Black Friday sales numbers: Data-driven decisions for 2022

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The 2020 rollercoaster was a disappointment. Retailers had high hopes that the internet growth that they experienced during the pandemic would continue, even though in-person sales slowed down as the crisis ended. The pandemic isn’t over, consumers are still spending heavily, but supply chain problems are creating new challenges. This may make you wonder what the future holds for you.

An in-depth look at 2021 Black Friday trends and stats will help you to understand how commerce has changed, and where it is going so that you can plan for the future. The Adobe 2020 Holiday Shopping Report gives you an exclusive look at Black Friday trends for this year so that you can plan for next year.

Black Friday: Top-selling Products

It doesn’t matter what specialty you are, it is important to be aware of what shoppers buy. Understanding what is selling can help you determine where consumers’ interest lies. The top sellers in holiday shopping season can be a good indicator of buyer priorities for the next year.

After a slow start-up, sales saw a spike in almost every category last year during Thanksgiving week. Black Friday is also a great day to sell toys and video games.

Toys such as Bluey toys, Got2Glow Fairy Locator, and Pop Fidget toys were the top sellers leading up to this year’s holiday season. TCL and Samsung televisions, as well as the PlayStation 5, were popular early on.

These favorites were replaced by new favorites on Black Friday.

  • Nintendo Switch
  • Barbie
  • Oculus VR

These top products are more in line than holiday spending trends and are a sign that holiday gifting deals are still consumers’ priority. In 2022, there may not be as many surprises for commerce leaders when it comes holiday shopping.

Online Black Friday sales vs. in-store sales

Online shopping became a necessity for many consumers in 2020. This trend reached its peak in the holiday season, when online retailers experienced two years of growth. This trend towards online shopping was confirmed by Black Friday sales in 2021.

  • Black Friday’s online revenue was $8.9, an increase of -1.12 percent YoY from last.
  • On Black Friday, the conversion rate for desktop purchases rose to 6.4%, up from 3% in 2020.

Overall spending between November 1 and November 29 rose 11.9 percent over last year. Desktop conversions increased more than twice.

Similar numbers are available for curbside pickups. Black Friday saw a slight increase in curbside pickups but the line was 70 percent higher than it was pre-pandemic (2019).

Black Friday trends and stats for mobile sales

The smartphone is a vital tool in ecommerce’s growth. The smartphone has become a key tool in consumers’ shopping habits, thanks to its mobile access to online retailers and order options.

It’s more than just buying. Smartphones are being used more frequently to locate nearby retail locations, verify store hours, check inventory, and compare prices.

Consumers spent $17.5 billion using smartphones in the first half November. This represents 41.5 percent of total revenue share. Smartphones were used by 59.7 per cent of all digital visits to retailers.

Black Friday saw mobile shopping continue to be a popular trend

  • 42.4 Percent of Black Friday ecommerce revenues came through smartphones, which is about $3.7 billion — an increase of 2 percent over last year and a record for the day.
  • On Black Friday, the average mobile device conversion rate rose to 3.3% from 2.1 percent two weeks ago.

Contrary to last year’s holiday season people are out and about more this year. They also congregate and shop indoors again, which is a big change from last year. However, they haven’t stopped shopping on their mobile phones.

Black Friday: Shipping and stockouts

Commerce leaders understood that logistics would require careful management when they entered Black Friday 2021. We warned retailers of stockouts, shipping rates, and that prediction was confirmed in the holiday season.

In October, for example, customers saw 250% more out of stock messages than in January 2020, the most recent prepandemic period. It’s a 325 percent increase over the holiday season two years ago. This is more than 2 billion messages out-of-stock in October alone. Comparing to pre-pandemic levels, out-of-stock messages increased by 124 percent between November 1 and Black Friday. The highest levels of put-of stock were found in appliances, electronics and house-keeping supplies. The highest out-of stock levels among the categories that Adobe tracks are electronics.

Black Friday discount trends for 2021

Black Friday 2021 was marked by a change in the way discounts were offered. Due to high demand and shortages, the discounts on major shopping days were lower than usual .

Although Black Friday was a little easier for consumers, this trend has continued into the holiday shopping season.

  • Computer prices dropped 13.6 percent this Black Friday, compared with 29% on Black Friday 2020.
  • Toy prices saw an average discount of 22.4 percent on Black Friday, compared with 17 percent last year.
  • This year’s electronic prices were markedly reduced by 11.8 percent, compared with 26 percent last Black Friday.
  • The prices of appliances dropped 8.6% on Black Friday, as compared to 20% last Black Friday.
  • This Black Friday, enjoyed an 8.4 percent discount and a 18% discount on Black Friday 2020.

Many retailers will have to make difficult decisions about holiday discounts. This trend will persist as logistical problems continue into 2022.

Black Friday stats to help you make data-driven decisions.

Black Friday 2021 is a key window into the rest and start of the holiday season. This is the second holiday shopping season in a pandemic. It’s also the time when we find out which combination of online, distance, and in-person activities makes us most at ease.

The growth of online and mobile shopping has been evident for the past two decades, but it was accelerated significantly in 2020 by the pandemic. The holiday season will bring in over $200 billion, but there are risks associated with changes in public health, shut downs and other supply chain factors. These trends in revenue and shopping have been evident so far. This could have big implications for 2022.

While retailers and brands may have expected these trends would reverse after 2020, it is now clear that we need to plan for the long-term.

1. Stockouts and shortages

While shipping rates will likely decrease as the holiday season ends, stockouts will continue to be a problem for some time. Keep an eye out for strategies and tactics that have helped your competitors to manage the interaction of CX/product shortages. Make sure you include them in your 2022 strategy.


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Buy-online-pickup-in-store services saw a sharp rise in 2020 — up 40 percent over 2019. This trend will continue into the 2021 holiday season. However, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t fade away in 2022. Commerce leaders must plan for this trend long-term as consumers become more comfortable with it and the technology to enable it improves.


3. Get Discounts

Retailers know that holiday shoppers expect price drops and discounts. The best data and analytics will be necessary to make it happen this season as well as into 2022. Retailers cannot afford to rely on the best practices of stronger economic times and guess at them.


Trends in Commerce 2022

Black Friday 2021 statistics will help you understand the changing landscape of commerce so that you can create the most successful strategies. Although the holiday shopping season is an important event for retailers, it can be largely wasted if we don’t use the data to prepare ourselves for the next.

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