Online sales strategies paid off for major retailers over Thanksgiving weekend as millions of shoppers took to the web to shop holiday deals, National Retail Federation CEO Matthew Shay told CNBC on Monday.
"What we saw … is that bricks-and-mortar retailers who made massive investments in their online strategies really had a great weekend, and that's really starting to pay off," Shay told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."
Shay said that eight of the top 10 largest e-commerce platforms are operated by brick-and-mortar stores, a testament to the record number of internet sales that took place over the weekend.
"I think we've reached a tipping point where … once upon a time the biggest risk was to not make that leap [to selling online], and now we're at a point where the biggest risk is failing to make the leap," Shay said.
A survey conducted by the NRF showed 44 percent of consumers opting to take advantage of deals online, as opposed to 40 percent who chased bargains in stores.
And, despite record numbers of shoppers, larger discounts enabled consumers to spend less on average than they did in 2015, doling out $289 on average in contrast to last year's average of just under $300.
"If there was one word to characterize this last weekend, it would be 'promotional,'" Shay said. "You saw deals on various kinds of items that were 70 percent, 80 percent off. Those are planned, thoughtful promotions, so this isn't the kind of steep discounting you see when people are holding too much inventory."