When Americans started celebrating Thanksgiving in the 19th century, it was about cherishing the blessings of the year, particularly the year’s harvest. These days however, it appears as if many people spend the holiday thinking about what they might need rather than what they already have.
Over the past few years, Thanksgiving weekend has grown to become a huge shopping extravaganza both on- and offline. Retailers try to outdo each other in offering the best Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals and consumers willingly jump at the chance to kick off their holiday shopping and snap up some bargains.
Not surprisingly, this year’s Thanksgiving weekend shattered online shopping records once again. According to Adobe Digital Insights, total e-commerce sales over the entire Thanksgiving weekend amounted to $28.4 billion, with Cyber Monday alone accounting for $9.4 billion of that total. That makes this year's Cyber Monday the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history and the first to exceed $3 billion in sales via smartphones.
“Retailers unlocked sales earlier to combat a shorter shopping season, while continuing to drive up promotion of the big branded days including Black Friday and Cyber Monday," Adobe's John Copeland said in a statement, adding that "consumers capitalized on deals and ramped up spending, especially on smartphones, where activity increased on days when shoppers were snowed or rained in." Adobe's estimates are based on one trillion visits to U.S. retail websites, including 80 of the 100 largest online retailers.