Online shoppers are breaking records this Thanksgiving weekend, according to...

Online shoppers are breaking records this Thanksgiving weekend, according to data from Adobe Analytics. Credit: AP/Jenny Kane

Drawn by steep discounts online, shoppers set a U.S. record on Black Friday, spending $9.8 billion online, a 7.5% increase from the same day last year, according to Adobe Analytics, a division of software company Adobe Inc. that measures ecommerce.

Last year, $9.12 billion was spent online on Black Friday, according to the company, which does not adjust its numbers for inflation.

Among the best-selling items online this year were TVs, smart watches, Barbie Fashionista Dolls, skincare products and coffeemakers, according to Adobe. Smartphones accounted for $5.3 billion of all online sales on Friday.

Another company that monitors e-commerce also saw a steep rise from last year. Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures all forms of payment, saw an 8.5% increase in online sales. 

Traffic at brick-and-mortar retail stores and shopping centers nation-wide was also up on Black Friday, according to a preliminary analysis from Sensormatic Solutions, a retail technology company.  The company's initial data showed shopper visits jumped 4.6% Friday compared with the previous year.

Online holiday buying is anticipated to remain strong through the weekend, with Monday expected to be the year’s biggest online shopping day.

Consumers are projected to spend $10 billion this weekend: $4.8 billion on Saturday and $5.2 billion on Sunday, according to the company.

On Cyber Monday, online shoppers are expected to set a new high, shelling out a record $12 billion, a 6.1% spike from the same day last year, according to Adobe.

According to the National Retail Federation, the five-day Thanksgiving shopping period is forecast to draw 182 million shoppers both online and in stores — the highest number since the federation began tracking the data in 2017.

Bargains on Sunday will include deep discounts on toys and apparel, while Monday will have the best deals on electronics and furniture. 

On Thanksgiving Day, shoppers also spent a record amount online, $5.6 billion, which was nearly twice the amount spent online on the holiday in 2017, $2.87 billion, according to Adobe.

The growth shows the continued shift to online shopping. 

“The decline in online prices over the last year has created a favorable environment for consumers, with strong discounts this season that are tempting even the most price-conscious consumers," Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, said in a statement. 

Another factor in the increase in online spending is that most major retailers began closing their stores on Thanksgiving in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the majority of large chains, including Walmart, Target and Kohl’s, have not resumed Thanksgiving store openings. Consumers wanting to take advantage of deals on the holiday must do so online.

The top-selling toys online on Thanksgiving were Disney Little People, Uno Show No Mercy, Marvel superhero action figures and toys, and Barbie dolls and products, as well as stuffed animals, according to Adobe. The best-selling gaming systems included Playstation5, Xbox Series X and Nintendo Switch, Adobe said.

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