Black Friday 2015 showed us a massive surge in eCommerce sales
Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, and this year’s Black Friday saw more shoppers make purchases online than ever. According to the National Marketing Federation, $4.45 billion dollars worth of revenue was generated in online purchases this weekend, an overall 14.5% increase since last year.
The NRF’s latest survey estimates that 103 million Americans did at least some of their shopping online from Thanksgiving Thursday to this past Sunday, which probably had a role in the decreased foot traffic that we saw in shopping malls and retail stores. The inevitable Cyber Monday statistics should confirm the overall trend that more people are opting out of shopping in person in favor of eCommerce, and the shoppers that still do enjoy visiting stores in person are increasingly going for the whole omnichannel experience via digitally-assisted purchases.
This shift could also be the result of an extended “holiday” shopping season that now starts just after Halloween, which means that shoppers who would have braved malls and Wal-Marts nationwide are now choosing to do their gift-buying earlier and online. Either way, we can see that more than ever shoppers have the luxury of making purchases based on price (always) and the convenience of the overall shopping experience year-round, instead of waiting participating in the Black Friday mosh pit for a couple of deals.
It’s not difficult to see a future where Americans start doing the bulk of their holiday shopping online as discounts on the goods they want start popping up in early November, perhaps even right after Halloween. Through eCommerce, shoppers have a wider variety of product choice, research tools, and access to a wider inventory than might be available in-store. And with the overall trend of extending the availability of holiday discounts, it’s likely that we’ll see a continued growth in online and mobile commerce while the Thanksgiving spike in brick-and-mortar stores continues to level off for everyone else but tactile shoppers that insist on seeing products in person and for whatever reason, enjoy the strange, contemporary American tradition of Black Friday.