Save BIG on Black Friday deals. Click to shop now!

40 Must-Know Black Friday Statistics for 2021

Someone looking at their phone for a sale while Black Friday shopping

Black Friday is a can’t-miss shopping day for Americans looking to score serious deals on everything from clothing to electronics. Falling on the Friday after Thanksgiving each year, this unofficial event jump-starts the Christmas shopping season, luring shoppers with steep specials, discounts, and deals.

Over the years, Black Friday has evolved. First, there was the influx of online retailers entering the fray. Then, 2020 saw Black Friday’s usual in-store crowds tempered by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the world transitioning to a “new normal,” what will Black Friday look like in 2021?

We’ve compiled key Black Friday statistics, facts, and figures to get a sense of what retailers and shoppers alike can expect this year.

Black Friday Statistics to Know for 2021

So, what can shoppers and retailers expect in 2021? We’ve put together an overview of crucial Black Friday statistics, covering everything from how many people go Black Friday shopping to the average discount shoppers can expect. Let’s get into it.

  • 186.4 million U.S. consumers shopped in-store and online from Thanksgiving to the following Monday (“Black Friday Weekend”) in 2020.
  • Black Friday alone saw $9 billion in online sales in 2020.
  • Consumers spent a record $789.4 billion holiday shopping in 2020.
  • Consumers expect to spend $430, on average, on Black Friday in 2021.
  • U.S. retail sales are expected to hit $1.147 trillion during the 2021 holiday season.
  • The average shopper will spend $430 on Black Friday in 2021, with 30% of consumers planning to spend more in 2021 than in 2020.
  • This year, the average savings from Black Friday discounts will range from 5% to 25%.
  • 2021 shoppers anticipate spending 62% of their holiday budget online.
  • Smaller e-commerce stores are gaining ground, with 20% of shoppers planning to buy on Small Business Saturday.
  • High-income groups, especially females, are spending the most.
  • Women and millennials are holiday shopping season’s big spenders.
  • In 2020, the average consumer spent $224.48 on gifts over Black Friday weekend.
  • Buy now, pay later is becoming increasingly popular, with the minimum order being $225.
  • Nearly 20% of all retail sales take place between November and December.
  • In 2021, although 62% of consumers plan to shop online, Black Friday will be the busiest day for in-store retail traffic.
  • In 2020, smartphones netted 40% of online sales on Black Friday.
  • The average savings from Black Friday discounts will range from 5% to 25% in 2021.
  • Smartphones accounted for $3.6 billion in Black Friday sales in 2020.
  • After five years of steady growth, smartphone shopping will plateau in 2021.
  • In 2020, online retailers got 70% of their traffic from mobile devices the week before Black Friday.
  • 2021 will see a return to in-store shopping — but it will look different.
  • COVID-19 hurt in-store shopping, but sales overall boomed.
  • COVID-19 accelerated e-commerce.
  • In-store shopping is on the decline — but it’s not dead yet.
  • E-commerce and mass merchants benefit from Black Friday the most.
  • Discounts vary depending on what product you’re buying.
  • COVID-19 decreased Black Friday foot traffic for in-store shopping in 2020 by 37%.
  • Department stores were a main attraction for in-person shopping in 2020.
  • Consumers are spending more online than in stores, compared to the past.
  • E-commerce conversion rates on Black Friday aren’t always higher than the global average.
  • Although online shoppers prefer their mobile device, conversion rates for other devices are still higher.
  • Black Friday shopping cart abandonment rates are notably higher for mobile.
  • Shopping cart abandonment rates in the U.S. were 79.83% in 2020.
  • Clothing, toys, and entertainment items exhibit strong conversion rates.
  • COVID-19 took a negative toll on Black Friday conversion rates globally, dropping them from 5.5% to 2.29% (2019 to 2020).
  • Great Britain sees the best Black Friday conversion rates of 5.09%.
  • Categories where you can find steep discounts tend to be the most popular.
  • Holiday season discounts are weaker than in the past.
  • Clothing was the most widely bought product on Black Friday in 2020.
  • Toys, books, electronics, and gift cards to drive holiday spending in 2021.

Top Black Friday Statistics

186.4 million U.S. consumers shopped in-store and online from Thanksgiving to the following Monday (“Black Friday Weekend”) in 2020.

Black Friday 2020 took a serious hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Major retailers like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart closed to in-person shopping on Thanksgiving, prioritizing health by minimizing the risk of huge crowds. Instead, they pushed online and multi-day sales, spanning from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

Their efforts worked. Approximately 186.4 million U.S. consumers shopped in-store and online from Thanksgiving to the following Monday. While the number of shoppers visiting physical stores dropped 37% from the previous year, people were still spending.

(Source: NBCNews)

Black Friday alone saw $9 billion in online sales in 2020.

The shift toward internet shopping due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 allowed for $9 billion in online sales, a 22% year-over-year (YOY) increase. It’s likely that a continued preference for online shopping will continue in 2021. Some retailers including Target, Walmart, and Best Buy have announced they will close on Thanksgiving Day 2021.

(Source: CNBC)

Consumers spent a record $789.4 billion holiday shopping in 2020.

U.S. consumers spent a record amount over the 2020 holiday season, totaling $789.4 billion, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Online shopping reached a record $188.2 billion. Adobe Analytics predicts strong spending is expected in 2021 as well, with online holiday spending expected to exceed $200 billion for the first time.

(Source: NRF)

Consumers expect to spend $430, on average, on Black Friday in 2021.

The average consumer expects to spend some $430 on Black Friday in the 2021 holiday shopping season. This marks an increase from the previous year when the average consumer expected to spend $410 on Black Friday.

(Source: Deloitte)

U.S. retail sales are expected to hit $1.147 trillion during the 2021 holiday season.

In 2021, we expect to see $1.147 trillion in retail sales. A decent portion of these will be e-commerce sales, with 18.4% of these sales being made online. In total, U.S. retail e-commerce sales are expected to hit $211.66 billion.

(Source: eMarketer)

Shopper Statistics

The average shopper will spend $430 on Black Friday in 2021, with 30% of consumers planning to spend more in 2021 than in 2020.

The average shopper expects to spend $430 on Black Friday in 2021. Overall, holiday spending is up, with 30% of consumers planning to spend more in the 2021 holiday season than in the previous year. Millennials are particularly driving spending, with 40% of this demographic planning to up their 2021 holiday shopping spending.

(Source: Deloitte, PWC)

This year, the average savings from Black Friday discounts will range from 5% to 25%.

Shoppers can still expect to save thanks to Black Friday deals. However, these discounts will be noticeably lower than in previous years. That said, the trend toward “Black November” means consumers can find deals even earlier. In fact, 59% of holiday shoppers in 2020 started buying in early November.

(Source: Adobe)

2021 shoppers anticipate spending 62% of their holiday budget online.

In 2021, 62% of consumers plan to shop online. Average online spending is anticipated to be $924, while average in-store spending is anticipated to be $440. In-store shopping regained some lost ground following the 2020 COVID-19 restrictions when 64% of consumers shopped online versus 28% in brick and mortar stores.

(Source: Deloitte)

Smaller e-commerce stores are gaining ground, with 20% of shoppers planning to buy on Small Business Saturday.

Consumers are increasingly supporting smaller retailers. Small Business Saturday (after Black Friday) is gaining ground, with 20% of shoppers planning to take advantage of deals on this day in 2021 compared to 14% last year.

(Source: Deloitte)

High-income groups, especially females, are spending the most.

Average spending among consumers is up 5% year-over-year in 2021, with spending on experiences up significantly (15% year-over-year) compared to 2020. The bulk of gains are driven by high-income groups. Females from middle- or high-income groups are expected to spend the most, on average, according to Deloitte.

(Source: Deloitte)

Women and millennials are holiday shopping season’s big spenders.

In general, women tend to spend a lot throughout the holiday season. Consumers expected to spend $2,228, on average, are primarily female. Of consumers expected to spend $1,437, on average, the mix is more evenly male and female.

Millennials are also a stand-out demographic for Black Friday spending in 2021. The average millennial is expected to spend $1,646 throughout the holiday shopping season, coming ahead of average spending expectations for Gen Xers ($1,594) and baby boomers ($1,347).

(Source: Deloitte, PWC)

In 2020, the average consumer spent $224.48 on gifts over Black Friday weekend.

People use Black Friday to do holiday shopping — but they also use it as an opportunity to treat themselves. Over Thanksgiving weekend (i.e., the five-day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday) in 2020, people spent $311.75 on holiday-related purchases, including decorations and presents, with $224.48 going to gifts.

(Source: NRF)

Buy now, pay later is becoming increasingly popular, with the minimum order being $225.

More consumers are taking advantage of buy now, pay later (BNPL) programs. BNPL orders are 44% above the same period in 2019. Top categories include clothing, personal care items, home furnishings, sporting goods, electronics, and toys. Shoppers aged 25 to 55 are most likely to use BNPL. In general, 14% of online consumers have used BNPL at some point.

(Source: Adobe, PYMNTS)

Black Friday Sales Statistics

Nearly 20% of all retail sales take place between November and December.

There’s a reason holiday shopping events like Black Friday are so popular. According to the NRF, the holiday season overall is responsible for as much as 20% of annual sales for many retailers. Overall, 2020 holiday revenue was some $789.4 billion.

(Source: NRF)

In 2021, although 62% of consumers plan to shop online, Black Friday will be the busiest day for in-store retail traffic.

With a majority of consumers turning to online shopping, it’s no surprise that retail store foot traffic will be down 10% to 15% compared to 2019. In-store shopping took a hit in 2020 but Black Friday is predicted to be the busiest day for retailers, likely due to the vaccine rollout and various safety measures.

(Source: Deloitte, CSA)

In 2020, smartphones netted 40% of online sales on Black Friday.

The share of online revenue generated by smartphones amounted to an estimated $3.6 billion in 2020. In comparison, laptops and other devices generated revenue of an estimated $133.6 billion. Going forward, mobile purchases are expected to gain ground.

(Source: Marketing Dive)

The average savings from Black Friday discounts will range from 5% to 25% in 2021.

Thanks to Black Friday deals and sales events, holiday shoppers can expect to see savings ranging from 5% to 25%, on average, depending on which category they buy.

(Source: Adobe)

Smartphones accounted for $3.6 billion in Black Friday sales in 2020.

Smartphones accounted for a larger portion of online sales on Black Friday in 2020, totaling $3.6 billion in sales (up 25.3% from the previous year). Overall, Black Friday online shopping in 2020 generated about $9 billion.

(Source: TechCrunch)

After five years of steady growth, smartphone shopping will plateau in 2021.

Shopping for smartphones climbed steadily from 2014 to 2020. In 2021, this acceleration will plateau. The growth in smartphone revenue share is expected to be about +5% in 2021. Nonetheless, this means that consumers will spend some $86 billion on their smartphones this holiday shopping season.

(Source: Adobe)

In 2020, online retailers got 70% of their traffic from mobile devices the week before Black Friday.

In contrast, only 30% of online retail traffic came from desktop devices. This is a significant difference from 2018 when only 52% of sales came from mobile devices. E-commerce is generally on the rise and establishing itself as a mobile-first industry.

(Source: SaleCycle)

2021 will see a return to in-store shopping — but it will look different.

More than 50% of shoppers plan to visit fewer stores than usual. Further, shoppers are more likely to champion local stores, with 56% committing to buying more from local or independent retailers.

(Source: PWC)

COVID-19 hurt in-store shopping, but sales overall boomed.

COVID-19 hurt in-store shopping in 2020 due to consumer anxiety and the fact that many stores limited in-store shopping. The number of in-store shoppers on Thanksgiving Day plummeted by 55% in 2020 compared to the previous year.

However, overall holiday sales remained strong thanks to e-commerce. Online shopping skyrocketed up 32.2% in 2020 compared to 2019, totaling $188.2 billion. Overall, holiday spending went up 8.3% in 2020, reaching $789.4 billion.

(Source: NRF, CNBC)

COVID-19 accelerated e-commerce.

COVID-19 saw a major push toward e-commerce, a trend that’s expected to continue. In 2021, record e-commerce demand is anticipated to drive online retail spending to more than $200 billion for the first time ever. Consumers are continuing to embrace the “homebody economy” even as the world opens up.

(Source: Adobe)

In-store shopping is on the decline — but it’s not dead yet.

The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on in-store shopping in 2020, with 44% more consumers shopping exclusively online in 2020 compared to the previous year. While you likely won’t see “doorbuster” sale deals promoted this year, consumers are more open to in-store visits, with only 40% reporting anxiety about venturing out versus 51% in 2020.

(Source: NRF, Deloitte)

Retailer Black Friday Statistics

E-commerce and mass merchants benefit from Black Friday the most.

Online-only retailers and mass merchants (e.g., Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc.) tend to lead Black Friday sales. In 2020, brands that grew in popularity during the pandemic saw surges during the holiday season like Best Buy, Home Depot, Lululemon, and Peloton.

In 2021, 55% of shoppers surveyed planned to buy via e-commerce sites, while 51% planned to buy from mass merchants. In comparison, only 27% planned to shop at local independent stores.

(Source: eMarketer, Deloitte)

Discounts vary depending on what product you’re buying.

In terms of products, steeply discounted items include computers (30% discounts in 2020), electronics (27% discounts in 2020), and apparel (20% discounts in 2020).

(Source: Adobe)

COVID-19 decreased Black Friday foot traffic for in-store shopping in 2020 by 37%.

The number of in-store shoppers on Thanksgiving Day decreased by 55% in 2020 compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, the amount of foot traffic on Black Friday decreased 37%. Retailers expect to see some rebound in 2021 due to a decrease in consumer anxiety levels.

(Source: NRF)

Department stores were a main attraction for in-person shopping in 2020.

40% of Black Friday weekend shoppers visited a department store, while 33% visited clothing stores and 31% visited electronics stores. In 2020, non-mall stores generally did better than mall stores, with non-mall store visits down 41% compared to the previous year versus mall stores down 44%.

(Source: NRF, Forbes)

Consumers are spending more online than in stores, compared to the past.

In the past, consumers have spent more money in-store than online — even if they spend more time browsing online. The overall shift toward e-commerce may change this trend: In 2021, holiday shoppers anticipate doing 62% of their holiday spending online.

(Source: Deloitte)

Black Friday Conversion Rate Statistics

E-commerce conversion rates on Black Friday aren’t always higher than the global average.

The average e-commerce conversion rate worldwide is 2.86% as of 2021. In 2019, the global average Black Friday conversion rate was 5.5% — almost double. However, in 2020, the global average Black Friday conversion rate dropped to 2.29%. If 2021 trends continue, 2021 Black Friday conversion rates should be higher than the annual average.

(Source: Dynamic Yield, Barilliance)

Although online shoppers prefer their mobile device, conversion rates for other devices are still higher.

Mobile is consistently proving to be the preferred method for online shoppers, with mobile accounting for 68% of global e-commerce traffic in 2020 compared to 32% for desktops. However, you don’t want to rule out desktops and other devices just yet. When looking at conversion rates, mobile saw 1.81%, desktops saw 1.98%, and tablets saw 2.92%.

(Source: SaleCycle)

Black Friday shopping cart abandonment rates are notably higher for mobile.

Shopping cart abandonment is significantly higher on mobile devices. Globally, shopping cart abandonment fell between 80% and 85% on phones in 2020. On computers, that number dropped to 70% to 75%. In 2019, phones had higher cart abandonment rates than computers.

(Source: Barilliance)

Shopping cart abandonment rates in the U.S. were 79.83% in 2020.

U.S. shopping cart abandonment rates increased from 2019 (68.08%) to 2020 (79.83%). This mirrored a global trend, as the 2019 global average cart abandonment rate was 71.36% and the 2020 global average cart abandonment rate was 77.79%. The uptick in cart abandonment paralleled a downturn in conversion rates.

(Source: Barilliance)

Clothing, toys, and entertainment items exhibit strong conversion rates.

Well-performing Black Friday products are clothing, toys, entertainment (video games, movies, music, books), electronics, and gift cards. Clothing is a top performer, with 52% of shoppers in 2020 purchasing clothes. 32% of people surveyed bought toys, while 29% bought entertainment items, 29% bought gift cards, and 27% bought electronics.

(Source: NRF)

COVID-19 took a negative toll on Black Friday conversion rates globally, dropping them from 5.5% to 2.29% (2019 to 2020).

COVID-19 took a toll on Black Friday conversion rates. The global average conversion rate was 2.29% in 2020, compared to 5.5% in 2019. In the U.S., conversion rates dropped from 5.13% in 2019 to 2.3% in 2020.

(Source: Barilliance)

Great Britain sees the best Black Friday conversion rates of 5.09%.

Black Friday has taken off in countries worldwide. According to a McKinsey survey, Black Friday is now the most popular deal day in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. In 2020, Great Britain saw the highest conversion rates (5.09%), followed by Australia (3.055%), the Netherlands (2.37%), and the U.S. (2.3%).

(Source: McKinsey & Company, Barilliance)

Most Popular Black Friday Purchases

Categories where you can find steep discounts tend to be the most popular.

Consumers tend to gravitate toward those areas that are heavily discounted on Black Friday weekend. These include:

  • Apparel
  • Computers
  • Electronics
  • Toys
  • Televisions
  • Appliances
  • Sporting goods

Gift cards are another popular purchase for those getting ahead of their holiday shopping.

(Source: Adobe)

Holiday season discounts are weaker than in the past.

In the face of surging demand and shortages, holiday discounts on high-profile sales days have been weaker in 2021. Inflation is another factor. Expected differences in discounts include:

  • 25% on computers (compared to 30% in 2020)
  • 16% on appliances (compared to 20% in 2020)
  • 22% on electronics (compared to 27% in 2020)
  • 16% on toys (compared to 19% in 2020)
  • 15% on televisions (compared to 18% in 2020)
  • 15% on apparel (compared to 20% in 2020)
  • 14% on sporting goods (compared to 20% in 2020)
  • 8% on tools (compared to 11% in 2020)
  • 7% on furniture (compared to 9% in 2020).

(Source: Adobe)

Clothing was the most widely bought product on Black Friday in 2020.

Fifty-two percent of Black Friday shoppers surveyed in 2020 reported buying clothing. In comparison, 32% reported buying toys; 29% reported buying video games, movies, music, or books; 29% reported buying gift cards; and 27% reported buying electronics.

(Source: NRF)

Toys, books, electronics, and gift cards to drive holiday spending in 2021.

In 2021, toys, books, and electronics are expected to drive holiday spending. Gift cards are another popular item. Hot holiday products to watch include weighted blankets, Samsung and LG TVs, record players, drones, smart water bottles, smart mugs, Airpods, Airpods Max, and Instapots.

(Source: Adobe)

Black Friday History

The term "Black Friday" was first used to describe the stock market crash of 1869. It got reappropriated in the 1960s when Philadelphia police used it to refer to the crowds of people who came to the city for post-Thanksgiving deals. Law enforcement was called on for crowd control and griped about the "Black Friday" throngs.

Philadelphia's stores tried to shake this negative connotation by renaming the day "Big Friday" but the original term stuck. In the 1980s, "Black Friday" gained a new meaning: For stores, it marked the start of the holiday shopping season when they'd move from the red to the black (red indicating a loss and black indicating a profit in accounting books).

Originally, Black Friday was a concept pushed by major department stores. However, now retailers of all sizes embrace it. Further, although originally an American "holiday," Black Friday has expanded internationally over the past decade. This is in part due to the increasingly globalized nature of e-commerce.

Save more this holiday season

Everybody loves a good deal. The raging popularity of Black Friday — and its offshoots, like Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday sales — is a clear testament to that fact. These statistics provide a clearer picture of what shoppers can expect on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. Looking for deals throughout the year? Be sure to check us out at CouponFollow.

Sources

This page is based on research from CouponFollow as well as a number of other reports from notable sources listed below:

about the author

Marc Mezzacca
Marc Mezzacca is CEO of CouponFollow, a consumer savings engine that surfaces popular coupons. He has been in the coupon and deals industry for over a decade with a deep interest in evolving e-commerce technologies.