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Black Friday online sales to hit a record-breaking $3 billion, over $1 billion from mobile

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Black Friday online shopping is continuing to grow, and this Friday was another record-breaking day. According to a new report out this evening from Adobe, which has been tracking e-commerce transactions throughout the sales holiday, Black Friday is on track to set a new record by surpassing the $3 billion mark for the first time. It’s also expected to become the first day in U.S. retail history to drive over a billion dollars from mobile sales.

With an estimated $3.05 billion expected by the day’s close, Black Friday 2016 is up 11.4 percent from the same day last year, says Adobe.

[Update, 11/26/16: Adobe’s final numbers indicate that Black Friday surpassed estimates, with $3.34 billion – 21.6 percent growth, year-over-year. Mobile accounted for $1.2 billion, a 33 percent increase from the year before.]

It was clear earlier in the day that mobile was having a significant impact on the record e-commerce sales seen on Thanksgiving Day and on Black Friday. Major retailers, like Amazon, Walmart, Target and eBay, noted that mobile traffic and sales were on the rise. Amazon said that mobile orders on Thanksgiving topped Cyber Monday last year, for example, while Walmart said that over 70 percent of website traffic on Thanksgiving was mobile. Target said that 60 percent of Thanksgiving sales were from mobile devices.

This trend continued into Black Friday, as the sales event is currently tracking to bring in $1.13 billion in revenue, which is up 25 percent year-over-year. Walmart said that 60 percent of Black Friday orders on Walmart.com came from mobile devices, for example.

Mobile was also driving the majority of retail sites visits on Friday at 56 percent, Adobe noted. Most of that (47%) was from smartphones, as opposed to tablets (9%).

In addition, mobile accounted for 40 percent of sales, with 29 percent from smartphones, and 11 percent for tablets. By 3 PM ET, mobile alone had accounted for $680 million in online sales.

What’s interesting, however, is that smartphones don’t drive as many conversions as tablets and desktops. While conversions were up overall, smartphone conversations 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.

In addition, iOS continued to drive larger sales than Android. The average order value on iOS devices was $144 compared with $136 on Android.

It still remains to be seen if Adobe’s estimates of mobile sales topping $1 billion out of over $3 billion in total online sales will change when Black Friday finally wraps tonight, of course. But Adobe’s sample is large enough for its numbers to be fairly close. Its report is based on aggregated data from 22 billion visits to retail websites, and includes 80 percent of all online transactions from the top 100 U.S. retailers.

Adobe also noted this year’s top-selling electronics were Apple iPads, Samsung 4K TVs, the Apple Macbook Air, LG TVs, and Microsoft Xbox.

Combined with yesterday’s $1.93 in online sales on Thanksgiving, the two days are expected to close out at nearly $5 billion in sales. Top-selling toys included Lego Creator Sets, electric scooters from Razor, Nerf Guns, DJI Phantom Drones, and Barbie Dreamhouse.

Despite the record numbers, the e-commerce industry is still recovering from the downturn it took following the election.

“The negative impact on online shopping we saw following the election has not been fully made up, but consumers are back online and shopping,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst and director, Adobe Digital Insights, in a statement. “As spending ramps up on Black Friday, we are back on track. We still expect Cyber Monday to surpass Black Friday and become the largest online sales day in history with $3.36 Billion.”

 

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