Shoppers may have started their holiday gift shopping early this year – but they still turned out for deals.
Online sales for Black Friday hit a record $9.12 billion — up 2.3 percent from last year, Adobe Analytics, the Web analytics division of Adobe, reported. That was higher than the 1 percent year-over-year sales growth forecast. Cyber Monday sales hit a record $11.6 billion at Adobe.
Shopify merchants also achieved record $7.5 billion in sales from Black Friday though Cyber Monday (up 19 percent from 2021), and retailers on Black Friday saw a 2.9 percent increase in foot traffic, according to Boca Raton, Florida-based Sensormatic Solutions.
In a November report, the National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts 166.3 million people will shop through Cyber Monday since Thanksgiving, especially since consumers should have taken advantage of the pricing, President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release.
Consumers began shopping earlier this year, citing inflation and the possibility of higher prices as a key motivator. That led to higher-than-expected retail sales in October and uncertainty about whether such strong consumer activity will continue throughout the vacation season. Record Black Friday sales, however, show that discounts allowed businesses to secure sales from deal-seeking customers.
While NRF predicts that sales will continue throughout the season, as shoppers are currently estimated to have made only 50 percent of their holiday purchases, the real problem will come in January. In that case, shoppers may be less likely to spend on discretionary purchases, and retailers may have to deal with the remaining excess inventory. Until then, compelling discounts and deals are the best bet for attracting tourists.