Black Friday Online Sales Surge to New Records With Mobile Pushing Fastest

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Online sales at the country's top 100 retailers totaled more than $7.9 billion on Black Friday and Thanksgiving.

My favorite image from Black Friday was from London, where the assembled mainstream media gathered to capture pictures of the heaving masses of eager bargain hunters piling into the stores as soon as they opened. Multichannel shoppers spent about $49 more than those shopping only in-store, and $82 more than those shopping online.

Shoppers came out for the deep discounting - both in stores and online. On Black Friday, 25 percent started at 10 a.m. or later.

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"There had been much conjecture this year about whether Black Friday would be a hit or miss with United Kingdom shoppers, and many retailers followed the lead of their USA counterparts, extending their promotional campaigns over two weeks or more, which did risk diluting the impact of the event", he said. Gone is the single adrenaline-fueled day of shopping, replaced by a steady flow of deals that shoppers can access at their convenience. The group didn't offer a comparable number from previous year because it changed its methodology, but said it was in line with expectations. "Consumers are also becoming more savvy and efficient online shoppers".

This year, Super Saturday falls on December 23.

It was also a very mobile shopping spree this year with over half of e-commerce traffic coming through smartphones or tablets for the first time.

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According to Ipsos Retail Performance, UK footfall on Black Friday was up 0.95 per cent year-on-year, with 42 per cent of retailers experiencing footfall growth.

All of that chimes with a statement from Amazon that noted that mobile app orders were up 50% on Thursday compared to Thanksgiving 2016.

There has been a significant amount of debate surrounding the shifting importance of brick-and-mortar retail, and the fact that shopper visits remained intact on Black Friday illustrates that physical retail is still highly relevant and, when done right, profitable. "Black Friday continued the online shopping frenzy, surging to an all-time high of more than $2 billion in desktop spending, and proving once again that it is now as much an online shopping holiday as a brick-and-mortar one". That fits in nicely with the "learning to love the stores again" meme we've heard time and again this year from retailers.

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Given the strength seen on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, Lipsman said ComScore expects Cyber Monday sales to "easily surpass" $3 billion in desktop spending and reach $4.5 billion in overall digital sales to become the leading online spending day for the eighth consecutive year.

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