More shoppers turned to the internet for deals to kick off the holiday shopping season, new data showed Saturday, buying everything from apparel to flat-screen TVs and spending record amounts in the process.
Black Friday pulled in $6.22 billion in online sales, up 23.6 percent from a year ago and setting a new high, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracks transactions for 80 of the top 100 internet retailers in the U.S. like Walmart and Amazon. Those figures arrived as many retailers have pushed big digital deals, days in advance of the holiday weekend.
The Friday after Thanksgiving this year was also the first day in history to see more than $2 billion in sales stemming from smartphones, said Adobe. The group found 33.5 percent of e-commerce sales Friday came from mobile devices, compared with 29.1 percent in 2017.
"Retailers have done their part to build better mobile experiences for consumers and turning nearly 10 percent more smartphone visitors into buyers this Black Friday versus last," said Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights.
Buy online pick up in stores continues to be a popular option for shoppers this holiday season, with "click-and-collect" orders up 73 percent from Thursday to Friday, Adobe said. Target, Kohl's and Walmart are just a few companies that have been touting that option this year, hoping that when customers arrive to pick up their items, they'll buy more.
Meanwhile, shoppers were seen buying more big-ticket items like appliances, furniture and bulkier electronics from their phones Black Friday, with average order values up 8.5 percent year over year to reach $146, based on Adobe's data.
Earlier in the week, sales online Thanksgiving Day totaled $3.7 billion, up 28 percent from a year ago, making it the fastest-growing day for e-commerce sales in history. Thursday also saw $1 billion in sales from smartphones, with shoppers spending 8 percent more online Thursday compared with a year ago.
For the first time, according to Adobe, online prices Thanksgiving Day "were as low as on Black Friday" — potentially stealing some of Black Friday's traditional throngs of shoppers at malls and other stores. There were reports that traffic at many shopping malls Friday was lighter than in past years. Instead, more consumers turned to their phones or desktop computers to grab bargains.
Kohl's said it has a record day for online sales this Thursday, with Cyber Monday still to come. Adobe is expecting Cyber Monday sales online to set a new record of $7.8 billion, up nearly 18 percent from last year.
As of 10 a.m. ET Saturday, Small Business Saturday was on track to reach a new record of $3 billion in online sales, based on Adobe's data. Already, $400 million had been spent online by Saturday morning, up a little more than 24 percent from a year ago.