Online sales top $5 billion on Black Friday, report shows


The reason: it's a ideal storm of discounts that kicked off on Friday, combined with people heading back to work after the long weekend, and therefore no longer able to go to physical stores as easily throughout the day to pick up deals.

The holiday shopping season from November 1 to November 27 drove a total of $50 billion in online revenue.

Thanksgiving marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season with consumers descending on stores for Black Friday deals. Cyber Monday sales will be even bigger than Black Friday sales, experts say.

Earlier discounts this season: While 6 percent of the apparel retail products sold out the week before Black Friday previous year, this figure rose to 7 percent the week prior Black Friday in 2017, an indication that bargains were available ahead of the holiday season. Paid search saw the strongest growth at 8.3 percent year over year. Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette told CNBC Friday morning that traffic at the department store chain's flagship Herald Square location already looked to be stronger than a year ago.

Black Friday online sales totaled at least $3.54 billion by 8 p.m. EST (0100 Saturday GMT), up 15.6 percent from a year ago, according to Adobe Analytics, which measures transactions at the largest 100 USA web retailers. Mobile set a new record representing 47.4 percent of visits (39.9 percent smartphones, 7.6 percent tablets) and 33.1 percent of revenue (24.1 percent smartphones, 9.0 percent tablets). Furthermore, 61.1% of visits to retail websites were for mobile devices.

"The value spent is growing at a slightly slower rate than the number of transactions, indicating consumers may be opting to buy more goods at a lower price rather than investing in a handful of higher-value items".

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Just because the end is not here for brick-and-mortar stores does not mean traditional retailers have nothing to fear.

No huge shock here, Cyber Monday hit a new record of more than $6.5 billion in sales.

There have been some reports that foot traffic at brick and mortar stores was, in fact, higher this year than 2016.

Cyber Monday dates back to 2005 when it was first used as a promotion for Shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores can also be easier to tempt with impulse or add-on purchases than online browsers.

I bought nothing on Friday, online or offline, although I had picked up a couple of things earlier in the week when the Black Friday offers kicked in online.