Ecommerce sales for Thanksgiving and Black Friday 2016 saw a 5.5% increase in total AOV. Mobile conversion rates on Thanksgiving rose 115%. Read on for our analysis and complete ecommerce benchmark tables for Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

To create this report, we analyzed more than 100 million touchpoints from U.S. consumer across desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets on Nov. 24 and 25 (Thanksgiving and Black Friday). Our data showed an approximately 5.5% increase in total AOV over both days YoY, with mobile seeing the greatest single increase in activity, including a 115% increase in conversions on Thanksgiving day. Mobile cart abandonment rates also fell 23% and 7% on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, respectively.

Our initial findings exceed the NRF forecast, which predicted that holiday spending in 2016 to increase 3.6%. If achieved, this would beat the seven-year average of 3.4% and more recent performance bumps (holiday sales grew 3.2% from 2014–2015).

What can Thanksgiving and Black Friday performance tell us about the holiday shopping season ahead?

NRF forecasts that consumers will spend an average of $589 on gifts this year. Thus, Thanksgiving and Black Friday orders represent approximately 30% of total gift spending: Monetate data showed that Thanksgiving and Black Friday AOVs were $189.07 and $171.55, respectively.

Other key findings:

  • Desktop is on the decline: conversion rates on desktop fell 9.1% and 36% on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, compared to the same days in 2015. However, that channel does still have the strongest overall conversion, at 5.79% on Thanksgiving and 4.41% on Black Friday.
  • Although AOVs increased: total page views across channels declined 32.5%, suggesting consumers were eager to take advantage of Thanksgiving day purchases without necessarily researching products or jumping around sites to compare prices.
  • Spend more, buy less: Though AOVs are up on average, conversion rates are down—with conversion rates on Thanksgiving down 2.2% and on Black Friday down a whopping 34%.
  • Bounce rates bounce up: Across all channels, bounce rates averaged approximately 33% on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, representing a 2.8% and 7% increase, respectively
  • U.S. and U.K. shoppers on par: Shoppers in these two countries spent almost identical amount (measured by AOV) on Black Friday, at $171.55 and $170.98 respectively. In Canada, AOV was $155.99.

The growing power of ecommerce

Lucinda Duncalfe, CEO, Monetate, said:

“Gone are the days of rushing from the Thanksgiving dinner table into crowded stores in order to stock up on gifts. In fact, for the first time, conversion rates across all channels were higher on Thanksgiving than Black Friday (3.75% vs. 3.04%). Clearly, ecommerce has not only arrived, but is now the channel of choice for holiday buyers. But it’s not just consumers who benefit from the ease of shopping at whatever time on whichever device. Retailers now have the ability to use deep data to enrich and personalize the customer experience, which in turn leads to greater sales and increased loyalty.”

This is the first in a series of ecommerce analyses that Monetate will issue during the 2016 holiday shopping season. Stay tuned to the blog for more holiday ecommerce analysis as it happens. Then check out detailed ecommerce benchmarks for Thanksgiving and Black Friday below.

Thanksgiving performance (overall)


Thanksgiving performance (YoY)

Black Friday performance (overall)


Black Friday performance (YoY)