The federation said an estimated 174 million people went shopping over the Thanksgiving holiday, about 10 million more than it had forecast.
- Shoppers are opening their wallets: Total holiday spending is expected to climb about 4 percent this year - in line with 2016's gain - but holiday cheer has infected some consumers with a vengeance.
Unsurprisingly, people shopped on their phones more than ever before, with smartphone revenue on Cyber Monday rising 39.2 percent from a year ago to $1.59 billion, according to Adobe. As of last night, Cyber Monday was on track to hit $6.57 billion in sales, up almost 17 percent from 2016, making it the biggest one yet. That brightened the overall outlook for traditional retailers that have expanded beyond brick-and-mortar outlets into e-commerce. By way of comparison, Adobe notes that transactions on Black Friday and Thanksgiving accounted for $5.03 billion and $2.87 billion in revenue, respectively.
A number of outlets reported solid traffic and sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 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. But, Shay said, retailers today are like consumers, they don't differentiate between whether something is bought online or in stores. Instead of analyzing individual results of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, the NRF survey took a holistic approach that better reflects the mindsets of modern shoppers. 51 million people shopped in store, 58 million shopped online, and 65 million shopped both in-store and online. The fact that shopper visits outlasted intact on Black Friday demonstrates that physical retail is still highly appropriate and when done right, it was profitable.
Analysis from other research firms showed traffic to stores falling over the holiday, though the decline was not as steep as some predicted. For some retailers, those numbers were even higher: Shopify, an e-commerce software provider for small- and medium-sized businesses, says that mobile transactions accounted for 60 percent of all sales yesterday, up 11 percent from previous year.
Top shopping destinations included department stores (43%), online retailers (42%), electronic stores (32%), clothing and accessories stores (31%), and discount stores (also 31%).
Neil Stern, a senior partner at Chicago-based McMillan-Doolittle, experienced it firsthand as national retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Amazon.com and Target Corp. competed for sales by offering discounts and promotions.
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