With Thanksgiving in the US being starkly different this year amid an out-of-control pandemic, strict social distancing measures and lockdowns, and soaring unemployment, many Americans spent the day languishing on their couch and avoiding brick-and-mortar stores. Although US consumers still took full advantage of holiday shopping, they did via the virtual shopping cart, pushing Thanksgiving spending to a whopping record of $5.1 billion.
According to data compiled by Adobe Analytics, Thanksgiving online sales were 22% higher compared to last year’s sales of $4.2 billion, reaching a new record of $5.1 billion as Americans skipped big box stores and instead conducted their Christmas shopping online. Almost half of the online purchases were made via smartphone, while retailers that offered curbside pickup saw a 31% increase in traffic on their website as more consumers opted to pickup their purchases rather than enter the stores.
Adobe’s shopping data suggests the emergence of a new trend that many retailers were already anticipating: the coronavirus pandemic has drastically shifted consumer behaviour, as many have been buying their gifts online while avoiding malls and big box stores over fear of virus infection. However, the virus will likely not hinder America’s enthusiasm for shopping, as the National Retail Federation estimates sales from holiday shopping will rise anywhere between 3.6% to 5.2% year-over-year, to between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion.
Contrarily though, the National Retail Federation anticipates that more money will spent online this year, rather than in stores. The trade group forecasts that online and non-store sales will surge by anywhere between 20% to 30% relative to last year. In the meantime, Adobe projects that both Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year will be the two biggest sales days on record. Black Friday sales are expected to reach anywhere between $8.9 billion and $10.6 billion, while online shopping for the entirety of the holiday season is projected to reach at least $189 billion.
Information for this briefing was found via Adobe Analytics and the National Retail Federation. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.