Black Friday - how was it for online retail? Adobe and Salesforce have the (differing) data

Stuart Lauchlan Profile picture for user slauchlan November 27, 2023
How was Black Friday's online retail performance compared to 2022?


Black Friday has come and gone. Did you grab any bargains? Perhaps more importantly, how did 2023’s beleaguered retail sector fare? As before, Adobe and Salesforce have been running the numbers. Their shared conclusion? Pretty lively. 

According to Adobe, whose data covers over 1 trillion visits to US retail sites, 100 million SKUs and 18 product categories, a record $9.8 billion was spent on Friday, up 7.5% year-on-year. As per Vivek Pandya, Lead Analyst at Adobe Digital Insights: 

Black Friday re-asserted its dominance this season with record spend of $9.8 billion driven by new demand for the major sales day. The decline in online prices over the last year has created a favorable environment for consumers with strong discounts this season that are tempting even the most price conscious consumers.

Electronics purchases were a big driver, with online sales above 152% compared to daily sales in the pre-Holidays period in October. Apparel sales were up 136% on the same period, toys up 132%, jewlry up 114% and appliance up 112%. 

Adobe now expects mobile to overtake desktops for the first time as the platform for online shopping. On Black Friday, the company reckons that smartphones accounted for 54% of all online sales, up 10.4% year-on-year to hit $5.3 billion. 

Salesforce meanwhile reported that US online sales were up nine percent year-on-year on Friday at $16.4 billion, with growth driven primarily by order volume, rather than inflation, signaling increased consumer demand. That online order volume came in at 10% more than Black Friday in 2022. 

The Commerce Cloud data puts mobile use - excluding tablets - at a hefty 81%, with computers on 18%. As per, Rob Garf, VP and GM of Retail: 

The mobile phone has been the remote control for Holiday shopping, connecting consumers to brands as they navigate across online and offline channels. According to our data, early online sales performance is exceeding any retail executive’s expectations. Retailers stepped up their discounting game and shoppers, in turn, are clicking the buy button.

My take

A much healthier performance than many might have assumed. 

One last push now for Cyber Monday…

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