Record-Setting Online Sales for Thanksgiving Weekend 2018

Record-Setting Online Sales for Thanksgiving Weekend 2018

November 27, 2018         Written By John H. Oldshue

Once again, Americans set record-high sales for online Thanksgiving shopping in 2018. Every day between the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday boasted multi-billion dollar sales, according to Adobe Retail Shopping Insights. Here is a look at each day’s sales and how shopping trends changed in 2018.

The Day before Thanksgiving

In an effort to grab early bargain shoppers, many retailers made their Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales available the day before Thanksgiving. Adobe predicted $2.05 billion in sales for Thanksgiving Eve 2018, and consumers managed to surpass that estimate. The majority of online transactions occurred later in the day. Only $200 million of the $2.39 billion in sales happened before 7 AM PST.

  • Total Sales: $2.39 billion
  • Year-over-Year Growth: 31.8%

Thanksgiving Day

Many Thanksgiving Day sales online were available early in the morning, but some did not start until the doors opened later in the day. Regardless, Americans managed to spend $1.75 billion online by 2 PM PST. The total for the day surpassed the projected $3.35 billion.

  • Total Sales: $3.7 billion
  • Year-over-Year Growth: 27.9%

Black Friday

Despite the early sales available on Thanksgiving Day, many shoppers waited until Black Friday to make their purchases. Last year, Black Friday sales totaled almost $5 billion, but they were already at $4.1 billion by 5 PM PST in 2018. The total for Black Friday 2018 reached over $6 billion.

  • Total Sales: $6.2 billion
  • Year-over-Year Growth: 23.6%

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is a lesser-known component of Thanksgiving weekend, but it still managed to yield tremendous online sales. The total for Saturday and Sunday was $6.4 billion, and each day reported a higher year-over-year growth than Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

  • Total Sales: $3.02 billion
  • Year-over-Year Growth: 25.5%

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday remains the highest grossing day for online holiday sales. This may be because a large volume of the purchases on this day are high-end electronics, such as laptops, TVs and gaming systems. More than half of the transactions on Cyber Monday 2018 occurred before 5 PM PST.

  • Total Sales: $7.9 billion
  • Year-over-Year Growth: 19.3%

2018 Changes in Online Holiday Shopping Trends

In 2018, there was a strong shift toward early Thanksgiving weekend savings. While each day had a significant year-over-year sales growth, the biggest growth occurred on Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day. Retailers launched their sales earlier than previous years, and consumers took advantage of it.

The data also showed the times when shoppers were most active. For instance, most purchases on Thanksgiving Day were made in the afternoon and evening hours, while two-thirds of Black Friday purchases were made before 5 PM PST.

Smartphones account for 49% of November online shopping traffic, but only make up 30% of actual purchases. Desktops, by comparison, produce 42% of traffic and 61% of purchases. This may indicate that shoppers saved sales information on their computer to create an easier shopping experience on big sale days.

Like last year, every single day in November has had online sales over $1 billion. This year, seven days have already topped $2+ billion. The sales are projected to taper off now that Cyber Monday has passed, but there is still a full month of shopping left before Christmas Day.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 27, 2018. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About John H. Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for
View all posts by John H. Oldshue
Featured Low Interest Card
Top Features : 1.25X miles on every purchase; no annual fee; bonus of 20,000 miles once $1,000 is spent in first 3 months
Featured Cash Back Card
Top Features : 1.5% cash back on all purchases; $150 bonus after spending $500 in first 3 months
Featured No Annual Fee Card
Top Features : 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay; 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers
Featured Bad Credit Card
Top Features : Perfect credit not required; Reports to major credit bureaus
Featured Fair Credit Card
Top Features : No annual fee; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Featured Limited/No Credit
Top Features : No annual fee; reports to major credit bureaus; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time