While many shoppers still ventured out to stores to explore Black Friday shopping deals this year, others opted to forgo the crowds and instead peruse the sales online.
Despite the early emergence of Black Friday ads, in-store sales on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday plummeted compared to last year’s figures. According to sales estimates from retail analytics provider Shoppertrak, Black Friday brick and mortar sales dropped from $11.6 billion in 2014 to $10.4 billion in 2015, while Thanksgiving sales were down from slightly over $2 billion in 2014 to $1.8 billion in 2015.
Some analysts attribute the shift to a rise in popularity of online holiday shopping and the trend of retailers offering pre-Black Friday sales in the weeks leading up to the big event — an attempt to elongate the heightened sales that surround holiday shopping season.
In comparison, Adobe projected Black Friday online sales totaling $2.72 billion, which is an astonishing 14 percent jump compared to online sales in 2014.
Preliminary numbers also indicate a decrease in in-store foot traffic on both dates, further supporting the perceived shift in shopping habits. Shoppertrak’s chief revenue officer Kevin Kearns credits this decline to shoppers only visiting stores in which they’ve planned out and researched purchases prior to arrival.
Shoppertrak is set to release further data on Black Friday weekend sales on Tuesday.