Black Friday online sales rise, but footfall dips

Holiday shoppers set records over Thanksgiving weekend

According to the National Retail Federation, more than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online during the just-concluded Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday holiday weekend period. Multichannel shoppers spent about $49 more than those shopping only in-store, and $82 more than those shopping online.

Average spend per person over the five-day period was $335.47, with $250.78, or about 75%, going toward gifts, according to NRF. The NRF, whose overall production sales data is strictly observed every year, is scheduled to release Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday sales numbers on Tuesday.

This year Cyber Monday sales alone hit a record $6.59 billion (USD), up $1 billion (USD) on the same day last year, making it the largest online shopping day in U.S. history according to Adobe Analytics. Not only were dollar-off discounts better, but consumers were more likely to find deals that could be stacked using Cash Back Offers and/or discount e-gift cards combined with retailers' typical promo codes or sales for maximum savings.

Black Friday weekend no longer brings a stampede of crazed shoppers to America's malls.

Mobile growth continues to accelerate: shoppers placed 37% of orders and made 56% of visits from phones on Cyber Monday, according to data from Salesforce. Yet although Cyber Monday has become the posterchild for online holiday shopping, the day still hasn't dominated social media, giving weight to the idea that retailers can be doing more to promote Cyber Monday deals. The last drop was in 2008, at the onset of the Great Recession, when retail sales tumbled 4.6 percent.

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This year, Super Saturday falls on December 23. That made Monday the biggest online shopping day in US history.

For the rest of the season, 13 days are projected to exceed $2 billion in online sales bringing the total to 18 $2 billion days this holiday season, over double the number from past year. Though, retail research firm ShopperTrak said store traffic fell less than 1 % on Black Friday, bucking industry foresight of a sharper decline. "However, while Black Friday labeled promotions and marketing began mid-month, retailers saved their deepest discounts for Black Friday and Cyber Monday itself, proving that these are still the days to get the best deals". By way of comparison, Adobe notes that transactions on Black Friday and Thanksgiving accounted for $5.03 billion and $2.87 billion in revenue, respectively.

Obviously there's a lot of buzz around online traffic, said Jill Standish, head of the retail practice at consulting firm Accenture.

Of those who chose to shop at the last minute, 52 percent planned to shop online. Thanksgiving Day 2017 also reportedly featured the biggest discounts on apparel, computers, and sporting goods, and many retailers are expected to have sold out of product categories like appliances, tablets, and televisions, even before Black Friday arrived.

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