Adobe Analytics shows customers preferred online shopping over brick and mortar stores on Black Friday

on Dec 1, 2019
Updated: Mar 11, 2020
  • Shoppers preferred online shopping over visiting the stores on Black Friday in 2019.
  • Retail stores opened on Thanksgiving evening hurt the traffic for Black Friday.
  • Stores with a developed e-commerce segment reported expected sales.
  • U.S National Retail Federation forecasts 3.8% to 4.2% growth in retails sales in 2019's holiday season.

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Black Friday marks the busiest day of the year for shopping. With changing trends, 2019’s data recently showed that buyers preferred to shop online this year as compared to showing up in the brick-and-mortar stores. Overall traffic and more importantly the sales at such stores, therefore, took a hit in 2019.

Sales On Black Friday Took A Hit As Retailers Kept Stores Opened On Thanksgiving Evening

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The data further reported that unlike the previous several years, a larger number of customers visited stores on Thanksgiving evening that highlighted how the preferred time for shopping has changed for the customers. The past years have seen a significant drop in sales on Black Friday. As per the experts, year-round discounts, early holiday promotions, and the choice of many retailers of keeping stores open on Thanksgiving evening (Thursday) has been hurting the sales figures for Black Friday. This year marks another switch in the trend where the majority of the customers were seen shopping online rather than in stores.

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Retailers that have focused on developing their online existence, therefore, have reported minimal to no change in terms of sales on Black Friday. Top retailers like Target Corp., Walmart Inc., Best Buy, etc., continue to hit the expected sales target on Black Friday, all thanks to the rather developed e-commerce segment of their businesses. With a firm online existence for customers’ convenience, these retail giants continue to challenge Amazon.

As per the data from Adobe Analytics, online sales contributed to as much as 19.6% of the total sales on Black Friday. Against the analysts’ estimate of $7.6 billion, 2019 printed $7.4 billion of sales online on Black Friday. Adobe also accentuated that Thanksgiving sales rose by an incredible 14.5% ($4.2 billion) in 2019.

Traffic At Brick And Mortar Stores Dropped by 3% Year Over Year On Thanksgiving And Black Friday

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As compared to 2018, traffic at the brick and mortar stores dropped by 3% (Black Friday and Thanksgiving combined), the data from ShopperTrak showed. While visits to the store on Thanksgiving evening saw an increase of around 2.3%, the number of visitors on Black Friday printed an around 6% decline.

ShopperTrak’s global retail consulting senior director, Brian Field, commented on the figures for Black Friday and stated that the newly introduced option of “buy online and pick up in store” also weighed on the traffic as analytics don’t represent such customers as “store traffic”.

The National Retail Federation of the U.S has forecasted the 2019’s holiday season (November and December) to record retail sales growth of 3.8% to 4.2% ($727.9 billion to $730.7 billion) as compared to 2018. In the past five years, the Federation added, the average annual increase has remained at 3.7%.


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