using free shipping.— comScore
  • Online holiday shopping is spreading earlier into the week, as Wednesday revenue surpassed 'Thanksgiving Eve' 2015 revenue by 37% for same-store retail clients. - Rakuten Marketing
  • There have been 10 billion-dollar spending days on desktop through Black Friday this year, while last year at this point in the season only Thanksgiving and Black Friday had reached that threshold. — comScore
  • Over the past 30 days, there have been 2.3 million mentions of Black Friday on Twitter and only 375,000 mentions of Cyber Monday. —Fizziology 
  •  73% of shoppers say they prefer to do their holiday shopping outside of the holiday season, during e-commerce sales like Amazon Prime Day. —JDA
  • 11% of consumers say they plan to give a subscription box as a gift this holiday season. —JDA
What the Experts Had to Say

"It was a strong weekend for retailers, but an even better weekend for consumers, who took advantage of some really incredible deals. In fact, over one third of shoppers said 100% of their purchases were on sale.” — Matthew Shay, president and CEO, NRF

"After a slower start to the holiday season than initially anticipated, Thanksgiving and Black Friday both posted strong online spending totals well above $1 billion on desktop computers and grew at impressive rates that pushed season-to-date growth to 12%. Thanksgiving has now established itself as one of the more important online buying days of the holiday season, while Black Friday also continues to gain in importance online." —Gian Fulgoni, CEO, comScore

"We believe the fact that several major retailers closed on Thanksgiving, had a positive impact on e-commerce sales. It also shifted some sales to Black Friday. With the number of e-commerce shoppers increasing by 18.5% and continuing gains expected, retailers appear to be kicking off the largest ecommerce season in history." —Jonathan Opdyke, co-founder and CEO, HookLogic

"After analyzing historical shopper visit data, we found that Thanksgiving Day store openings were increasingly pulling shopper visits from Black Friday over the past few years. This year, we saw a reversal of that trend, which can be attributed to several factors including fewer store openings on Thanksgiving Day, as well as online shopping. Overall, the message is positive, as the data indicates that Black Friday is still a meaningful day for retail and should not be counted out." — Brian Field, senior director of advisory services, ShopperTrak

"As consumers are growing more and more comfortable shopping on their phones and tablets, the timetable is opening up for brands to reach them during the holiday shopping season. Our data has shown that most shoppers who buy something between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday start shopping six days earlier, and almost half will check a coupon or cashback site to make sure they leverage any last-minute deals." —Tony Zito, CEO, Rakuten Marketing
 

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