Consumers spent a record-breaking amount of money from the comfort of their own homes on Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
The day after Thanksgiving, shoppers spent $7.4 billion online, a nearly 20% increase compared to their Black Friday spending in 2018, according to Adobe Analytics. (They spent an additional $4 billion on Thanksgiving day itself, according to Reuters.)
Even so, according to Adobe, it was Cyber Monday that emerged as the real winner for one-day sales, with online shoppers ringing up $9.4 billion in purchases, an almost 20% increase compared to 2018 when shoppers spent $7.9 billion.
Shopping by phone takes off
Thirty-six percent of online purchases between November 1 and December 1, 2019, were made using smartphones, a 24.1% increase from last year, according to Adobe. Meanwhile, 59% of purchases were made from desktops and 5% were made from tablets.
On Black Friday this year, L.O.L. Surprise Dolls, which cost between $13 and $100 were the top-selling product, followed by Frozen 2 toys, according to Adobe. Video games FIFA 20 and Madden 20, and the game console Nintendo Switch, which retails for $300, were also top sellers, along with interactive game Just Dance 2020, Samsung TVs, Instapots, Apple laptops, and Fire TVs.
Amazon vs. Target and Walmart
Although Amazon is the largest online retailer in the U.S., its competitors Target and Walmart reportedly had stronger Cyber Monday sales growth this year.
Target’s online sales jumped 51%, while Walmart’s increased by 47%, compared to sales growth of 32% for Amazon on Cyber Monday, according to CNBC.
Target and Walmart have started expanding their e-commerce businesses to compete with Amazon, which offers free and often same-day delivery to its Amazon Prime customers. Target started offering same-day delivery to most states in June 2019.
More about the retail industry
While online sales may be surging, foot traffic on Black Friday to so-called brick and mortar stores fell by 6.2%, according to reports.
In fact, the traditional retail industry has experienced significant problems in recent years, with several physical stores filing for bankruptcy or closing locations including J.C. Penney, RadioShack, Payless ShoeSource, and The Limited.
What’s more, since 2017, the retail industry has lost 140,000 jobs, according to recent reports.
The retail industry is also one of the largest segments of the economy, generating nearly $5 trillion in sales in the first ten months of 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s roughly one-quarter of the Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, which is the total of all goods and services the economy produces.
Retail is also a big employer. About 16 million people work for U.S. retailers, or one in nine people, according to recent reports. Nearly 5 million people work as retail salespeople, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.