You can tell the economy is doing well based upon how much money people spend during Black Friday. Thanks to the roaring economy, we seem to have more money in our pockets than we have in years. As a result of advances in technology, the way we shop is also changing. It’s strange to think that an online retail store is competing this well with Walmart.
A decade ago, no one would’ve predicted that a website was going to take down the monster that is Walmart. But, indeed, that’s what nearly happened. While Walmart is still the largest brick-and-mortar store, online sales are taking larger shares of the pie. Walmart freaked out so badly that they immediately went to work to improve their website app. So far, it seems to have positioned Walmart in a better spot. Digital sales are up across the board.
This year was no different. The annual Black Friday holiday shopping rush started on Thanksgiving and ended with Cyber Monday. According to Adobe Digital Insights director Taylor Schreiner, it was another record year. Not just for the shopping days as a whole, but for all e-commerce sales on each day.
That means even on Thanksgiving Day, more people decided to stay home and order gifts online rather than fighting the Black Friday madness in person. In fact, all three major shopping days saw a dramatic increase in digital sales
“Black Friday will come very close to eclipsing last year’s Cyber Monday in terms of online sales,” he said in a press release. “…While some Americans might have been waiting in lines at stores today, the data suggests that at least some of them joined their peers in shopping on their phones — and buying more than they did in years past.”
Brick-and-Mortar Still King, but Losing Ground on Black Friday
While online and digital Black Friday sales only make up about 19% of all holiday sales, these numbers are significant. They’re growing quicker than anyone anticipated. Digital sales are up these last two months of the year so far by 15%! And the year isn’t over yet. These totals to around $124 billion in sales so far. About $720 billion in sales is expected in total over the holiday season.
While it may seem like brick-and-mortar stores are doing a bit of hurting, the real sales winners were places like Walmart. They have great sales both in-person and online. You can line up for Black Friday or stay home and follow the app. The expectation is that in-store holiday shopping will also be up this year.
Other sales that were higher included the ‘buy online, pick up in store’ options. There was a 50% increase this year alone. It is the stores who can blend both online and offline sales that are pulling in the most cash right now. This is why Walmart prioritized updating their app, and it’s working.
The Real E-Commerce Losers
Modern technology is spoiling the average American consumer. The ability to shop for what you want online and pick it up whenever you want is a luxury. Having free two-day shipping is another. The losing stores in the Christmas showdown are those who have refused to adapt. Consumers will continue to take the convenient route to buy gifts on Black Friday.
The stores who remain committed to outdated, physical-first models are losing right now. There’s just more of a change happening within the market. For any brand to stay relevant, they must change with the times.