Practical Ecommerce

Sales Report: 2017 Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Robust growth marked holiday ecommerce revenue on 2017 Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, bringing some much-needed cheer to nervous merchants. With sellers starting discounts earlier and extending them through December, retailers and analysts alike feared that these major holiday shopping days might lose their luster.

Overall Results

Adobe Analytics reported that American consumers spent $19.62 billion online over the five-day period from Nov. 23, 2017 (Thanksgiving) through Nov. 27 (Cyber Monday). This was $2.6 billion and 15 percent more than they spent during the same timeframe last year.

Computers, televisions, and toys were the most heavily discounted items during the three shopping days.

According to a joint National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey, over 64 million Americans shopped both online and in physical stores from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. Approximately 58 million people chose to do their shopping online only, versus roughly 51 million at physical stores only.

Consumers who shopped at both online and physical stores spent $82 more on average than online-only shoppers, and $49 more on average than physical-stores-only shoppers. Consumers spent an average of $335.47 during the five-day period according to the survey.

Approximately 58 million people chose to do their shopping online only, versus roughly 51 million at physical stores only.

Black Friday was the most popular day for physical stores, with 77 million shoppers, followed by Small Business Saturday (Nov. 25) with 55 million shoppers. The top two days for online shopping were Cyber Monday with more than 81 million visitors and Black Friday with more than 66 million.

Shoppers’ visits to physical U.S. stores on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday suffered a 1.6 percent decline from 2016 according to shopper analytics firm ShopperTrak.

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day saw a surge in online spending in the U.S., with purchases growing 18.3 percent to $2.87 billion compared to last year’s $2.41 billion, according to Adobe Analytics.

Personalization services provider Criteo reported that the number of online shoppers on Thanksgiving Day grew by 5 percent compared to 2016 and the number of buyers increased by 26 percent.

Black Friday

Based on Adobe Analytics data, a record $5.03 billion was spent online on Black Friday, an increase of 16.9 percent over last year and a new record for the day. A good deal of the shopping took place on the websites of physical retailers.

The average order value came in at $135, up 1 percent compared to last year.

Cyber Monday

Adobe Analytics reported a record $6.59 billion was spent online on Cyber Monday, an increase of 16.8 percent over 2016, making it the largest mostly U.S.-based online shopping day in history and nearly a billion dollars more than last year at $5.6 billion.

The average order value for Cyber Monday was the same as last year at $133.

Amazon

Audience insight consulting firm Hitwise estimated that Amazon accounted for 45 percent of all online transactions on Thanksgiving Day. On Black Friday, Amazon accounted for 55 percent of all online transactions, according to Dealerscope, an online magazine.

Without giving any specific revenue figures, Amazon reported that Cyber Monday was its biggest global sales day ever, exceeding this year’s Prime Day, the previous record holder. According to Amazon, its best-selling item was the Echo Dot, the hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, and connect to smart home devices.

Mobile

Smartphone users accounted for 46 percent of visits to ecommerce websites and apps on Thanksgiving 2017 and 29 percent of sales, according to Adobe Analytics. Last Thanksgiving, 27 percent of online retail revenue was attributed to mobile phones.

On Black Friday 2017, smartphones and tablets collectively accounted for 36.9 percent of all sales and 54.3 percent of all site visits. Of total site visits, smartphones accounted for the vast majority.

On Cyber Monday, mobile commerce set a new record, with its first $2 billion day, representing 47.4 percent of visits (39.9 percent smartphones, 7.6 percent tablets) and 33.1 percent of revenue (24.1 percent smartphones, 9.0 percent tablets). Smartphone traffic specifically grew 22.2 percent year-over-year while revenue coming from smartphones — $1.59 billion — represented 39.2 percent growth over 2016.

Mobile transactions closed at a 12 percent higher rate compared to Cyber Monday 2016. Conversion rates on smartphones were at 3.5 percent, a 10 percent increase over last year. For purchases made on smartphones, Apple iOS led with an average order value of $123, compared to Google Android at $110.

Takeaways

  • While many consumers still enjoy the physical-store shopping experience, more of them are foregoing the jostling crowds. Brick-and-mortar retailers are getting an increasing number of sales from their websites.
  • Better mobile shopping experiences means that Thanksgiving Day purchases are increasingly occurring from a couch or dining room table and are siphoning sales from Black Friday.
  • Many merchants extended Cyber Monday discounts through Wednesday. In the future we will likely see a full Cyber Week.
Marcia Kaplan

Marcia Kaplan

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  1. Julia December 1, 2017 Reply

    Hi, would you please explain the math here? $2.87BN this year compared to $1.3BN last year is a 121% increase.

    “Thanksgiving Day saw a surge in online spending in the U.S., with purchases growing 18.3 percent to $2.87 billion compared to last year’s $1.3 billion, according to Adobe Analytics.”

  2. Marcia Kaplan December 1, 2017 Reply

    Julia: Thank you for catching that. The number for 2016 should have been $1.93 billion which is what I reported in my article on Thanksgiving holiday shopping last year. That figure was from Adobe as well. However, sometime later Adobe adjusted its online Thanksgiving shopping revenue to $2.41 billion, a huge 25 percent increase. That change was not publicized but it is the figure that Adobe is using for its year-over-year increase. It was sloppy of me not to do the math.

  3. Elizabeth Hollingsworth December 7, 2017 Reply

    Some retailers are a victim of their own success. I ordered several hundred dollars of goods (17 items in total) from Macy’s on Black Friday and am amazed and dismayed that the items are being sent separately in seven different shipments. Such a terrible waste of energy, and resources – not to mention the hassle of trying to be at home when the courier arrives.