Business

Black Friday online sales hit $10.1b in US

Analysts also expect Cyber Monday online sales to surpass last year's record

NEW YORK: This year's Black Friday was the biggest for online sales, as fewer people hit the stores and shoppers rang up US$7.4 billion (S$10.1 billion) in transactions from their phones, computers and tablets.

That is just behind the US$7.9 billion haul of last year's Cyber Monday, which holds the one-day record for online sales, according to Adobe Analytics.

Adobe measures sales at 80 of the top 100 US online retailers.

Adobe expects online sales to jump to another record this Cyber Monday with an estimated total of US$9.4 billion.

Much of the shopping is happening on people's phones, which accounted for 39 per cent of all online sales on Friday and 61 per cent of online traffic.

"With Christmas now rapidly approaching, consumers increasingly jumped on their phones rather than standing in line," said principal analyst and head of Adobe Digital Insights Taylor Schreiner.

The hottest toys included L.O.L. Surprise dolls and items featuring Disney's Frozen 2.

In the video game category, the top sellers were Fifa 20, Madden 20 and the Nintendo Switch.

The most popular electronics were Apple laptops, AirPods and Samsung TVs.

All the online shopping may have helped thin the crowd at malls on Black Friday.

Traffic at stores fell 2.1 per cent on Black Friday from a year ago, according to preliminary figures from RetailNext.

It tracks in-store activity at tens of thousands of locations, including speciality apparel retailers, big-box stores and mall-based stores. The drop in traffic lead to a 1.6 per cent dip in sales.

Online and in-store shopping are not always completely separate, though.

Many people buy things online, only to head to the store to pick them up.

Such sales surged 43.2 per cent on Black Friday from a year ago, according to Adobe.

This holiday shopping season may be the most harried in years because it's the shortest since 2013.

Thanksgiving this year fell on the last Thursday in November - the latest possible date it could be.

Much is riding on the success of the holiday season's sales. The US economy is still growing steadily, but gains have slowed since its sizzling start to the year.

Economists say strong spending by households is helping to bolster growth and make up for weak confidence among businesses given all the uncertainties about the US-China trade war and other factors. - AP, AFP

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