Black Friday and Thanksgiving online sales in the US shot to record highs as shoppers availed deep discounts and shopped more on their mobile devices, in a promising start to the key holiday season, retail analytics firms reported.
US retailers hauled in record $7.9 billion in online sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving, up 17.9 per cent from a year ago, according to Adobe Analytics, which keeps track of transactions at the largest 100 US web retailers, on Saturday.
According to Adobe, Cyber Monday is expected to drive $6.6 billion in internet sales, making it the largest US online shopping day in history.
As the holiday weekend approached, traditional retailers invested heavily in improving their websites and adding to delivery options, preempting a decline in visits to brick-and-mortar stores.
A number of chains also tightened store inventories, to ward off any post-holiday liquidation that would weigh on profits.
According to retail analysts and consultants, TVs, laptops, toys and gaming consoles, especially, the PlayStation 4 - were among the most heavily discounted and the biggest sellers.
According to commerce marketing firm Criteo 40 per cent of Black Friday online purchases were made on mobile phones, up from 29 per cent last year.
Meanwhile, according to commentators, brick-and-mortal retailers did enough things right on Black Friday to consider the event a success, even if the crowds of past years have not returned.
Chains simplified promotions this year and did a better job of managing their inventory.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc, had put up colour-coded maps to help shoppers navigate the aisles. Retailers were also able to tap customers through their e-commerce sites, aiming to chip away at Amazon.com Inc's dominance online.
According to commentators, the changes may help bolster sales and profit margins evens as customer traffic declines at many locations.
''People think retail is a nightmare, but it's not,'' said Tracy Ferschweiler, a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. market manager who oversees seven stores around New York and New Jersey, hellenicshippingnews.com reported.