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After eating turkey and pie, many Americans also went on a shopping spree.
Thanksgiving online spending hit a record $5.29 billion, up 2.9% year over year, according to Adobe, which tracks sales on retailer websites. According to Adobe, shoppers typically spend around $2 billion to $3 billion online in a day.
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That surge was driven by demand, not inflation, according to Vivek Pandya, senior analyst at Adobe. Online sales haven’t been boosted by inflation the way in-store sales have, because e-commerce consists largely of electronics, clothing and other durable goods that have remained stable in price or fallen compared to groceries, he said.
For retailers, these early numbers could be a promising indicator for the coming weeks. Early holiday forecasts have been muted. Target, Macy’s, north current and other companies reported a slump in sales in late October and early November. Consumer sentiment has softened over the past month as inflation hovers near four-decade highs.
That’s added pressure on Black Friday weekend – a time stretching from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday and often associated with the biggest deals.
Continue reading: Walmart overtakes Amazon in shoppers’ search for bargains on Black Friday
So far, buyers have snapped up items. Some of the hottest categories were toys, apparel and grills, and outdoor gear, Pandya said.
“With the macro headwinds and backdrop coming into the season for consumers, the big question was, ‘Would the rebates keep demand strong and stable — at last year’s levels?'” he said. “What we’re seeing are the rebates strong enough to entice consumers to keep spending.”
And he added that online shopping didn’t have to compete as fiercely with brick-and-mortar retailers on this Turkey Day afterwards walmart, Target and other major retailers have decided to keep stores closed again this year.
However, the growth in online Thanksgiving sales was more modest. Since Adobe started tracking online holiday sales in 2012, the day has typically grown at double-digit rates year over year — by around 10% to 14%.
But the Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping holidays have faded as retailers make deals earlier and stretch them across the season.
“Retailers are still investing these days – but with early discounts being rolled out it has prevented those days from growing as much as they used to,” he said. “Now they’re just big days and growing in a very humble way.”
Bigger holiday shopping days are yet to come. Black Friday is expected to attract $9 billion in spending. Cyber Monday is expected to bring in $11.2 billion, up 5.1% year over year and underpinning it as the biggest online spend day, Adobe said.