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Who were the Black Friday winners and losers?

December 09, 2020

Each year we look at Black Friday data gathered on our system to analyse trends in which product categories are doing well and badly. This year, US online sales jumped 22% and reached $9bn.

But how different was 2020 compared to 2019, and who were the winners and the losers of Black Friday 2020?

A shift in consumer behaviour

This year is very significant in terms of how the pandemic has changed how we buy. For starters, there has been a massive increase in online shopping overall due to the lockdowns: online sales this year have broken all records.

In the particular case of Black Friday, people not wanting to miss out on deals have been forced to shop online due to non-essential shops being closed in some places. A significant portion of online shoppers on Black Friday were completely new to internet shopping, according to Adobe Digital Insights.

Loungewear vs party wear

The data tells us that, overall, clothing has taken a hit as more people are working from home and don’t need smart working clothes. Moreover, with few office Christmas parties, this year people are not shopping for new outfits, and party dresses and designer heels have fared very badly. 

However, this has been counterbalanced by upward sales of loungewear and leisurewear, including tracksuits. Slippers, in particular, have had an exceptional year, with eBay data showing a spike in demand. 

The new normal

Another shift we detected that is closely linked to how the pandemic has changed our day-to-day life is the trend towards outdoor living. Items such as patio heaters and fire pits proved very popular this Black Friday, fuelled by the recommendations to move outdoors to spend time with family and friends. 

Interestingly, tents seemed to fare worse than last year. It is possible that, with uncertainty in the air, we are more reluctant to make plans for the year ahead. 

Electronic leaders: Xbox and PS5 

Electronic goods traditionally do very well on Black Friday, and 2020 was no exception. As in other years, televisions a Black Friday classic – sold very well.

But the stars of the show were games consoles. Sales of Xbox and PS5 went through the roof, and this is set to continue with the introduction of new kit and games into the market. 

All in all, the list of Black Friday 2020 winners and losers reflects what has been an exceptional year. What happens in 2021 is anyone's guess, but let's hope changes are for the better. 

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