Black Friday online sales to hit record despite high inflation -Adobe Analytics

People shop at Macy's Herald Square during Black Friday sales in New York City, U.S., November 25, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Nov 25 (Reuters) - U.S. online spending is expected to set a record for Black Friday, according to Adobe Analytics, as steep discounts lured consumers against the backdrop of high inflation, kicking off the year's biggest shopping event on a strong note.

Initial numbers from Adobe Analytics, the data and insights arm of software company Adobe Inc (ADBE.O), showed shoppers are expected to spend between $9 billion and $9.2 billion online on Friday, topping its forecast for a modest 1% rise to $9 billion.

As of 6 p.m. EST (2300 GMT) on Friday, Adobe data showed shoppers spent an estimated $7.28 billion online.

"E-commerce demand has remained strong regardless, and Black Friday is set to surpass $9 billion in online sales for the first time, as consumers come to value the ease and convenience of shopping from home," said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights.

"Some shoppers are returning to physical stores for Black Friday, after two years where pandemic-related anxieties kept many people at home," Pandya added.

Adobe Analytics, which measures e-commerce by tracking transactions at websites, has access to data covering purchases at 85% of the top 100 internet retailers in the United States.

Adobe's analysis covers over 1 trillion visits to retail websites; Adobe does not disclose the names of the company sites it tracks.

Early holiday deals, including a second Amazon Prime Day event in October, were expected to take some of the shine off the biggest shopping days of the year.

More Americans placed orders through their smartphones over the holiday, with mobile shopping expected to drive 53% of Black Friday online sales. Mobile orders accounted for 55% of online Thanksgiving sales.

Cyber Week, which runs five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, is expected to generate $34.8 billion in online spending, up 2.8% from the year-ago period, according to the report.

"As Black Friday discounts transition to being pre-Cyber Monday discounts, we expect online spending momentum to continue through the weekend." Pandya said.

Reporting by Deborah Sophia and Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Krishna Chandra Eluri, Leslie Adler and William Mallard

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