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Black Friday Sees Rare Slowdown in Online Sales

Nov 28, 2021 5:46 AM   By Rapaport News
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E-commerce spending in the US on Black Friday was lower than anticipated as many consumers shopped early amid supply disruptions, according to Adobe.

Total online outlay on November 26 came to $8.9 billion, compared with Adobe’s prediction of up to $9.5 billion, and slightly below last year’s $9 billion, Adobe said Saturday. The final amount was still within the range the company had predicted, albeit at the lower end, the analytics group noted.

Thanksgiving’s figure was flat year on year at $5.1 billion, lower than the $5.4 billion Adobe forecast at the end of October. The numbers mark the first time both days did not see an annual increase in online spending, the company explained.

“For the first time ever, Black Friday saw a reversal of the growth trend of the past years,” said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights. “Shoppers are being strategic in their gift shopping, buying much earlier in the season and being flexible about when they shop to make sure they get the best deals.”

Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still by far the strongest online sales days of the season, despite the disappointing results, Adobe noted. Cyber Monday is set to be the biggest day for e-commerce shopping this year, with spending of $10.2 billion to $11.3 billion, Adobe predicted. Consumers were expected to spend between $4.5 billion and $5.1 billion on Small Business Saturday on November 27, Adobe believed.

Out-of-stock messages are still higher than usual, with appliances, electronics, housekeeping supplies, and home-and-garden tools the hardest hit. Since the start of October, large retailers have seen 22% higher growth in revenue on average than smaller businesses.

This holiday season has seen more record days than in previous years, Adobe said. Consumer spending has surpassed $2 billion every day so far and was more than $3 billion on 19 occasions. That compares with 22 days over $2 billion and five higher than $3 billion for the same period last year.

Since the start of November, consumers have spent a total of $89.9 billion. Revenues for the holiday period from November 1 to December 26 are on track to hit Adobe’s prediction of $207 billion, the company added.

Image: A man shopping online on Black Friday. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: Adobe, Adobe Digital Insights, black friday, cyber monday, Rapaport News, Small Business Saturday, US Holiday retail sales, Vivek Pandya
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