Here’s what shoppers were snapping up on Black Friday

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Toy cars, video games and Apple products were among the top-selling items on Black Friday this year. Consumers spent a whopping $9 billion online the day after Thanksgiving, up nearly 22% from last year’s shopping extravaganza and marking the second-biggest day for ecommerce sales in U.S. history after Cyber Monday in 2019.

Concerns over COVID-19, along with customer capacity limits at retailers, thinned crowds at stores and malls this year. But shoppers still pounced on online deals for Hot Wheels tracks and gift sets, which were among the top-selling items on Black Friday, according to Adobe Analytics. 

The Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Animal Crossing video games for the Nintendo Switch system were also in demand, as were Apple’s AirPods ear buds and the Apple Watch. The smartwatch category saw a big surge in sales, soaring more than 600% over the daily average in October. 

Adobe identified the spending trends by analyzing roughly 1 trillion visits to retail sites, as well as looking at 80 of the 100 largest retailers in the U.S. 

No place like home

Self-balancing electric scooters, also known as hoverboards, Lego sets, Amazon Echo products and Samsung TVs were also in high demand on Black Friday.

“Generally, the popular items this year trended toward home automation and other kinds of products that serve that stay-at-home consumer and make their lives easier as they spend more time at home,” said Adobe Analytics vice president Keith Eadie. 

“Video games are always popular. The gaming industry is having its best year ever,” Eadie added.

Small Business Saturday, which had particular importance this year amid the pandemic’s impact on independent stores, also seemed to resonate with consumers. Companies with $10 million to $50 million in annual revenue saw a nearly 300% increase in sales compared to a normal day, according to Adobe.


Small businesses struggle despite Black Frida…

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Kym Rodgers, owner of Brooklyn Sweet Spot, a Brooklyn, New York, bakery, said she doesn’t usually get much business on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, noting that many consumers are still dealing with leftovers. But this year, her sales for the day were up roughly 33% compared with a year ago.

“We definitely saw a boost in sales, and I think that’s because people are more intentional this year about supporting small businesses because of the political climate. They’re being more deliberate about shopping small and shopping black,” Rodgers told CBS MoneyWatch. “I benefited because I am both, so I think that’s part of why there was such an increase from last year.”

A new record for Cyber Monday?

Jacquelyn Rodgers, owner of Greentop Gifts, a small business that brings diversity to celebrations through home decor and apparel, tripled her sales Saturday compared to the same day in 2019. Her top seller: gift wrap featuring a black angel.

“Representation is important, and we definitely saw an uptick in orders this Small Business Saturday,” Rodgers told CBS MoneyWatch.

Cyber Monday — the year’s biggest online sales holiday — is expected to set a record for online spending, with Adobe forecasting $12.7 billion in sales. “Wherever it comes in, it will be significantly higher than Friday’s spend,” Eadie said. 



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