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Black Friday online shoppers embrace Buy Now, Pay Later amid soaring inflation and recession fears, but continue to push sales to record $9.1bn

But consumers, who already spend more on fuel, food and other essentials, have adopted more flexible ways to shop online, according to data released Saturday by Adobe Analytics, which tracks retailer website sales. In the week of November 19-25, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) revenue was up 81% from the previous week. And orders placed using BNPL increased by 78%.

“As Black Friday hits record online spending, we’re also seeing stronger signs of a budget-conscious consumer this year,” Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, said in a statement. “Shoppers are adopting the Buy Now, Pay Later payment method more this year to be able to buy the gifts they want for family and friends.”

Online sales of electronics were up 221% from an average day in October, including smart home items (+271%) and audio equipment (230%). Toys (285%) and exercise equipment (218%) are also growing.

Among the best sellers were Apple MacBooks, Dyson products and drones, as well as gaming hardware (Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5) and titles (NBA 2k23, FIFA 23, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet). Also popular on Fridays were Roblox, Bluey, Fortnite, Funko Pop and Disney Charm.

Another record broken on Friday was in mobile shopping, with 48% of online sales coming from smartphones, up from 44% a year ago.

“The cell phone has become the remote control of our daily lives, and this has led to an increase in couch purchases as consumers settle in after Thanksgiving dinner,” Rob Garf, vice president and general manager of retail at Salesforcewhich tracks online sales, he told the Associated Press.

Adobe predicts Cyber ​​Monday (November 28) will once again be the biggest online shopping day of the year, growing 5.1% year-over-year and spending $11.2 billion. Cyber ​​Week (the five days from Thanksgiving to Cyber ​​Monday) is also projected to generate $34.8 billion in online spending, representing a 16.3 percent share of the November-December holiday season and an increase by 2.8% over the previous year.