Small Business Saturday Sets Record $3 Billion in Online Sales

This year, the National Retail Foundation estimated that over 164 million consumers planned to shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. The estimate showed 67 million intending to shop on Small Business Saturday, 78% of whom “will do so specifically to support small businesses.”

Launched in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday promotes the support and prosperity of SMBs nationwide. Since its inception, consumers have spent a reported $85 billion dollars at independent shops and restaurants.

According to Adobe’s 2018 Holiday Predictions, Actuals and Analysis, this year’s Small Business Saturday saw record breaking numbers, particularly online, with an estimated $3.02 billion in sales, a 25.5% increase from last year. During the first few hours alone, online spending reached $400 million. It is important to note, however, that Adobe categorizes “smaller retailers” as those selling less than $1 billion per year, which dramatically exceeds the revenues of the majority of local businesses.


The convenience of online shopping, particularly on a weekend that’s notorious for big crowds and long lines, has led to a continuous increase in sales over the last few years. This year was no different, with predictions of a 14.8% increase in online spending. Additionally, pre-Thanksgiving surveys revealed that consumers intended to spend more than 50% of their holiday budgets online.

Early data from ShopperTrak found a modest decline in foot traffic to physical stores this past weekend. Physical store was down between Thanksgiving and Black Friday by 1% and down on Black Friday itself by 1.7% according to the company.

It’s safe to assume, however, that the vast majority of small business retail sales are offline, though those numbers have yet to be released.

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