Online sales soar on Black Friday

By Eileen Gazzola, Staff Writer

It is no secret that Black Friday store sales have declined over the years. This is mainly due to the staggering increase in online shopping. Online stores have made it easy for consumers to take advantage of free shipping, discounts, and most importantly the convenience of never having to venture out into the cold weather. How significant is the impact?

Online stores are offering great deals even before Friday comes. Over the years, this holiday shopping tradition has stepped up its game by extending itself beyond just the day following Thanksgiving. Stores open with sales on Thursday night and continue throughout the weekend. On the contrary, online stores are competing for the consumers by bombarding them ahead of time with email discounts in anticipation of the big shopping weekend to come.

According to Adobe, e-mail discounts have accounted for 25 percent more sales compared to last year. Online sales also increased to 14.3 percent on Friday compared to last year (calculated using information from 4,500 retail websites.) Although online data for Black Friday were not that impressive at the start, online sales for Adobe grew about 15 percent between midnight and 11 a.m. on Friday, (compared to the same time frame of last year), which adds up to about $822 million.

Adobe also commented on the type of products being bought. They said that many of the top selling products are electronic, such as the Sony PlayStation 4, iPad Air 2, and Xbox One. Other top products are toys like the Lego Dimensions, Barbie Dream House, and BB-8 droid robot from the new “Star Wars” movie.

These types of products are more likely to be bought online because it is not something you have to try on or see in person to know if you want to purchase. Toy and technology stores are hit with this reality in stores with the less than expected amount of customers.

Walmart has announced that many of their sales were online, and that they sold so many movies that it would take close to 3,000 years to watch them all. EBay released information that they were selling two hover boards every minute. Amazon saw a good turn out as well; by the middle of the day Friday, their sales jumped 19.6 percent in comparison to last year, according to ChannelAdvisor.

There is strong competition between online retailers and in store retailers. Even though Black Friday stores are working hard to compete by extending their hours and days, online websites are gaining many of those consumers. They offer hard to beat benefits such as blowout sales, free shipping, etc., for days in advance. It will be difficult for physical stores to reach their previous high turnout, but hopefully stores and online retail can draw in customers for the holiday season.


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