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Industry IQ: Who Were the Big Winners of Black Friday 2017?

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Online Retail Giant Reigns Supreme, Claiming Half of Black Friday’s Web Sales

And the award for Best Online Performance of Black Friday 2017 goes to… Amazon!

(Though, really, who among us didn’t see that one coming?)

According to a report from GBH Insights, the Internet’s favourite retail giant has proven its might — yet again — by claiming somewhere in the range of 45–50% of all online Black Friday sales. Speaking in more concrete figures, that means that Amazon, in the 24-hour span between November 24 and 25, managed an eye-popping US$1 billion in sales.

These results are made even more impressive since  Walmart, their biggest competitor, got a  jump on their online extravaganza a full day early, running out of many items in the process — something you don’t want to have happen if you want to give Amazon a run for their money.

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Amazon and Walmart Valiantly Duke it Out for Black Friday Dominance

Speaking the heavily anticipated Amazon vs. Walmart bout for the Undisputed Black Friday Heavyweight Championship, Forbes writer Gordon Kelly expressed a few thoughts of his own over the weekend regarding which side fared better in their overall execution.

According to Kelly, both competitors each had their strong suits. Amazon won the battle in terms of the quantity and longevity of its deals, having both opened its floodgates with a Black Friday countdown on November 1 and gradually rolled out new offers throughout the month. It also scored points for shipping, cheap HDTVs (a category regularly dominated by Amazon) and its own products (Echo, Fire and Kindle), which Walmart offers no recourse against.

Walmart came away with more categories in the post-fight analysis; however, most of those victories were centred on smaller battles for individual items (video game consoles, smartphones and Google Home Mini), as opposed larger, more strategic plays. The only one it claimed over Amazon was for the transparency of its Cyber Monday ads.

Still, when it comes right down to it, it’s not how many punches you throw in the fight — it’s how many you land. Give the victory, still, to Amazon.

Other Department Stores Were There, Too…

Seriously though, Black Friday shouldn’t just be about one winner. If we’re handing out awards to companies who achieved success this past weekend, there are many others who deserve way more than just a participation ribbon.

Take the multitude of stateside department stores, for instance. CNBC reports that a record US$5.03 billion was spent online during Black Friday sales, an increase of 17% from the previous year, while many department stores are declaring in-store victories as well, with thousands upon thousands of shoppers lining up outside their doors in anticipation.

Kohl’s CEO Kevin Mansell called this year’s Black Friday showing “record-breaking” and “well ahead of last year,” as the company registered 16 million visits to its website. J.C. Penney, meanwhile, announced it had more website visitors during Black Friday than at any other point in 2017, and Macy’s declared that it was on pace to sell one million coats, sweaters and fleece jackets by the end of the weekend, having sold 200,000 on Friday.

Google Doodle Serves up Its Thanksgiving Turkey

On a lighter note, Google added a delightful twist to its Doodle for American Thanksgiving where a turkey, posing as the second “O” in a graphic bearing the company’s name, puts a sign of itself up as a stand-in and sneaks out the back, taking its leave for the holidays.

The Doodle also offered a wee bit of history around the American version of the holiday, while also giving a subtle nod to the yearly tradition of U.S. Presidents pardoning a turkey, which started with George H.W. Bush back in 1989.

One can only hope it gave frantic shoppers clamouring to find Black Friday deals a momentary chuckle.

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