Commentary

Thanksgiving's Hot With Few Glitches

According to timely writing by Stephanie Crets on Nov 23, 2018, Thanksgiving and Black Friday online sales are blowing past expectations. Black Friday is on track to reach more than $6.4 billion in online sales, according to Adobe Analytics. Thanksgiving web sales were up 28%, with more than $1 billion purchases made on mobile devices. 

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The day before Thanksgiving generated $2.4 billion in U.S. online spending, which is a 31.8% increase over the comparable day last year, according to Adobe Analytics. Adobe’s data is based on an analysis of more than 1 trillion visits to retail sites and 55 million SKUs. Adobe Analytics measures transactions from 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers.

And charts and data, reported by Fareeha Ali | Nov 22, 2018,online sales will cross $21.6 billion Thanksgiving weekend, whileRob Garf, vice president of industry strategy and insights at Salesforce, says “Thanksgiving sales totaled $3.7 billion, up 28.0% year over year, according to Adobe, surpassing Adobe’s $3.3 billion prediction. Shopify merchants generated more than $250 million in total sales during Thanksgiving, the company says.

Thanksgiving also saw $1 billion in online sales coming from mobile devices, Adobe says. Salesforce.com tracking found 54% of all digital orders on Thanksgiving were made from a mobile device, up from 47% a year ago. In addition, 68% of all digital traffic came from mobile devices, 

Garf goes on to say “Consumers have more access and control than ever before to shop at any time and that’s driving increases in traffic and orders. You’re seeing an increase in both [in-store and online shopping] with mobile being the glue that ties it together.”

“Retailers understand that shopping and buying on smartphones is now the norm for consumers, and as a result are delivering better experiences and optimization on mobile devices,” says Taylor Schreiner, director, at Adobe Digital Insights.

Adobe says Black Friday e-commerce shopping has already generated $643 million in sales, up 27.8% year over year. The company had previously predicted Black Friday would reach $5.8 billion in online sales and says the shopping holiday is well on its way to surpassing expectations and hitting $6.4 billion.

Adobe also found that:

  • The total online spend of the season thus far, Nov. 1-22, is $38.0 billion, up 18.5% over the comparable period last year.
  • Consumers nearly doubled their buy online, pick up in-store orders. Compared with Nov. 21, this omnichannel feature was up 91% on Nov. 22.
  • A greater percentage of online browsers are completing their purchases with conversion rates for mobile and desktop shopping rising. 
  • Consumers shopping online with a mobile device from Nov. 1-22 completed a purchase 2.0% of the time, up 7.6% year over year. 
  • Desktop shoppers converted 4.3% of the time, up 2.6% year over year. Consumers shopping with tablet computers converted at a 4.3% rate, up 5.4% year over year.

Bill Tarbell, vice president of marketing at Workarea, notes that sales from consumers shopping on desktops fell to 49% of total revenue, a drop of nearly 5% compared with Thanksgiving 2017. Retailers also sent 26% more emails on Thanksgiving this year, Garf says, in an effort to entice shoppers earlier.

Workarea Commerce Platform says, across more than 700 e-commerce websites that use its e-commerce platform service, mobile’s share of revenue of consumers shopping via mobile was up 6% year over year on Thanksgiving Day. In addition, mobile’s share of traffic dominated again this Thanksgiving day driving 61% of total traffic, up 5% from our data last year.

But online shopping wasn’t free of technical issues, says Crets. When Amazon.com Inc., No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000, went down on Prime Day, it cost the e-commerce giant an Internet Retailer-estimated $72.6 million. Walmart Inc., No. 3 in the Top 1000, faced similar troubles when its Black Friday deals went live on Walmart.com at 10 p.m. EST 

Some other online retailers experiencing issues or limiting services this holiday weekend included:

      Gap Inc.’s  online reserve system has been disabled or limited in some locations, likely due to the higher store traffic, making it harder to keep track of accurate inventory levels. 

      Lululemon Athletica Inc. faced a barrage of angry comments on Facebook late Thanksgiving evening, in which shoppers complained about the site being down or items disappearing from their shopping carts. It responded to multiple complaints and wrote, “Our team is working with all their might on sorting out this issue.” Lululemon.com is back up and running “now” says the report.

      J. Crew Group Inc. also reported on Twitter late Friday morning that it was experiencing “some technical difficulties.” as buyers flocked to its site for 50% off everything deals. The apparel retailer’s website was back up and running as of 1:30 p.m. CST.

 

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