Black Friday sales figures are in, and they are, to say the least, amazing as far as online sales are concerned. In fact, they set a brand-new record, with a significant chunk of that figure taken up by mobile purchases.
The past few days were another chaotic, yet fulfilling period for shoppers all over the world, particularly in America. Consumers had flocked in droves to their favorite retail stores to buy items at discount prices, or stayed at home to do their shopping, nonetheless taking advantage of price cuts without having to deal with the mania of Black Friday. And with sales figures now in, it would appear that those online sales have surged to a new high.
TechCrunch cited a report from Adobe, initially stating that Black Friday 2016 was expected to draw about $3.05 billion in sales by the end of the day, or 11.4 percent more sales compared to the previous year's retail holiday. But those estimates turned out to be a bit too modest when the final numbers were in. On Saturday, the publication updated its original report with new information from Adobe, and with the final statistics in, Black Friday sales figures for this year were higher than what was estimated.
All in all, online sales added up to $3.34 billion, good for 21.6 percent growth on a year-over-year basis. Mobile sales took up one-third of that number, with a total of $1.2 billion in sales on Black Friday alone.TechCrunch noted that mobile was a key driver in what was then a potentially record-breaking sales figure. Some of America's top retailers, including Amazon, eBay, Target and Walmart, had all reported greater mobile traffic and sales on Black Friday. Amazon had, in fact, said that Thanksgiving mobile orders were particularly good, as consumers ordered more items on turkey day than they did on Cyber Monday 2015 – a "retail holiday" geared toward the online shopper. Likewise, Target and Walmart both reported substantially greater mobile activity in both sales and traffic on Thanksgiving Day.
While it was even clearer on Black Friday that sales figures were going to be better in 2016 than they were in 2015, there were even more fascinating statistics on the Adobe report cited by TechCrunch. For one, iOS users tended to spend more on their purchases than Android users, with Apple device owners spending $144 per item on average, as to $136 for Android device owners. Smartphone conversions were also less impressive than tablet conversions, despite smartphones being a more common mobile device than tablet computers are.
"Smartphone conversions were at 1.9 percent, compared with tablets at 3.7 percent, and desktops at 4 percent. For comparison's sake, holiday averages are 1.3 percent, 2.9 percent, and 3.2 percent, for phones, tablets, and desktops, respectively."Similar trends were reported across the pond, as the BBC reported on Saturday. In the United Kingdom, British retailers John Lewis and Currys PC World both reported "a surge in orders" on Black Friday, while sales figures for several other retailers also hit record levels in terms of online sales. Barclaycard, which is responsible for close to 50 percent of all U.K. credit and debit card transactions, likewise announced that payment transactions enjoyed a six percent uptick on Friday on a year-over-year basis.
U.K. analysts expect sales to break last year's record of £1.9 billion, with an expected surge in prices next year driving consumer urgency to take advantage of Black Friday 2016 deals while still available.
As we've seen, Black Friday 2016 was a smashing success financially, both in the U.S. and in the U.K. Cyber Monday still looms tomorrow, and it's safe to say that many consumers aren't quite done with their November holiday shopping. Next year, would Black Friday sales figures once again break records in both sides of the Atlantic? A lot can happen before then, but the stats don't lie — there are still scores of people around the world who believe Thanksgiving week is the time to be thankful for big discounts.
[Featured Image by Rob Stothard/Getty Images]