Consumers logged online and spent a record $24.52 billion between Nov. 1 through Black Friday (Nov. 25), up 12% from the same period in 2015, according to comScore.
“After a slower start to the holiday season than initially anticipated, Thanksgiving and Black Friday both posted strong online spending totals well above $1 billion on desktop computers and grew at impressive rates,” said comScore CEO Gian Fulgoni. “Thanksgiving has now established itself as one of the more important online buying days of the holiday season, while Black Friday also continues to gain in importance online – this year becoming the third biggest online desktop spending day of all-time after Cyber Monday 2015 and 2014.”
He said the top selling category on Black Friday was apparel and accessories ringing up almost $500 million. Toys and hobby sales registered the biggest growth rate from last year. Black Friday online sales totaled $1.97 billion, up 19% year-over-year. The comScore report said 116 million people visited online retail sites on Black Friday with 52 million users on desktop/laptop and 90 million users on mobile. There were 26 million consumers who shopped online with multiple devices. Households making more than $100,000 in annual income accounted for 42% of buyers and 45% of desktop spending on Black Friday. Free shipping remains important to online shoppers with 70% of e-commerce dollars spent this season coming through transactions that include free shipping.
Fulgoni expects record online sales to continue this season, noting there have already been 10 days where online commerce totaled at least $1 billion, with just two days during the same time last year.
Thanksgiving Day consumers spent a record $1.287 billion shopping online, up 17% from a year ago.
The National Retail Federation reports 154 million consumers did at least some holiday shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend, up from 151 million a year ago. The trade group said 44% of shoppers purchased items online and 40% were out in-stores looking for bargains.
Average spending per person over Thanksgiving weekend totaled $289.19, down slightly from $299.60 last year. An average of $214.13 was spent on gifts, or 74% of total purchases.
“It was a strong weekend for retailers, but an even better weekend for consumers, who took advantage of some really incredible deals,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “In fact, over one third of shoppers said 100% of their purchases were on sale.”
On Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) Fulgoni expects spending via desktop/laptop to surpass $2.5 billion, with $1 billion more spent via mobile devices. The NRF estimates 122 million Americans will shop online Cyber Monday. This compared to 121 million who shopped this day last year.
More than 28 million people, or 23% of Cyber Monday shoppers, plan to shop from their mobile device this year. The majority of Cyber Monday shopping will likely be done during the workday on desktop and laptop computers.