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Data shows how Cyber Monday actually began on Black Friday

Anjalee Khemlani
Senior Reporter

Black Friday has becoming an increasingly cyber affair, with annual blowout sales migrating away from brick-and-mortar toward consumers’ mobile devices.

Data released in the rush of post-Thanksgiving rush of retail buying highlighted the growing power of mobile applications and web-based sales. Payment and financial technology firm Fiserv said that brick and mortar sales rose 4.2% on Black Friday compared to 2018, with electronics, clothes and sporting goods reaping the benefits of store traffic.

In fact, online sales set a new record this year, at $7.4 billion, continuing a trend away from in-store shopping. And Fiserv’s data also showed that spending via mobile wallets skyrocketed by more than 80%, a testament to the growing power of mobile payments and Internet shopping.

Separate data from the ICSC showed that “omni-channel” retailers — who have both physical and virtual operations — saw the biggest sales boost.

Shoppers leave Macy's in Boston, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. Black Friday once again kicked off the start of the holiday shopping season. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Over the Thanksgiving weekend — which began Thursday and culminates with Cyber Monday’s online push, ICSC found that over 160 million people made their way to stores, spending an average of $504 — 50% more than last year.

“Though Black Friday is often synonymous with brick-and-mortar retail, stores with both a physical and online presence fared the best,” the organization said. “On that day, shoppers allocated 78 percent of their purchases to omni-channel retailers – either in-store or online – demonstrating the importance of creating diversified consumer touch points.”

Meanwhile, Adobe Analytics reported a 6% drop in brick-and-mortar sales — but noted a jaw-dropping 244% year-over-year surge for online retailers on Thanksgiving day. Consumers shelled out over $4 billion on that day alone, the firm noted, up 14.5% from 2018.

Geography also played a role, as did tablets and cellphones. Fiserv noted that “in major metros like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, the sales volume of in-store shopping saw the greatest increase. By comparison, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Raleigh saw the smallest increase in brick-and-mortar shopping.”

Additionally, the firm found that “almost half (44.9%) of that revenue came from smartphones, an increase of 24.4% over last year [and] 30.5% increase over the season to date trend.”

Another hallmark of the e-commerce era is the use of mobile payment apps. Fiserve found more shoppers were using credit cards than debit, but solutions like Samsung, Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) Pay were front and center.

“Despite the evolution in consumer shopping habits, Black Friday remains an important bellwether for the holiday season,” said Devin McGranahan, Fiserv executive vice president and senior group president. Shoppers have “blended their physical shopping with digital payments via mobile wallets.”

Anjalee Khemlani is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @AnjKhem

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