Black Friday Is on Track to Hit $40 Billion in Global Online Sales

Black Friday is on track to be the biggest online shopping day of the holiday season for the third year in a row.

That’s according to Salesforce, which projects online sales in the United States today to grow 16% year over year to $7.4 billion. Around the world, the software firm forecasts an even larger 24% gain for digital revenues to hit a whopping $40 billion.

“Digital commerce continues to grow overseas this holiday as retailers and consumers adopt traditions like Black Friday and Cyber Monday that create spikes in deals and demand,” said VP of strategy and insights Rob Garf. “This year, international buyers will be the No. 1 driver of digital spend.”

Due to a later-than-usual start to the holiday and six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Salesforce observed that some businesses have turned to innovative marketing strategies to lure in online shoppers. One such tactic includes the release of limited-edition merchandise, as brands and retailers seek to capitalize on millennials’ and Generation Zers’ appetite for one-of-a-kind pieces.

“Brands and retailers will feel the effects of a [millennial and] Gen Z [demographic] with even greater purchasing power,” Garf added. “Not only are these shoppers more likely to get inspiration on emerging digital platforms, but they are also pushing the boundaries of where actual purchases will happen.”

The predictions follow a strong kickoff to the holiday weekend, with Thanksgiving’s digital sales in the U.S. climbing 17% to $4.1 billion and global online revenues surging 24% to $20 billion.

Further, Salesforce found that 60% of digital orders on Thanksgiving were placed on mobile devices, with mobile conversion rising to 4% as consumers not only browsed but also bought on the platform during the holiday.

“No matter what direction brands and retailers chose to take this year, the season has already shaped up to be one of the most unique yet,” said Garf.

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