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Holiday Season Gets Off to Solid Start

Black Friday and Cyber Monday both show record number of online purchases.
Dec 4, 2019 11:13 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... The holiday season got off to a positive start over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, with observers seeing record online sales.

About 124 million people shopped in stores, while 142.2 million bought online during the Thanksgiving period from November 28 to December 2, the National Retail Federation (NRF) reported. The average spend on holiday items across all platforms rose 16% to $362, with 25- to 34-year-olds clocking in as the biggest spenders, laying out approximately $440 each, the NRF said. 

“Americans continue to start their holiday shopping earlier in the year, and Thanksgiving is still a critical weekend for millions,” said NRF CEO Matthew Shay. “With the condensed holiday season, consumers are feeling the pressure to get their shopping done in time.” 

Thanksgiving fell on the last Thursday of November this year, the latest possible date it could be, meaning the holiday shopping period is shorter than usual. Even those who typically wait until the last minute to purchase gifts turned out in record numbers all weekend long, Shay added.

More consumers are looking for deals online. E-commerce purchases jumped 20% year on year to $9.4 billion on Cyber Monday, making it the largest US online shopping day of all time, according to Adobe Analytics. E-commerce sales on Black Friday also broke records, with revenues up 20% to $7.4 billion, the research group said Monday. 

As in previous years, internet shoppers spread their purchases across several days, with Thanksgiving Day and the following Saturday also seeing a spike in activity.

The increases align with Adobe’s positive outlook for e-commerce during the holiday season, with the company projecting a 14% rise in online sales to $143.8 billion for the entire November-to-December period. As of December 2, digital sales for the season beginning November 1 stood at $81.5 billion, compared to $71.5 billion for the same period a year ago.

Some 40% of holiday e-commerce sales so far have been from mobile devices, with 5% using tablets to make purchases, while 35% bought via smartphones, said Adobe, which measures transactions from 80 of the top 100 US online retailers. 

Image: A woman shopping online. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: Adobe, Adobe Analytics, black friday, cyber monday, Matthew Shay, National Retail Federation, NRF, Rapaport News
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