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Black Friday sales rake in a record $9.12 billion from online shoppers

A picture taken in Liverpool, north west England on November 22, 2018 shows Black Friday sales branding on shopping websites displayed on smartphone and laptop screens.
Paul Ellis
/
AFP via Getty Images
A picture taken in Liverpool, north west England on November 22, 2018 shows Black Friday sales branding on shopping websites displayed on smartphone and laptop screens.

Black Friday sales raked in a record $9.12 billion from online shoppers this year despite concerns of inflation and higher prices, according to estimates.

The $9.12 billion figure is up from $8.92 billion in 2021 and $9.03 billion the previous year, according to Adobe Analytics. Inflation accounts for some of the increase this year, with people paying more to buy less.

Online sales for electronics spiked 221% on Friday compared to an average day in October 2022, with top sellers including Apple MacBooks and watches, Adobe says.

Other popular items included drones, Xbox Series X, and games such as FIFA 23 and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

Adobe expects discounts to remain strong throughout the weekend, predicting shoppers will spend another $4.52 billion on Saturday and $4.99 billion on Sunday. Cyber Monday is expected to top Black Friday online sales, with totals reaching $11.2 billion.

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Traditional brick-and-mortar store purchases are still expected to account for the majority of retail holiday spending, with the National Retail Federation expecting 67% of Black Friday shoppers to have headed to stores.

More than 166 million Americans are expected to shop either in-person or online over the five days from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. It's the NRF's highest prediction since it began tracking data in 2017.

Despite the record online spending this Black Friday, consumers' concerns about the economy are at the highest level since the Great Recession in 2008-2009. More than 60% of Americans said the state of the economy was impacting their holiday spending plans, according to the NRF.

"While there is much speculation about inflation's impact on consumer behavior, our data tells us that this Thanksgiving holiday weekend will see robust store traffic with a record number of shoppers taking advantage of value pricing," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release last week.

To alleviate immediate large spending, Americans are turning to buy now, pay later orders, which allow shoppers to pay through interest-free installments. Buy now, pay later orders spiked 78% this week compared to the previous week, according to Adobe. Revenue from these orders is also up 81% in the same period.

Adobe says it reaches its estimates by analyzing over 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites in 18 product categories including smart home items, audio equipment and toys.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ashley Ahn
Ashley Ahn is an intern for the Digital News and Graphics desks. She previously covered the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for CNN's health and medical unit and the trial of Ahmaud Arbery's killers for CNN's Atlanta News Bureau. She also wrote pieces for USA TODAY and served as the Executive Editor of her college's student newspaper, The Daily Pennsylvanian. Recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Ahn is pursuing a master's degree in computer science at Columbia University.