Nov 26, 2022 - Economy

Black Friday online sales break new record despite inflation woes

Garden City, N.Y.: Overview of shoppers filling the halls of the Roosevelt Field Mall for Black Friday shopping on November 25, 2022.

Overview of shoppers filling the halls of a New York mall. Photo: Howard Schnapp/Newsday RM via Getty Images

A record $9.12 billion was spent online for Black Friday, with electronics driving much of the growth compared to last year, according to new Adobe Analytics data.

Why it matters: These record-breaking sales happened amid rising concerns about inflation and the cost of living.

Details: Sales for Black Friday jumped 2.3% year over year, according to Adobe.

  • Purchases on electronics led the way, soaring by 221% compared to an average day in October. Smart home items jumped 271% and audio items jumped 230%.
  • Gaming was a popular category, with buyers snagging Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles, as well as popular games FIFA 23, NBA 2K23 and Pokemon Scarlet & Violet.
  • Toys (up 285% compared to last year) and exercise equipment (up 218%) performed well on Black Friday too.

Zoom in: In a sign of the times, consumers took the opportunity to use new payment methods, with buy now, pay later options jumping 78% compared to the week before Black Friday, according to Adobe Analytics data.

  • Mobile shopping dominated the field too, setting a new record with 48% of online sales coming from phones, which is up from 44% in 2021.

The big picture: Prices for gas, food, rent and essentials are up this year, which has left consumers in search of deals and discounts this Black Friday, the Associated Press reports. Americans reached into their savings and used their credit cards this holiday season to spend amid inflation.

  • Last year, consumers were worried about supply chain-related issues as stores struggled to bring in items and products, which left consumers empty-handed, per AP.

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