Black Friday sales this year revealed a major trend in favor of online retailers, perhaps signaling the end of traditional “big box” retailers as we know them today.

More shoppers turned to the internet for deals to kick off the holiday shopping season as opposed to shopping at traditional retail stores, data released on November 24 revealed. Black Friday pulled in $6.22 billion in online sales, up nearly 24% percent from a year ago and set a new record high, according to Adobe Analytics, which tracks transactions for 80 of the top 100 internet retailers in the US including Walmart and Amazon. These figures arrived as many retailers have pushed big digital deals, days in advance of the holiday weekend.

The Friday after Thanksgiving this year was also the first day in history to see more than $2 billion in sales stemming from smartphones, said Adobe. The group found ~34% of e-commerce sales Friday came from mobile devices, compared with ~29% in 2017. “Retailers have done their part of building better mobile experiences for consumers and turning nearly 10 percent more smartphone visitors into buyers this Black Friday versus last,” said Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights. With regards to actual smartphone sales this Black Friday, smartphones using Droid OS outsold Apple iPhones by nearly 10%, perhaps signaling a significant decline in Apple’s overall share of the smartphone market.

Buy online pick up in stores continues to be a popular option for shoppers this holiday season, with “click-and-collect” orders up 73% from Thursday to Friday. Target, Kohl’s, Kmart and Walmart are just a few companies that have been touting that option this year, hoping that when customers arrive to pick up their items, they will buy more items as well. Earlier in the week, sales online Thanksgiving Day totaled $3.7 billion, up 28% from a year ago, making it the fastest-growing day for e-commerce sales in history. Thursday also saw $1 billion in sales from smartphones, with shoppers spending 8% more online Thursday compared with a year ago.

For the first time, online prices Thanksgiving Day “were as low as on Black Friday,” potentially stealing some of Black Friday’s traditional crowds of shoppers at malls and other stores. There were reports that traffic at many shopping malls Friday was lighter than in past years. Instead, more consumers turned to their phones or desktop computers to grab bargains. Kohl’s said it has a record day for online sales this Thursday, with Cyber Monday still to come. Adobe is expecting Cyber Monday sales online to set a new record of $7.8 billion, up nearly 18% from last year.

the author

Matt is a student at Seton Hall Law School and graduated from Monmouth University. Matt has been studying and analyzing politics at all levels since the 2004 Presidential Election. He writes about political trends and demographics, the role of the media in politics, comparative politics, political theory, and the domestic and international political economy. Matt is also interested in history, philosophy, comparative religion, and record collecting.

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