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Thanksgiving sales figures suggest a strong season for online and mobile retailers

December 3, 2013

More people than ever shopped over the Thanksgiving holiday this year - but they split their budgets across a number of different shopping channels.

More people than ever shopped over the Thanksgiving holiday this year – but they split their budgets across a number of different shopping channels.

The National Retail Federation recently reported that more than 141 million unique shoppers purchased products during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, up by roughly two million from last year. However, the average shopper spent approximately $407 between Thanksgiving and the end of the weekend – which is down from the $423.55 recorded for the same figure last year. 

The NRF still expects holiday shopping figures to rise when compared with past years, however. The firm reported that total spending for last weekend is estimated to have accounted for more than $57 billion in spending, and that they still project overall holiday sales to be up by 3.9 percent. 

“Cold weather, unique promotions and unbeatable prices put millions of Americans in the mood to shop for holiday gifts this weekend,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF. “Retailers’ late night and early morning promotions struck just the right chord for those hoping to kick off the holiday shopping season with friends and family. With only a few weeks until the big day, retailers will continue to aggressively promote their in-store and online offerings, looking to entice today’s very budget-conscious and value-focused shopper.”

Online shopping leads the way
More than 40 percent of all shoppers indicated they looked at an e-commerce website or purchased a product through a credit card processing online page during the weekend, according to the NRF. That represents roughly 59 million consumers. 

“Online shopping over the Thanksgiving weekend continues to be more popular as retailers tout special holiday savings through their mobile apps and websites,” said Pam Goodfellow, director of Prosper Consumer Insights. “With limited budgets this year, holiday shoppers will continue to make very thoughtful decisions about when and where they shop the remainder of the season, making sure to compare prices and keep up with retailers’ advertisements for special sales.”

Mobile credit card processing pages were also used en masse over the weekend of Black Friday. Branding Brand announced that sales made to mobile phones increased by 186.5 percent during 2013 when compared to last year. Page visits made on mobile devices increased by 75 percent, and the average order value increased by 22 percent.

“We’re continuing to see strong performance across our sample of retail smartphone sites,” said Chris Mason, co-founder and CEO of Branding Brand.  

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