U.S. shopping season starts with record high online sales

U.S. shopping season starts with record high online sales

U.S. shopping season starts with record high online sales

Some 174 million Americans went shopping over the weekend anchored by Black Friday, going from Thanksgiving and extending to Cyber Monday, according to a survey published on Tuesday by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Multichannel shoppers were the biggest spenders over the weekend, spending on average $49 more than those who shopped in-store only and $82 more than those who shopped online only. Overall, shoppers spent an average $335.47. The trade group said Tuesday that the shopping data reaffirmed its earlier prediction that total sales this holiday season would increase by as much as 4 per cent over a year ago.

The research firm said the $6.59 billion spent on a day dedicated to e-commerce was a 16.8 percent increase from a year ago and resulted in the largest US online shopping day in history. Shoppers increasing seek out those deals, but they take a heavy toll on profit margins.

Adobe found the holiday shopping season so far (November 1 to 27) drove a total of $50 billion in online revenue, a 16.8 percent increase. But after suffering big drops in store traffic on Black Friday in previous years, this year's decline was slight. Stores offered substantial discounts, creative gimmicks and gifts to draw discount hunters out of their homes, but some shoppers said they were just scanning the merchandise, saving their cash for internet purchases.

Expected shopping surge in the late hours of Cyber Monday: Three hours in the evening of Cyber Monday (8-11 p.m.in each local market) are expected to bring in more online revenue than the average 24-hour day. That doesn't mean more money was spent online. "We have nearly five weeks to go [until Christmas], lots of things can change, but we are certainly encouraged to start off from a position of strength".

Online sales in the United Kingdom on Black Friday were up 11.7 per cent on past year, ending at £1.4 billion, according to online retail trade body IMRG.

For the rest of the season, 13 days are projected to exceed $2 billion in online sales bringing the total to 18 $2 billion days this holiday season, over double the number from a year ago.

Analysis from other research firms showed traffic to stores falling over the holiday, though the decline was not as steep as some predicted.

Seventy-seven million consumers shopped in stores on Black Friday, followed by 55 million who hit stores on Small Business Saturday.

115 million people visited online retail sites on Thanksgiving, 61 percent of whom only visited on their mobile devices. 51 million people shopped in store, 58 million shopped online, and 65 million shopped both in-store and online.

When it comes to factors retailers can control, Shay says this year "Retailers have invested heavily in experience and tech... and saw those investments gain traction and pay off".

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