Here’s what we know about e-commerce during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend so far: Online sales are growing at a hefty rate over last year. And mobile has been huge.
From Nov. 1-24, each day has generated in excess of $1 billion in web sales, according to Adobe Inc. Total online revenue for that period reached $38.31 billion.
Adobe projects consumers will spend $19.7 billion on retail websites during the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, which would be a 15.9% increase over the $17.0 billion shoppers spent online during the same period last year. Thanksgiving and Black Friday, the only days for which Adobe has reported actual figures so far, combined for $7.9 billion in online sales, a 17.9% year-over-year increase. Black Friday set a new record when it hit $5.03 billion in e-commerce revenue.
Saturday had $320 million in online sales as of 10 a.m. Eastern, up 10.0% year over year, according to Adobe. This is the most recent sales figure available from the research firm for the weekend. New e-commerce data for the weekend will be released early tomorrow. Cyber Monday is expected to set a record with $6.6 billion in online sales in the United States.
Transactions on desktop still make up more than two-thirds of online sales during the period from Nov. 1 through Black Friday.
But mobile devices as a whole accounted for more than half of all traffic to date for the early holiday season, with smartphone browsers nearly pulling even with desktop visitors. A record number of consumers shopped on their smartphones, and sales on these devices accounted for nearly a third of revenue.
Here are some other indicators of the holiday weekend’s success to date:
E-commerce platform provider Shopify identified holiday trends after analyzing Black Friday data from more than 500,000 merchants that use its platform:
- Sales going through the platform on Black Friday topped $1 million a minute at the day’s peak, beating last year’s high of $555,716.
- 66% of orders tracked by Shopify were completed with a smartphone or tablet, up from 58% in 2016. Desktop sales accounted for 34% of orders, down from 42% last year.
- Orders exceeded 10,000 a minute on Black Friday—far surpassing the 2,800 orders per minute during the Thanksgiving holiday at its peak, according to Shopify.
- Shoppers purchased more than 600,000 apparel items, 360,000 accessories and 210,000 houseware products from Shopify merchants in a single day.
According to digital performance analytics company Catchpoint Systems Inc., the vast majority of retail sites it tracks were available during 100% of visits from midnight on Thanksgiving through the morning hours of Black Friday. The average load time for desktop and mobile was under 4 seconds during that time. Some retailers, however, hit a few bumps in the road as shoppers started earlier:
- Gap Inc., No. 24 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500: The site took as long as 30 seconds to load midday on Thanksgiving due to a slowdown from a Snapchat integration. It returned to normal speeds a short time later at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.
- H&M (No. 409): The site experienced more significant outages—one for an hour on Thanksgiving between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Eastern followed by another outage about 4:30 a.m. on Black Friday and intermittent downtime after that. The retailer had another hiccup Saturday morning when its site was down again from 6:34 to 7:56 a.m. Although the site recovered, H&M still had intermittent issues from 9:35 a.m. on.
- Lowe’s Cos. Inc. (No. 25): The site had intermittent problems on both desktop and mobile on the morning of Black Friday. Visitors to some pages were seeing error messages notifying them that the site would be back up in an hour.
Average order value increased 9% year over year increase for the three-day period of Wednesday, Nov. 22, through Black Friday, Nov. 24, according to Rakuten Marketing, a company that helps brands with data-driven marketing.
When isolating Black Friday, average order value grew 24%, Rakuten says, which is an indication of consumers saving the bigger-ticket items for the day associated with the deepest discounts. Average order value on mobile devices grew 7% from Sunday, Nov. 19, through Black Friday.
Consumers researched items on their holiday gift lists in advance of peak shopping days, according to Rakuten. Click-through rates surged 154%, and ad engagement rates rose 111% in the week prior to the holiday.