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Online spending on Black Friday decreased for the very first time

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Online shoppers spent $8.9 billion this year

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Online sales during Black Friday took a bit of a tumble this year, marking the first time that spending has dipped lower than the previous year, as noted in a holiday shopping report by Adobe Analytics. Online shoppers reportedly spent a total of $8.9 billion this year, falling a little short of the $9 billion that was spent in 2020.

Adobe suggests that the downward trend might’ve been caused by an uptick in early spending, as some stores started sales and promotions as early as October. And when shoppers did make online purchases during Black Friday, Adobe found that 44.4 percent of those sales were made from a smartphone, a 10.6 percent increase from last year.

“For the first time ever, Black Friday saw a reversal of the growth trend of past years,” said Vivek Pandya, the lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights. “Shoppers are being strategic in their gift shopping, buying much earlier in the season and being flexible about when they shop to make sure they get the best deals.”

While early sales might’ve been the main factor behind the dip, global supply chain issues could’ve been another contributor. According to Adobe’s report, out-of-stock messages have increased by 124 percent since January 2020, making it harder for shoppers to get the products they want. The report notes that appliances and electronics have been affected by this the most, and the ongoing chip shortage probably has something to do with it.

Among the most popular tech products on Black Friday were the Nintendo Switch and Meta (formerly Oculus) Quest 2, while Just Dance 2022, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, AirPods, the 10.2-inch iPad were all hits on Saturday. So far, shoppers spent over $3 billion on 19 days throughout this holiday season. Last year around this time, Adobe only counted five days where spending exceeded $3 billion.