The Black Friday shopping tradition used to bring up images of consumers lined up outside national chain stores waiting to fight the crowds for deals on new game consoles.
But thanks in part to fintech companies, benefit from that post-Thanksgiving (U.S.) spending mood is spreading to smaller merchants and even nonprofits as well.
Some news outlets reported a reduction this year in the rush of consumers scrambling for the next hot gift. Smaller crowds were attributed to a number of factors, including retailers that were open and offering promotions earlier and of course, a move to online shopping.
But even if the atmosphere was a little calmer in some locations, make no mistake – money was still being spent.
E-commerce platform Shopify reported that its merchants reached a new sales high over the weekend, selling $1 billion during the time period from Nov. 24 to 27.
“This $1 billion milestone emphatically stakes a flag in the ground for entrepreneurs and small business owners all around the world,” Tobi Lutke, Shopify’s founder and CEO said in a press release.
“Their global impact was felt through each and every sale to a customer who chose to buy from our unique merchants, and we’re fiercely proud of helping them be successful during a period historically dominated by big box retailers.”
In a blog post, the company noted that its merchants processed a peak volume of more than $1 million a minute.
According to the National Retail Federation’s annual consumer survey, while online shopping continues to account for an increasingly larger slice of the holiday spending pie, more than 64 million consumers reported shopping both in stores and online.
“Retailers’ technology investments paid off with consumers seamlessly shopping on all platforms through the long weekend,” the organization said in a press release.
Shoppers who shopped both channels spent on average $82 more than online-only shoppers, and $49 more than those who shopped only in stores, the retail organization said.
Consumers are not only opening their wallets to buy presents and get great deals, however. Blackbaud, a cloud software provider for nonprofits, reported that the money raised online for Giving Tuesday had also reached new heights.
Started in 2012, Giving Tuesday celebrates philanthropy and kicks off the end-of-the-year giving season.
Blackbaud said it processed more than $60 million in online donations for 7,200 organizations on Tuesday. The amount was up 28% over last year, the company said.
“Blackbaud has been monitoring and measuring #GivingTuesday online giving trends since the very beginning, and this year, we continued to see a double-digit increase in online donations,” Steve MacLaughlin, Blackbaud’s vice president of data and analytics, said in a press release.
“There was also strong growth in the volume of online gifts and average gift amounts. The modern-day donor continues to increase their use of mobile devices and we saw that trend continue on #GivingTuesday 2017.”