The kickoff to the holiday shopping season is a now a five-day affair of discounts and perks — and nicknames, stretching through Black Friday into Small Business Saturday and finishing on Cyber Monday. Black Friday was second to Cyber Monday for online shoppers, with 66 million, according to the retail federation.
E-commerce’s unrelenting march toward domination of the retail industry accelerated during the Thanksgiving holiday, as Americans spent billions more shopping online than they did last year.
Crowds still flocked to stores to scoop up deals on televisions, toys and clothing. But the big driver of America’s five-day shopping spree that starts on Thanksgiving was the mobile phone, not the mall.
Americans spent $19.62 billion shopping online over the five days, about $2.6 billion more than they spent during the same period last year, according to Adobe Analytics, which has tracked online shopping for years. .
While the shift away from stores has been happening for years, the evolution continues to accelerate. About 81 million people shopped online on Monday, a day of big internet sales known as Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation.
Brick-and-mortar retailers were aided over the five days by good weather across much of the country and strength in the economy, including low unemployment and a rising stock market.
The federation said an estimated 174 million people went shopping over the Thanksgiving holiday, about 10 million more than it had forecast. The trade group said Tuesday that the shopping data reaffirmed its earlier prediction that total sales this holiday season would increase by as much as 4 percent over last year.
“We are certainly encouraged that we are starting off from a period of strength,” Matthew Shay, the president of the National Retail Federation, said in a call with reporters. “It bodes well for the rest of the year.”
Older millennials (ages 25 to 34) were the biggest spenders, with an average output of $419.52, the federation said.
The retail federation said about 58 million consumers shopped online only, while 51 million shopped only in stores. Roughly 64 million shopped in both stores and online.