Economy Watch: E-Commerce Enjoys Robust Sales on Black Friday

Online sales reached a record $3.3 billion this Black Friday, with more than one third of sales involving mobile platforms.
Image via Flickr Creative Commons user Intel Free Press

Image via Flickr Creative Commons user Intel Free Press

In news that should gladden e-commerce operations, and the industrial properties that support them (but worry physical retailers), online sales scored a record $3.3 billion on Black Friday this year, according to data compiled by Adobe Digital Insights over the weekend. That’s an increase of 21.6 percent compared with last year, with much of the spike because of mobile platform-based commerce. More than one-third of total Black Friday e-commerce sales involved mobile platforms, up 33 percent from last year.

Online retailers that apparently did the best included Apple and its array of gizmos, as well as toy sellers Mattel and Lego. Amazon, as always, remained a favorite among e-shoppers, with the behemoth non-store retailer reporting that its Black Friday sales were “on pace” to exceed last year’s total.

On the other hand, some retailers best known for their physical stores managed to capture a nice slice of e-commerce as well, provided they had prepared for it. That’s especially true for large operations such as Walmart and Macy’s, who have invested heavily in mobile, email and social media marketing in recent years.

Previously, the Census Bureau reported that the third quarter of this year was a good one for e-commerce, with online U.S. retail sales reaching $93.7 billion, a 15.6 percent increase compared with third-quarter 2015. That was also only slightly behind the second quarter’s 15.9 percent year-over-year growth, which was the largest increase in nearly two years.