Black Friday online purchases jumped 21.6 percent to $3.34 billion for the first time in U.S. retail history, spurred by over $1 billion from mobile sales, according to Adobe.
The U.S. presidential election is estimated to have cost retailers $800 million in revenue from online sales, with Nov. 1 – 10 Internet transactions falling to a growth of just 0.13 percent over the same period last year, according to Adobe Digital Insights.
Adobe’s analysis is closely followed by the industry, because they have captured anonymous data for more than one trillion visits to 4,500 retail websites, including at least 80 percent of all online transactions from the top 100 U.S. retailers.
Based on the dismal early November performance, Adobe slashed their double-digit holiday season online sales growth expectation to the low single digit range. Principal Adobe analyst Tamara Gaffney said at the time, “Given the latest data, we are revising down our sales predictions for retailers.”
The Black Friday jump in online transactions came as a huge surprise. Mobile transactions led the way with $1.2 billion in sales, up 33 percent over the prior year. Amazon, Walmart, Target, and eBay all recorded substantially higher mobile traffic and sales.
The boom started on Thanksgiving Day, when Amazon’s mobile sales topped Cyber Monday last year. Walmart said over 70 percent and Target said 60 percent of Thanksgiving online traffic was from mobile devices.
A majority of 56 percent of Black Friday online visits to major retailer sites came from mobile, with 47 percent from smartphones and nine percent from tablets. But mobile accounted for only 40 percent of sales, with 29 percent from smartphones and 11 percent from tablets.
The conversion rate of visits to purchases was a low 1.9 percent on smartphones. That compares to almost double at 3.7 percent on tablets and a higher four percent on desktops.
Apple iOS continued to drive slightly larger online sales than Android, with an average order value on iOS devices of $144 compared with $136 on Android.
Black Friday’s top-selling electronics were Apple iPads, Samsung 4K TVs, the Apple MacBook Air, LG TVs, and Microsoft Xbox. The top-selling toys included Lego Creator Sets, Razor electric scooters, Nerf Guns, DJI Phantom Drones, and Mattel’s Barbie’s Dreamhouse.
Adobe’s Tamara Gaffney told the TechCrunch blog, “The negative impact on online shopping we saw following the election has not been fully made up, but consumers are back online and shopping.” She added, “As spending ramps up on Black Friday, we are back on track. We still expect Cyber Monday to surpass Black Friday and become the largest online sales day in history with $3.36 Billion.”