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American consumers spent big via ecommerce throughout the Thanksgiving shopping weekend, posting $17.2 billion in online sales on Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 26-27), according to Salesforce. That represents 10.2% growth over 2021. Globally, spending reached $73.9 billion, growing 3%.
Deals continued to be attractive, as the average discount rate was 30% for the US. Peak shopping times were 10 a.m. -3 p.m. EST on Saturday, and 7-10 p.m. EST on Sunday. Mobile played a big role in driving these sales, accounting for 78% of shopping. Meanwhile, social media was attributed to 12% of all traffic referrals from mobile, which was a 22% increase from 2021.
“Online traffic and sales continued to gain momentum throughout Cyber Week, buoyed by US consumers, who snagged great deals on Saturday and Sunday," said Rob Garf, VP & GM of retail at Salesforce.
This came after Black Friday saw $15 billion in US online spend, which represented 12.1% year-over-year growth. Activity picked up in the evening, as Salesforce had previously reported totals of about $8 billion by 5 p.m. EST.
People were also buying more items, as order volumes during Black Friday grew 6%, which was the largest level of the week. Meanwhile, the abandoned cart rate was down 9% when compared to the previous three weeks.
For more insights on the weekend's online shopping trends, take a look at The Current’s day-of Black Friday recap of discount patterns, search trends and more, along with a look at growth in Thanksgiving sales.
The results arrive with one more big shopping day to go, as Cyber Monday is forecast to bring an even larger haul for online sales than Black Friday.
“We anticipate retailers continuing their aggressive discounting approaches on Cyber Monday as they make the final push to move inventory and free up cash," Garf said.
Shopify reports record Black Friday sales, 17% growth
Shopify reported record sales on Black Friday, with growth far outpacing the US inflation rate.
In a collective measure of results for the brands and retailers using its platform around the world, Shopify said that $3.36 billion in sales were recorded from the start of Nov. 25 in New Zealand to the end of the day in California.
That represented 17% growth over Black Friday 2021, or 19% on a constant currency basis. With the US inflation rate at 7.7%, the growth would have outpaced price increases in US dollar terms.
The peak came at 12:01 p.m. EST, when Shopify merchants together saw a rate of $3.5 million in sales per minute.
While Shopify offers tools to set up independent ecommerce stores rather than a single marketplace, it is tracking impact during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday period as a proxy of direct-to-consumer results. The Canada-based company also set up a map to visualize sales throughout what is traditionally the busiest shopping weekend of the year.
\u201cIt's that time of year again\u2014Black Friday Cyber Monday & the return of Shopify's real-time sales data visualization: The BFCM Live Map \ud83c\udf0e\n\nThe map is built on an @ApacheFlink-based data pipeline, with an SSE server that\u2019s horizontally scalable & load-balanced with Nginx in Golang\u201d— Shopify Data (@Shopify Data) 1669395285
The growth in sales comes on a year when forecasts indicated a return to in-store shopping and the impact of inflation could put a dent in holiday ecommerce spending. But the fact that a company which represents 10% of US ecommerce reported record sales will provide a measure of cheer that the busiest shopping weekend of the year was off to a strong start.
"Black Friday Cyber Monday has grown into a full-on shopping season. The weekend that started it all is still one of the biggest commerce events of the year, and our merchants have broken Black Friday sales records again,” said Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify, in a statement. “Our merchants have built beloved brands with loyal communities that support them.”
Shopify shared the following additional statistics for Black Friday:
- Top countries for sales were the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.
- Top cities were London, New York and Los Angeles.
- Top product categories were apparel & accessories, followed by health & beauty, and home & garden.
- Trending products included Snocks GmbH (Boxershorts), rhode (peptide glazing fluid), and Brooklinen (Luxe Core Sheet Set).
- Average cart price was $102.31 USD, or $105.10 USD on a constant currency basis.
- Cross-border orders represented 15% of total orders on Black Friday.
- In-person sales made through Shopify’s POS tools increased 27% over Black Friday 2021.
Trending in Retail Channels
More people are expected to gift experiences in 2023.
Consumers are planning to up spending for Valentine’s Day 2023. Ecommerce is expected to be the top shopping destination, even as there will be a big uptick in people gifting experiences.
U.S. Valentine’s Day spending is expected to reach $25.9 billion, up from $23.9 billion in 2022.
Online will be the top destination, with 35% of shoppers planning to buy through ecommerce. This is followed by department stores (34%), discount stores (31%) and specialty stores (18%).
About half of consumers plan to participate in Valentine’s Day, while half will also seek out discounts or promotions.
Average spend will be $192.80, up from $175.41 in 2022.
It’s not just romantic. Gifts for pets, coworkers, friends and classmates or teachers will account for $14 of the $17 per-person increase.
Many more people plan to go out. About one-third of consumers are planning to give the gift of experience, up from 26% last year and the highest since the survey began in 2017. Men, in particular are more likely to give the gift of experience.
Top gifts include candy (57%), greeting cards (40%), flowers (37%), an evening out (32%), jewelry (21%), gift cards (20%) and clothing (19%).
Key quote from NRF CEO Matthew Shay: “Valentine’s Day is a special occasion to shop for the people we care most about. This year, as consumers embrace spending on friends and loved ones, retailers are ready to help customers celebrate Valentine’s Day with memorable gifts at affordable prices.”
The bottom line: Many of the fundamentals from the holiday season are holding up during Valentine’s Day. People are seeking discounts and returning to experiences. But they are still turning to ecommerce, which is showing continued staying power.