The numbers are in…and looking dark for Black Friday sales statistics. As this year’s Black Friday spilled over into Black Fall and holiday retail trends showed a shift in the timing of holiday marketing campaigns, sales were down on the much-anticipated Black Friday. The day that traditionally signifies the start of holiday buying has become just another shopping day, thanks to retailers that have already been discounting heavily to lift faltering full-year 2014 sales. Black Friday sales data shows that both in stores and online, from Thanksgiving through the weekend were estimated to have dropped 11% to $50.9 billion from $57.4 billion in 2013. Black Friday sales statistics illustrate that transactions decreased despite many stores opening earlier than ever on Thanksgiving Day.
Black Friday Sales Data: What Went Wrong?
Holiday retail trends indicate that many retailers offered the same aggressive discounts online as they did in their stores, but the web failed to attract more shoppers or spending over the four-day holiday weekend. The average person who shopped over the weekend spent $159.55 at online retailers, down 10.2% from last year according to preliminary Black Friday sales data. 133.7 million people shopped or planned to shop at stores or online over the four-day weekend, 5.2% fewer than last year.
Holiday retail trends demonstrate that Black Friday itself may be waning in importance, as retailers increasingly offer deep discounts days, and even weeks, before the traditional year-end sales period. That means many people may have simply done their shopping earlier and stayed home during the Thanksgiving weekend.
Holiday Retail Trends: Consumers Are Shopping their Black Friday Digitally
Shoppers are becoming more comfortable and digitally savvy in how they use online coupons and rebates to secure the best bargains. Buyers are using their smartphones to shop around but their tablets to buy. This year’s holiday retail trends point to the increased use of smartphones which accounted for 34.7% of all Black Friday Web traffic, compared with 14.6% for tablets. Contrastingly, tablets drove 16% of actual online sales, compared with 11.8% for smartphones. Black Friday sales statistics show that desktop users were also busy spending money online: Online spending via desktops jumped 32% to just over a record $1 billion on Thanksgiving Day and soared even farther to $1.51 billion on Black Friday.
Initial Black Friday sales data shows that commerce was actually down versus previous year. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Black Fall marketing efforts were a bust. To stay abreast of current marketing trends, read our blog.