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With the inflation rate dropping steadily over the past few months, consumers more freely opened their wallets (or, rather, charged their credit cards) at a record pace on Black Friday.
According to Adobe Analytics, a record $9.8 billion was spent Friday, traditionally the day retailers enter the “black” and a bellwether for holiday sales. That’s up 7.5% in the U.S. year-over-year. In October, 2022, the U.S. inflation rate sat at 7.75%. Last month, it was 3.24%.
The major growth driver of Black Friday online sales was electronics, up 152% vs. average daily sales for October. Smart watches, TVs and audio equipment were the top items being purchased.
Following the billion-dollar success of the movie, Barbie toys were also popular, as were other toys such as Mini Brands and KidKraft playsets. Gaming consoles and games were also on the shopping list as were Bluetooth headphones, smartphones, skin care products, cookware sets and coffee makers.
The decline in online prices over the last year has created a favorable environment for consumers.
Vivek Pandya, lead analyst, Adobe Digital Insights
According to Adobe’s Digital Price Index, the level of consumer spend was driven by new demand rather than higher prices, with ecommerce outlets dropping prices consecutively for 14 months, down 6% year-over-year.
Adobe said it expected another $10 billion to be spend over the weekend ahead of Cyber Monday which it believes will be the biggest online shopping day of the day, predicting a record spend of $12 billion, up 5.4% year on year.
Cyber Week (the five days after Thanksgiving) is expected to generate a total of $37.2 billion in online spend, up 5.4% from last year. Thanksgiving Day itself saw a 5.5% annual increase in sales, reaching $5.6 billion.
“Black Friday re-asserted its dominance this season with record spend of $9.8 billion driven by new demand for the major sales’ day,” said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst, Adobe Digital Insights. “The decline in online prices over the last year has created a favorable environment for consumers with strong discounts this season that are tempting even the most price-conscious consumers.”
Elsewhere, research from Mintel of 2,000 internet users over the age of 18 found that 44% of U.S. consumers planned to shop during the winter holiday season to make the most of sales events with Black Friday and Cyber Monday proving the most popular for budget-focused buyers.