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Thanksgiving Was No Turkey for Retailers

November 29, 2013

Thursday's online sales top $1 billion for the first time.

Where Holiday 2013 ends up is still anyone's guess, but the shopping season got off to a fast start in the US. For the first time ever, Thanksgiving itself generated $1.06 billion in online sales, an 18% increase from last year, and the first time the day topped $1 billion online. That’s according to Adobe, which says nine out of the top 10 US retailers are its clients and that more than 70% of online spending at the top 500 U.S. retailers goes through its Adobe Marketing Cloud system. Thanksgiving day, in fact, could overtake Black Friday online sales within the next five years, it had predicted. It forecast Black Friday online sales this year to rise 17% to $1.6 billion while Cyber Monday is expected to see a 15% increase to more than $2.27 billion in online sales.

“We saw very strong traffic for our online deals,” Toys “R” Us merchandising chief Richard Barry said in an interview.

Adobe’s data showed a record 20.9% of online spending was made through mobile devices, with $152 million spent via tablets and $70 million via smartphones. Apple Inc.’s iPad alone accounted for $130 million of online sales, it said.

Other data also showed strong online demand. IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark said online Thanksgiving sales jumped 20% with an average order of $127.59. Its data also showed online growth that was still moderate in the morning and afternoon “skyrocketed” at 8 p.m., the same time when retailers from Macy’s to Target opened its doors.

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