This year’s Black Friday was the biggest ever for online sales in the US, as fewer people visited stores and shoppers rang up US$7.4 billion in transactions from their phones, computers and tablets.
That is just behind the US$7.9 billion haul of last year’s Cyber Monday, which holds the one-day record for online sales, according to Adobe Analytics.
Adobe measures sales at 80 of the top 100 US online retailers.
Adobe expects online sales to jump to another record this Cyber Monday, with an estimated total of US$9.4 billion.
Much of the shopping is happening on people’s phones, which accounted for 39 percent of all online sales and 61 percent of online traffic on Friday.
Shoppers were looking for Frozen 2 toys in particular. Other top purchases included sports video games and Apple Inc’s laptops.
All the online shopping might have helped thin the crowds at malls on Black Friday.
Traffic at US stores fell 2.1 percent from a year earlier, and there was a 1.6 percent dip in sales, preliminary figures from RetailNext showed.
Online and in-store shopping are not always completely separate, though. Many people buy things online, only to head to the store to pick them up.
Such sales surged 43.2 percent on Black Friday from a year earlier, Adobe said.
This holiday shopping season in the US could be the most harried in years because it is the shortest since 2013. Thanksgiving this year fell on the last Thursday in November — the latest possible date it could be.
Much is riding on the success of the holiday season’s sales. The US economy is still growing steadily, and economists say strong spending by households is helping to bolster growth and make up for weak confidence among businesses given uncertainties about the US-China trade dispute and other factors.
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