Money & The Economy

Thanksgiving, Black Friday Online Sales Up 23 Percent from 2016

2017 sales grew across the three-day period from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to Black Friday, showing 21 percent year-over-year (YOY) revenue growth and 11 percent purchase growth according to a Rakuten Marketing report. Average order value (AOV) over the same period was up slightly, with YOY growth of nine percent. Additionally, purchases were up 17 percent during the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving week, supporting predictions of an early peak shopping period in 2017. These figures give retailers early promise to what the Rakuten expects to be a positive 2017 holiday selling season, forecasted by Adobe to reach $107.4 billion overall.

  • Combined revenue growth across Thanksgiving and Black Friday was 23 percent YOY.
  • Online revenue and purchases on Thanksgiving Day grew 28 percent and 35 percent YOY respectively.
  • Online revenue on Black Friday grew 21 percent and AOV grew 24 percent, though purchases were down three percent, a further indication of consumers spreading spend across more days, but saving the bigger ticket items for Black Friday.
  • Peak revenue and purchase activity occurred at 2:00 pm ET on Black Friday.
  • Click-through and ad engagement rates surged in the week prior to the holiday, up 154 percent and 111 percent respectively, indicating the consumers were researching products for their holiday shopping gift list in advance of the peak shopping days.
  • Consumers are more and more comfortable shopping on mobile devices, with smartphone shopping up over the course of the full Thanksgiving Week, Sunday-Friday. Mobile revenue grew by 43 percent, purchases by 34 percent, and AOV by seven percent.
  • Nearly half, 46 percent, of all page views occurred on a mobile device during Thanksgiving Week, Sunday-Friday, indicating that, while mobile revenue and purchases are growing, consumers are still researching more than purchasing on their mobile devices.

Holiday retail sales results from Thanksgiving week show the continued power of peak promotions. Rakuten Marketing stresses the importance of cross-device measurement and attribution in order to capitalize on the overall holiday selling period. Insight into constant and rapidly evolving consumer shopping behaviors allows advertisers to anticipate, prepare and execute marketing strategies during peak sales hours on peak sales days.

“Holiday shopping behavior is evolving year after year, and we continue to experience outstanding growth as consumers open their wallets in response to retailer strategies during the peak holiday shopping days,” said Rakuten Marketing CEO, Tony Zito. “We expect this upward growth to continue into Cyber Monday, and encourage brands to focus on strategies that re-engage the shoppers who have visited their site over the past week who may be holding out to see if there are deeper discounts on Cyber Monday.”

Rakuten Marketing Thanksgiving week and Black Friday insights are based on aggregated and anonymous data pulled from same-store clients running display advertising campaigns across more than 35 unique U.S. retail verticals.

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Rich Mitchell

Rich Mitchell is the editor-in-chief of Conservative Daily News and the president of Bald Eagle Media, LLC. His posts may contain opinions that are his own and are not necessarily shared by Bald Eagle Media, CDN, staff or .. much of anyone else. Find him on twitter, facebook and

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