Holiday Pulse: Thanksgiving & Black Friday 2018 Benchmarks

Nov 27, 2018
Written by Sandrine Thompson

Strong sales on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday set the stage for strong holiday performance that could exceed e-commerce growth forecasts.

Based on preliminary sales data in CJ Affiliate’s network, US and Canadian holiday sales revenue on Black Friday increased 42% over 2017. Smartphones, televisions, apparel, jewelry and home goods were the top-selling items on Black Friday.

Shopping Started Early

As forecasted in CJ’s Holiday Intelligence Report, affiliate shoppers seized the opportunity to begin shopping earlier. Daily sales revenue between Nov 12 and Nov 21 was up 12% YOY. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving was a very successful day in the network—sales revenue and shopping trips were up 37% and 34%, respectively. This growth very nearly matched the performance of Thanksgiving Day itself which achieved 38% YOY growth in sales revenue. Like last year, Thanksgiving Day shoppers were keen on buying apparel, jewelry, and home goods.

Computer & Electronics a Top Seller

Shoppers jumped on great technology deals for which Black Friday is known—the Computer & Electronics category shopping trips on Black Friday increased 27% YOY. In addition, shoppers also showed a strong interest in stocking up on art supplies, shoes, car products, décor items, and purchasing big-ticket purchases for the home such as appliances. Product-level analysis of items sold on Black Friday shows that the retail event’s growth results are partially fueled by shoppers who are buying items for themselves and their household needs, in addition to gift-buying.

eMarketer predicts 2018 US holiday e-commerce sales to grow 16% and reach $123 billion. Based on November sales performance to date, growth of US holiday sales in the CJ network is on pace to exceed eMarketer’s US growth forecast for the 2018 holiday season.

Stay tuned for further holiday performance benchmarks of the 2018 holiday season. Next up: Cyber Monday performance.


Methodology: Growth values were calculated using same-store retail sales tracked in the CJ network through November 23, 2018 (Black Friday) and compared against 2017 same day sales. These growth values may alter as additional sales are reported, corrected and/or returns are processed.

Topics: Retail, Holiday,
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