Black Friday online sales hit $10.1b in US

Shoppers turned to their computers for Black Friday sales

Black Friday sees record $7.4B in online sales, $2.9B spent using smartphones

This year's Black Friday was the biggest ever for online sales in the USA, as fewer people visited stores and shoppers rang up US$7.4 billion in transactions from their phones, computers and tablets.

But estimates from Adobe Analytics on Sunday predicted the opening weekend of United States retailers' crucial holiday season would set a new record of nearly $30 billion in sales, with Cyber Monday - now traditionally the USA economy's biggest online shopping day - alone expected to reach $9.4 billion.

Consumers spent $5.3 million per minute on online purchases during Black Friday, according to Adobe estimates.

Saturday's online sales record represents 18 percent year-over-year growth, according to Adobe.

If you noticed shorter lines outside of Walmart and Best Buy this Black Friday, it wasn't because people weren't shopping.

"With Christmas now rapidly approaching, consumers increasingly jumped on their phones rather than standing in line", said principal analyst and head of Adobe Digital Insights Taylor Schreiner. On Small Business Saturday, toys led the way with families picking up new offerings from Disney's Frozen 2 line, as well as games like Madden 20 and Federation Internationale de Football Association 20.

"Retail sales at brick-and-mortar stores are expected to grow 2% in November and 6% in December, thanks to favorable weather and a "year-end surge" in disposable income", according to IBM, which utilizes artificial intelligence to analyze US Census and retail data.

It tracks in-store activity at tens of thousands of locations, including speciality apparel retailers, big-box stores and mall-based stores.

While the online sales period are a hit with savvy shoppers, experts have warned they can lead to an increase in online scams.

Overall it remained unclear the percentages of sales online versus in stores this holiday weekend.

Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting for ShopperTrak, said the traditional pattern of shoppers visiting stores has been disrupted not only by online shopping but by offerings like "buy online and pick up in store", a growing category, which is not included in store traffic count on Black Friday.

Cyber Monday is the name given to the Monday immediately after Black Friday - but while the former has existed for decades, Cyber Monday only originated in 2005, before the online shopping trend really took off.

That's up from 151 million shoppers previous year.

"With so much riding on the U.S. consumer as the consumer of last resort, the combined data from Friday and [Monday's] shopping days will be monitored closely", Mr Halley said.

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