In a nutshell: This holiday season is off to a record start. Thanksgiving Day set a new high in online spending with consumers making more than $4.2 billion in purchases from e-retailers. Black Friday also busted previous sales records but fell slightly shy of analysts' predictions.
Adobe Analytics recorded over one trillion visits to more than 4.500 online vendors since November 1 with completed transactions totaling $68.1 billion, far short of analysts' predictions of $143.8 billion. However, Black Friday raked in $7.4 billion in online sales, only $100 million short of projections and a 19.6-percent increase over last year.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top selling items sold online on Black Friday were toys and games. LOL Surprise Dolls topped the list of best sellers, followed by Frozen 2 themed merchandise. FIFA 20, Madden 20, and the Nintendo Switch rounded out the top five.
Analysts are predicting that Cyber Monday will be another record-breaker. The day named for online shopping is expected to top $9.4 billion in sales, an increase of 18.9 percent over 2018.
While most of the visits to retailers occurred on smartphones, the largest chunk of sales (59%) occurred on PC. Vendors saw the best conversion rates from visitors on desktops and tablets — 6.9% and 4.8%, respectively.
Smartphone visit-to-sales ratios were much lower at around 2.9 percent, showing that most consumers use their phones for windows shopping while preferring to make purchases from their computers. Despite that, 36 percent of sales completed on Black Friday were conducted via smartphones, a total of $2.7 billion.
Purchases conducted with smartphones have seen substantial growth, a trend that could see phone transactions overtake desktop shopping. Adobe predicts that sales via smartphone will account for about 47 percent of total growth this holiday season. Analyst project that consumers will spend about $14 billion more than last year using their smartphone.
"With Christmas now rapidly approaching, consumers increasingly jumped on their phones rather than standing in line," Head of Adobe Digital Insights Taylor Schreiner said in a statement. "Small Business Saturday will accelerate sales for those retailers who can offer unique products or services that the retail giants can't provide."