Retailers in the United States enjoyed record-setting online sales on Black Friday, despite concerns over inflated prices and a looming recession.
Consumers spent $9.12 billion on Friday, according to Adobe Analytics, an increase of 2.3% from last year, and beating the previous record of $9.03 billion set in 2020.
The Adobe Analytics report also revealed the changing ways people are shopping and paying for goods online. The number of shoppers taking advantage of “buy now, pay later” services was up 78% from the same period last year, and 48% of online sales were made using smartphones, up from 44% last year.
“As Black Friday hit record spending online, we’re also seeing more prominent signs of a budget-conscious consumer this year,” Vivek Pandya, lead analyst for Adobe Digital Insights, said in a statement. “Shoppers are embracing the Buy Now Pay Later payment method more this year to be able to buy desired gifts for family and friends.”
Consumers were most keen to get their hands on electronics this Black Friday, according to the report. Purchases of electronics products were up 221% compared to the average day last month. Toys, smart home products, exercise equipment and audio equipment were also incredibly popular compared to the average day of the month before.
Despite pleasing Black Friday sales, experts believe conditions during the entire holiday period could be tricky. The National Retail Federation has said it expects all holiday sales to be up 6-8% this year, compared to an increase of 13.5% a year ago. If those estimates are adjusted for inflation that growth could disappear entirely. Inflation will drive up prices this year in the United States, and that, coupled with the threat of a recession, could make consumers more wary about parting with their money over the holidays.