Online e-commerce sales broke new records for Black Friday and Cyber Monday as more consumers opened their wallets. This comes despite the fact that COVID-19 cases are rising.
Adobe Analytics found that shoppers spent a stunning $9 billion online this year for Black Friday, almost 22% more than last year’s figure. This represents the second highest day of online spending in U.S. history, just behind Cyber Monday in 2019. And Adobe estimates U.S. consumers spent $6.3 million per minute shopping online!
Meanwhile, Adobe noted that Cyber Monday sales brought in $10.8 billion, topping last year’s haul by 15.1% and setting a record for the largest U.S. online shopping day.
Interestingly, e-commerce sales growth in general had been increasing at a pace of about 1.5% per year from 2009 until 2019, according to a study by Bank of America and the U.S. Department of Commerce. But during the first eight weeks of 2020, we’ve seen an 11% increase in e-commerce sales growth and e-commerce sales penetration up to 27% compared to total retail sales. In other words, e-commerce sales grew as quickly during the first eight weeks of this year as they did during the entire previous decade!
Salesforce.com (CRM) conducted its own Black Friday research and found U.S.-retailers tallied $12.8 billion in sales, a 23% increase from last year, while global digital revenue rose 30% higher to $62.2 billion.
Digging a little deeper into the numbers, Adobe found that mobile sales dominated, accounting for 46.5% of sales on Thanksgiving and 40% on Black Friday. Spending with smartphones grew 25.3% from the prior year to reach $3.6 billion on Black Friday.
The pandemic has also turned curbside pickup into a new go-to shopping method. Over half of shoppers surveyed by the International Council of Shopping Centers said they’d use curbside pickup to purchase gifts this year, while in-store and curbside pickup climbed 52% from last year.
Adobe also stated that it expects curbside and in-store pickup will only grow in popularity as the holiday shopping season wears on and customers and retailers begin to face steeper shipping costs for packages to have them arrive by Christmas.
Salesforce said retailers that offered curbside and in-store pickup during the Thanksgiving weekend increased digital sales at a rate 26% higher than those that didn’t.
Choosing the Best Retailers
Not surprisingly, many companies that brought in more sales during Thanksgiving weekend have outperformed in this pandemic economy. These are known as the “pandemic plays” – businesses that governments decided could stay open and serve customers needs, as well as handle heightened logistics challenges and deliver a broad range of products.
A group of large retailers that includes Target Corp. (TGT), Walmart (WMT) and Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) saw online sales rise a whopping 403% during Thanksgiving and Black Friday from their October average, compared to smaller retailers’
This morning, Amazon (AMZN) announced that this holiday shopping season was its largest ever. The company didn’t disclose sales figures, but said businesses selling on its site brought in more than $4.8 billion in worldwide sales from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, which is up 60% from last year.
It’s great news for large retailers with excellent e-commerce capabilities going into December, a seasonally strong month for stocks. And I’ve been taking steps to align my Buy Lists with fundamentally superior stocks poised to profit during the ongoing pandemic.
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Note: The Editor hereby discloses that as of the date of this email, the Editor, directly or indirectly, owns the following securities that are the subject of the commentary, analysis, opinions, advice, or recommendations in, or which are otherwise mentioned in, the essay set forth below:
Target Corp. (TGT), Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST), Amazon (AMZN)