ANKARA: Online sales in the US are expected to hit record high levels on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year despite high inflation, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, that marks the beginning of Christmas shopping season, witnesses thousands of stores across the US offering discount prices every year.

This season, however, is different as the world is mired in supply chain constraints and record high inflation.

Despite the supply bottlenecks and US consumer prices reaching their highest level in 31 years, more shopping than ever is expected to take place this season, especially via the internet.

American consumers are estimated to spend between US$5.1 and US$5.9 billion online just on Thanksgiving Day alone, according to Adobe Digital Insights (ADI), a digital market research agency.

On Black Friday, online sales are forecast to hit a record high of US$9.5 billion.

Cyber Monday, which started in 2005 to encourage consumers to shop on the internet, is forecast to rack up US$11.3 billion in a single day, ADI’s data showed.

The overall Thanksgiving shopping spree, from Thursday through Friday, is anticipated to increase 10%, compared to last year.

According to Anadolu Agency, video games and consoles, toys and books are the top goods that consumers seek, but they have already seen supply shortages despite Americans shopping earlier this year for the holiday season.

Despite the head start, almost half of American consumers have faced supply chain issues, according to Morning Consult.

The data intelligence firm also revealed that 74 per cent of consumers who had out-of-stock issues on the internet headed to physical retailers.

Online shoppers viewed more than two billion out-of-stock messages just during the month of October, which was double the same period of last year, according to the ADI data.

Electronics, jewelry, apparel, home and garden items were some of the top items that faced shortages.

Yet, Black Friday, which typically showcase sidewalk sleeping and large crowds rushing to stores at dawn, is becoming an online-first shopping day in recent years.

Almost 80 per cent of American consumers are expected to find deals online, with Generation Z and Millennials doing most of the shopping, according to Morning Consult.

Nearly two million more people, compared to last year, are expected to shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said, with an estimated 158.3 million people expected to shop during Thanksgiving weekend.

While 30.6 million people plan to shop in-store or online on Thanksgiving Day, 108 million people are expected to do so on Black Friday.

Small Business Saturday and this Sunday are forecast to have 58.1 million and 31.2 million shoppers, respectively, it added.

And, 62.8 million consumers are estimated for Cyber Monday, according to the NRF.

ADI estimates total online sales during holiday season, from the beginning of November through New Year’s, to surpass the US$200 billion mark for first time in history to reach $207 billion.

The record amount, if realised, would be a 10 per cent increase from the same period of last year, it added. — Bernama