According to Adobe Analytics, Black Friday shoppers have set a new online spending record of $9.8 billion, which is a promising indication for retailers who were expecting disappointing sales forecasts for the holiday season.
The demand for electronics, smart watches, televisions and audio equipment increased the day’s online sales by 7.5% compared to last year. Consumers stretched their budgets by relying on buy-now, pay-later options, which rose 72% from the week before Thanksgiving.
The rise marks a recovery from last year’s holiday season, when high inflation hit consumers’ pockets and retailers were given deep discounts to get rid of bloated inventory. This year, Christmas shopping is a test of American consumer resilience as pandemic-era savings dwindle and interest rates remain at their highest in more than 20 years.
US online sales grew 9% year-over-year by a separate Salesforce Inc. metric, boosted by footwear, sports equipment, health and beauty. Clothing, home and beauty received the biggest discounts.
Online sales in the days leading up to Cyber Monday, November 27, can give businesses an early sense of how the holiday season will perform as they await slower brick-and-mortar data. However, the initial forecasts for November and December point to weak sales growth.
In the US, Salesforce predicted online sales to grow 1% during this period compared to 2022, the slowest pace in at least five years. Adobe expects revenue to grow 4.8 percent, which is well below the 13 percent annual average before the pandemic. Both companies analyze different transactions, which explains the variation in numbers.
Canadian e-commerce marketplace Shopify Inc. said global Black Friday sales were up 22 percent, led by apparel, personal care and jewelry.