Here’s what Black Friday – Cyber Monday sales data is saying about the consumer
Record Black Friday sales? Struggling consumers? Something doesn’t add up…
Adobe posted a “record” $9.12B sales figure. But they left off one key number: transaction volume. With inflation running near 7%, it’s possible sales (adjusted for inflation) have actually decreased.
Where are sales increasing?
Shopify — which powers nearly a third of all online stores — reported strong Black Friday-Cybery Monday sales:
- $7.5B in sales during the Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend — up 17% from last year.
- 52M shoppers purchased from stores powered by Shopify — a 12% increase from last year.
These numbers are far higher than the 8% increase analysts had forecasted. And a large part of that growth came from in-store sales powered by their POS systems.
But don’t take higher sales data as a sign of consumer strength. Companies gave steeper discounts to reduce excess inventory, and consumer savings/debt is becoming an issue.
Other 2022 BF-CM shopper habits:
1/ Walmart overtook Amazon as the destination for discount searching.
2/ More people are shopping in-store. Foot traffic increased by 7%.
3/ But window shopping is on the rise. In-store sales only increased by 0.1% despite the increased foot traffic.
4/ Sales are running earlier and later. Kristin McGrath of BlackFriday.com says deals are likely to run well past Christmas (BBG).
Investors: E-commerce trying to find ground
The entire e-commerce industry is still trying to find its footing after the COVID boom and bust.
- The ProShares Online Retail ETF (NYSE:ONLN) — which tracks a basket of online retail stocks — is down 67% from its 2021 peak.
- You know the retail sector is hurting when even Amazon’s stock has lost nearly half its value this year.
Once high inventory levels are cleared, and if consumer savings continues to deplete, we’ll find out the true state of the consumer. We’re watching borrowing and consumer savings data like a hawk.