United States online sales climb to record high on Black Friday and Thanksgiving

Separate figures suggested that, rather than going into brick-and-mortar stores, an increasing number of consumers turned to their mobile phones during the entire month of November to shop for deals.

On the other hand, Barclaycard estimated that spending was up eight per cent on the day - boosted by online sales despite the varying emphasis retailers gave to online or in-store campaigns in their Black Friday strategies.

"We know that opening on Thanksgiving Day was merely pulling shopping visits from Black Friday, as opposed to creating an additional opportunity for shoppers to hit the stores", Field said about that strategy. According to data from Adobe Digital Insights, U.S. consumers spent a record $5 billion on Black Friday this year, up 16.9 percent from last year.

TVs, laptops, toys and gaming consoles - particularly the PlayStation 4 - were among the most heavily discounted and the biggest sellers, according to retail analysts and consultants.

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Commerce marketing firm Criteo said that 40 % of Black Friday online purchases were made on mobile phones, up from 29 % from a year ago. There was little sign of the wild shopper frenzy customary of Black Fridays from last years.

Meanwhile, the analytics firm Shopertrak reported that foot traffic to physical retail stores was down 1.6% for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and down just 1% for Black Friday itself. The National Retail Federation (NRF) said fair weather across much of the nation had helped draw shoppers into stores.

US buyer confidence has been increasing over this past year, due to a labour market that is beating out jobs, rising home prices and stock markets that are hovering at record highs. Meantime, more companies are pushing discounts earlier in the month, and promoting Black Friday sales simultaneously via the Web.


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