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Black Friday online spending sets new U.S. record

A report shows that smartphones were a popular purchase

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Photo (c) ArtistGNDphotography - Getty Images
With many consumers still apprehensive about shopping in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, spending for online shopping during Black Friday hit a new record. 

An estimated $9 billion was spent online the day after Thanksgiving, according to a report from Adobe Analytics. That figure represents a 22 percent increase from the previous online spending record of $7.4 billion, set in 2019. 

Adobe researchers said Friday’s online sales total takes the title of second-largest spending day in U.S. history, behind Cyber Monday last year. Consumers spent $6.3 million per minute (or $27.50 per person) online on Black Friday 2020.

Digital devices were hot items

There was a 25 percent increase in spending on smartphones compared to last year, according to the report. Forty percent of all online sales, or $3.6 billion, was spent on these devices. 

“New consoles, phones, smart devices and TVs that are traditional Black Friday purchases are sharing online shopping cart space this year with unorthodox Black Friday purchases such as groceries, clothes and alcohol, that would previously have been purchased in-store,” said Taylor Schreiner, a director at Adobe Digital Insights.

Sales of personal care products surged 556 percent, and online spending on pet products rose 254 percent. Popular items included Hot Wheels, Lego sets, Apple AirPods, Apple Watches, Amazon Echo devices, and Samsung TVs.

More consumers also utilized retailers’ in-store and curbside pickup options. The report found that the use of these options increased 52 percent from last year.

This year’s Cyber Monday shopping event is expected to become the biggest day in online sales in U.S. history. Adobe expects online sales to total between $10.8 billion to $12.7 billion.

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