E-comm

Black Friday 2021 by the numbers: Online sales dip slightly to $8.9 billion

They totaled $9 billion last year, per Adobe Analytics.
article cover

Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

Stay up to date on the retail industry

All the news and insights retail pros need to know, all in one newsletter. Join over 180,000 retail professionals by subscribing today.

Black Friday didn’t quite deliver on any record-breaking numbers this year. (We’re still waiting for our new air fryer to show up outside our door, but we digress.) But there was a first: Online sales dipped YoY. They totaled $8.9 billion, per Adobe Analytics, down from $9 billion in 2020.

“For the first time ever, Black Friday saw a reversal of the growth trend of past years. Shoppers are being strategic in their gift shopping, buying much earlier in the season and being flexible about when they shop to make sure they get the best deals,” Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, said in a statement.

  • Consumers have already spent $99.1 billion this month (through November 28), a 13.6% YoY bump.

By the numbers: Store visits on Black Friday, meanwhile, were up 47.5% this year, compared to 2020 (when we were still masked up), per Sensormatic Solutions. But looking back to pre-pandemic times, they were down 28.3%.

  • That drop was a whopping 90.4% on Thanksgiving Day, from 2019.
  • Online spend on Thanksgiving Day too was flat from 2020, coming in at $5.1 billion, according to Adobe.

Looking ahead...to today, aka Cyber Monday. Adobe expects online shoppers will spend between $10.2 billion to $11.3 billion. But Taylor Schreiner, director at Adobe Digital Insights, told us last week that he’s keeping an eye on the blurring of the discount days.

“With online shopping and in-store pickups, you’re going to see a real blurring of the line between what is online and offline shopping,” he said.—JS

Stay up to date on the retail industry

All the news and insights retail pros need to know, all in one newsletter. Join over 180,000 retail professionals by subscribing today.