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Nation & World

Shoppers ring up record online sales even before Cyber Monday

A UPS driver prepares to deliver packages this past July. Package deliveries are expected to keep rising, as consumers spent $7.4 billion in online sales during this Black Friday.
A UPS driver prepares to deliver packages this past July. Package deliveries are expected to keep rising, as consumers spent $7.4 billion in online sales during this Black Friday.

Shoppers did more online shopping than ever this weekend, a new report shows, even as retailers blared their trumpets for Cyber Monday sales.

Black Friday’s digital sales hit a record $7.4 billion, the second highest sales day behind last year’s Cyber Monday event, according to Adobe Analytics.

The survey of 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers also found that mobile phone purchases drew a record $2.9 billion in sales.

About 20% of consumers’ holiday budgets will be spent in the 5 days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation, which forecasts an increase in overall spending between 4% and 5% over last year.

E-commerce sales have been growing by double digits nationally. Adobe expects another bump of 14% this year. The research firm predicts Monday’s sales event will draw a record $9.4 billion.

Target Corp., announced last week that it would get a jump on Cyber Monday sales, starting them on Sunday. The Minneapolis-based retailer said that 1 million more shoppers used the Target app to shop Black Friday deals compared to last year.

While shopping is shifting online, surveys show that most consumers also plan to visit brick-and-mortar stores. The Mall of America said a record 3,000 people gathered before doors opened Friday at 5 a.m. at the mall in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Major retailer chains, including Minnesota’s largest players Target Corp. and Best Buy Co. Inc., have sunk million into “omnichannel” shopping in recent years, restructuring their supply chains to compete with Amazon on speedy shipping and a seamless shopping experience for customers who increasingly go online to buy merchandise.

“The fundamentals of retail are price, product and convenience. Those fundamentals don’t really change,” said Michael Sansone, a Minneapolis-based retail consultant at A.T. Kearney. “If (you) look at the retail losers, they’re on one or two. Winners are hitting on all three.”

In the battle for clicks, Target and Walmart saw a bigger percentage increased in online activity during the first two weeks of November compared to last year at this time, according to an analysis of 1.2 million online transactions by Edison Trends.

E-commerce spending at Walmart jumped 51%, while Target rose 47%.

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