The results are in for retailers across America, and Thanksgiving week shopping traffic did not disappoint. According to Adobe Analytics, which tracks e-commerce sales for 80 out of the top 100 retailers, online shopping in the last week of November has soared past previous records. Here are some of the highlights:
- Wednesday:$3.47B in online sales, up 18.5% from 2019
- Thanksgiving:$5.1B in online sales, up 21.5% from 2019
- Black Friday:$9.03B in online sales, up 22% from 2019
- Cyber Monday:$10.8B in online sales, up 15% from 2019 and shattering the previous single-day online spending record of $9.4B
Black Friday has been moving away from a single-day event structure for years because of the e-commerce boom, but the pandemic pushed this trend to the extreme. With public health on the line this year, consumers took to the internet far earlier in search of Black Friday deals – and they found them. Retailers began to offer “Black Friday” deals as early as October in an effort to keep their employees and customers safe from Thanksgiving-week rushes. The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that retail sales in October 2020 increased 10.6% from those of October 2019, a change that can likely be attributed to early holiday shopping. Strategically spreading markdowns throughout October and November also allowed distribution centers, many of which are still working with limited work forces, a head start on their busiest week of the year.
Regardless of the shift to earlier holiday buying, many e-commerce sites are still sporting glaring red warnings of shipping delays and long wait times. Such delays are in stark contrast with the 2-day shipping shoppers have grown accustomed to and are one of the driving forces behind the increase of in-store/curbside pickup, which is up on Black Friday 52% from the same day in 2019. This method is favorable for both sides of the cash register; curbside pickup allows fast, contact-free shopping for consumers while allowing retailers to side-step shipping costs by transforming their brick-and-mortar stores into fulfillment centers. This year, retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond are even offering deeper discounts for customers who elect to use in-store or curbside pickup instead of home delivery.
Moving forward, analysts remain optimistic about high consumer spending throughout the remainder of this year. Despite the financial troubles brought on by the pandemic, Adobe forecasts consumers will spend $184 billion across the holiday season, a 30% increase from last year. Rebounding employment rates, a booming stock market, and news of an impending vaccine mean many American households are more confident now in their spending abilities than they were a few months ago. A decrease in spending on holiday travel and in-person services could also contribute to deeper pockets for holiday shopping over the next few weeks.
Industry leaders also suspect there is a psychological factor for higher spending this season. After a difficult year, many Americans are longing for an extra special holiday season for themselves and their families. NRF CEO, Matthew Shay, believes “Consumers have shown they are excited about the holidays and are willing to spend on gifts that lift the spirits of family and friends after such a challenging year.”
In 2020, an adaptable omnichannel supply chain has taken center stage as an invaluable part of a fast, flexible, and safe holiday shopping experience. For more information about how to get your business ready for the next e-commerce boom, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contributors: Alyssa Candelmo, Senior Supply Chain Consultant at Bricz