Robust holiday sales season kicks off over Thanksgiving

Early sales such as Black Friday are a disaster for traditional shops
Credit OLI SCARFF  AFP

RetailMeNot data shows retailers issued moreand betterpromotions resulting in record spending from consumers.

However, the availability of deals and promotions throughout November hurt shopper traffic at stores.

With the long weekend - including Cyber Monday - now in the rearview mirror, retailers are looking to apply lessons to the four weeks remaining in the holiday season.

Amazon processed 5.6 million transactions on Thanksgiving Day and another 7.1 million on Black Friday, according to Hitwise.

The figures suggest that Cyber Monday could have generated £7m more in total sales than Black Friday. Yes, that means the Switch outranked deals on both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One X. Bear in mind that the PlayStation 4 just had its most successful Black Friday yet for selling consoles, so it's safe to say the Switch is selling at some incredibly successful numbers for its first year.

Average order volume was up slightly for Cyber Monday versus 2016 at $133 (an increase of 0.1%).

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Online sales in the United Kingdom on Black Friday were up 11.7 per cent on previous year, ending at £1.4 billion, according to online retail trade body IMRG.

He said 91 percent of consumers still have shopping to do over the next month, and 90 percent of them expect promotions and discounts to be similar to those offered by retailers over Thanksgiving weekend. Shoppers seem willing to spend more, but that's not benefiting retailers equally.

The deepest percent-off discounts on Black Friday aggregated by category were found in travel (average 45% off), designer clothing (average 36% off), and teen clothing (average 26% off).

Firearms merchants dangled Cyber Monday deals on guns and accessories, with discounts on ammunition from Cabela's, scopes from Dick's Sporting Goods and, from Bass Pro Shops, an Armalite M-15 Defensive Sporting Semi-Auto Rifle for $649.97, marked down from $799.99. There was little sign of the wild shopper frenzy customary of Black Fridays from last years.

This has left some high street outlets feeling the pinch, even though most big retailers capitalise on e-commerce sales through the likes of click and collect to get more people into stores. As free shipping deadlines approach, 41% of consumers surveyed reported they feel nervous about online purchases arriving in a timely manner. Mobile wallets can help ease some of the friction associated with mobile buying by removing the need to manually fill out forms with payment information, making the checkout experience more convenient. In fact, nearly 9 in 10 (87%) consumers surveyed by RetailMeNot plan to visit a physical store in the month of December, and on average, they plan to do so seven times.

He believes that contradicts the idea that online-only shoppers are the demise of retailing. "This year, mobile shopping was dominant both in the morning and afternoon, and desktop only staged a comeback in the evening when people were home", said Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights.

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