Holiday Central

Black Friday deals pulled in more shoppers, with record amounts spent via the Web

NRF: Black Friday online sales topped $3B for first time
NRF: Black Friday online sales topped $3B for first time

The national retail extravaganza known as Black Friday saw more shoppers this year, but blockbuster bargains helped them to spend a bit less.

A staggering amount of that buying took place on the Internet, data showed, setting a sales record. It underscoring how retailers have aggressively integrated web bargains into their holiday marketing strategy.

The Thanksgiving weekend saw more than 154 million bargain hungry consumers open up their wallets, the National Retail Federation said on Sunday. Shoppers spent just over $289 on average, which was down from just under $300 last year. Approximately $214 of that sum were spent on gifts.

In keeping with current trends, Internet buyers outpaced brick-and-mortar shoppers, the NRF's data showed, with 44 percent of the survey's respondents buying online while 40 percent went to a store.

"It was a strong weekend for retailers, but an even better weekend for consumers, who took advantage of some really incredible deals," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement.

The day after Thanksgiving, better known as Black Friday, continued to be the most popular day to go shopping. That day was up 1.3 percent from last year, followed by Saturday. Despite Thanksgiving d eve door busters, that day only barely outpaced Sunday as the most popular day, the NRF found.

And, of those that shopped in store, 75 percent shopped on Black Friday, up 3.4 percent from last year, according to the organization. Around 40 percent of brick and mortar consumers ventured out on Saturday, along with 35 percent on Thanksgiving and 17 percent on Sunday, the data found.

The newest iPad Pro, with a smaller 9.7-inch screen, is introduced at an Apple Event in Cupertino, CA on March 21, 2016.
Mark Neuling | CNBC

Underscoring the combination of convenience and technology—as well as retailers offering rock-bottom Web deals—the NRF said more than half of all smartphone and tablet owners used those devices to shop over the holiday weekend.

In 2015, approximately 103 million shopped online while 102 million bought in-stores. This year, the Internet had a clear advantage: More than 108 million purchased electronically, while only 99.1 million bought in stores.

A separate report by Adobe showed that more than $5 billion was spent online during the holiday weekend, with $1.2 billion alone on mobile devices.

According to Adobe, Black Friday set a new record by topping the $3 billion mark to reach $3.34 billion, a more than 21 percent growth year over year. The shopping holiday was the first in retail history to drive over one billion dollars in mobile revenue at $1.2 billion, Adobe added.

Among such shoppers, the most popular purchase items were gadgets like Apple iPads and Samsung 4K television sets, Adobe's data found.

Adobe's report is based on aggregated and anonymous data from 22.6 billion visits to retail websites.

--CNBC's Krystina Gustafson contributed to this article.