Black Friday sales increased 2.3% from the previous year, despite rising inflation

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Black Friday sales increased 2.3% from the previous year, despite rising inflation
(Image Credit: Nazar Petryshak/Getty Images)

According to Adobe Analytics, Americans spent $9.12 billion online on Black Friday, a 2.3% increase over last year and a new record high. Take that number with a grain of salt, though, because inflation is running at nearly 8%, which has contributed to higher overall spending totals.

According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks online and in-store retail sales across multiple payment methods, total Black Friday sales in the United States increased 12% year over year, excluding automotive.

“On the heels of two very atypical holiday seasons, 2022 is showing signs of normalcy,” said Bruce Williams, head of performance marketing at Dentsu Media U.S. “Well, as much normalcy that a holiday season with economic clouds hanging over it can give us.”

Analysts predicted this trend, with both luxury buyers and bargain hunters showing up to shop. Shopify also had a record-breaking Black Friday. Merchants on the eCommerce platform generated $3.36 billion in sales, a 17% increase over the same day in 2021.

According to Adobe Analytics, paid search was the most important driver of Black Friday sales, accounting for 30% of all online sales. Direct (18%), email (17%), and organic search (15%) all played significant roles. Social media accounted for less than 5% of total revenue.

According to Adobe Analytics, 48% of all Black Friday digital purchases were made on a smartphone, an increase from 44% the previous year.

The National Retail Federation predicts that over 166 million Americans will shop online or in-store between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.

“While there is much speculation about inflation’s impact on consumer behavior, our data tells us that this Thanksgiving holiday weekend will see robust store traffic with a record number of shoppers taking advantage of value pricing,” Matthew Shay, the trade association’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Throughout the face of high inflation and an impending economic slowdown, more Americans are opting to buy now and pay later. According to Adobe Analytics, orders using the flexible payment plan increased by 78% from November 19 to 25, compared to the previous week.

“As Black Friday hit record spending online, we’re also seeing more prominent signs of a budget-conscious consumer this year,” Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, said in a statement. “Shoppers are embracing the buy now, pay later payment method more this year to be able to buy desired gifts for family and friends.”

Salesforce calculated the average cost of buy now, pay later transactions. On Thanksgiving Day, US transactions fell 6%, indicating that more shoppers financed lower-cost items than the

According to Rob Garf, VP and general manager of retail at Salesforce, the option is “winning over many consumers on the fence, even on lower-priced goods as the pressure of inflation persists.”

According to Adobe Analytics, Cyber Monday will be the year’s biggest day for eCommerce, generating $11.2 billion in digital sales—a 5.1% increase over last year.

“We project a strong Cyber Week, which has been kicked off by a stellar Black Friday,” said Dentsu’s Williams. “While uncertainties remain, and there are many key shopping dates in front of us, we’re hopeful the traditional buying peaks are the precursor to a season that delivers.”