Black Friday 2016 is in the books, but in many cases, it’s starting to look more like Cyber Friday or perhaps Cyber Weekend. Analysts say deep discounts were needed to pry consumers out of their homes and away from their computers or mobile devices. Needless to say, some big winners emerged, although ecommerce has apparently begun to encroach upon Black Friday shopping.

Black Friday
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Amazon may have been the biggest winner on Black Friday, as the Institute for Local Self-Reliance estimates that the company now takes nearly $1 of every $2 Americans spend online.

Ecommerce sales skyrocket on Black Friday

It seems online shoppers didn’t wait until Cyber Monday to open their wallets, as they began shelling out cash on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. According to comScore, ecommerce sales urged 17% year over year on Thanksgiving and 19% on Black Friday. Both numbers are notable accelerations from last year’s 9% and 10% year over year growth, respectively.

comScore data also said that between Nov. 1 and 25, desktop ecommerce sales surged 12%, hitting $21.96 billion. During the same time period last year, desktop ecommerce sales only grew 5%. This year to date, desktop ecommerce sales have grown 20%. Month to date ecommerce sales are running below the year to date run-rate, but comScore said November started slowly, possibly because of uncertainty surrounding the elections.

comScore still expects ecommerce sales in November and December to grow by 16% to 19%, including both desktop and mobile online shopping. Adobe pegs Thanksgiving and Black Friday ecommerce sales for both desktop and mobile at a 17.7% growth rate, bringing the total to $5.27 billion. Adobe estimates that 55% of Retail website visits on Black Friday came from mobile devices and that 36% of ecommerce sales were completed on mobile devices, with 25% being completed on smartphones and 11% coming from tablets. Last year, 34% of ecommerce sales on Black Friday were completed on mobile devices.

Macy’s takes a hit from website snag

Analysts from multiple firms are focusing on how big ecommerce was on Black Friday, and it seems not all retailers were ready for the switch. Macy’s website was down for part of the day, with some visitors being redirected to a page that said traffic was heavier “than normal.” According to experts, every second counts when it comes to online shopping.

SOASTA estimates that the “load time ‘sweet spot'” is less than three seconds for converting online sales. The firm’s research suggests that every one-second slowdown is correlated with an 8% increase in bounce rate.