Online spending record set on Black Friday – here's what people bought

Adobe Digital Insights analysis found that U.S. shoppers spent $5.27 billion on Thanksgiving and Black Friday online.
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More shoppers are using their computers and cellphones to shop on Black Friday.

More shoppers are using their computers and cellphones to shop on Black Friday.

More and more shoppers are choosing to do their Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping online, figures show.

Adobe Digital Insights analysis found that U.S. shoppers spent $5.27 billion on Thanksgiving and Black Friday online – of which a record $3.34 billion was on Friday alone.

This is a 21.6 percent rise on last year and way more than the $3.05 billion Adobe had predicted people would spend online, showing that consumers increasingly prefer to stay home than brave the stores on Black Friday.

Purchases made via cellphone passed $1 billion for the first time, Adobe found.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the number of people shopping in stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday fell 5 percent.

Analysts RetailNext found that net sales fell 7.9 percent over that same period. Reuters suggests a possible reason is that many retailers have extended their sales into the weekend, putting less pressure on shoppers to get to the stores early.

CNBC points out that many retailers, including Target and Kohl's, made many or all of their in-store "doorbuster" deals available online too, giving shoppers more reason to stay home.

What have people been buying?

Adobe's research gives an insight into what deals were the most popular on Black Friday.

In electronics, big discounts on iPads ($150 off at Target), Samsung 4K TVs (big discounts at Best Buy), Apple Macbooks, LG TVs and Xbox Ones saw them sell well.

On average, the best deals could be had on tablets (average discount of 25.1 percent) and televisions (22.5 percent average).

In toys, people were buying electric scooters/vehicles for kids, Nerf guns, Lego sets and Barbie dreamhouses.

And huge demand for goods including the NES Classic, Playstation VR Bundle, Kurio Smartwatches Hatchimals and an Xbox One bundle with Madden NFL '17 led to several retailers reporting these out of stock.

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