US online sales soar to $3B in Black Friday shopping frenzy
WASHINGTON, United States - Americans' online shopping for Black Friday deals soared to $3 billion during a two-day period beginning on Thanksgiving, with tablets and cell phones used for nearly a quarter of sales, estimates showed Saturday.
Online purchases reached $1.93 billion on Friday itself, the unofficial start of the retail sector's holiday season.
That marked a 39% increase over 2012, according to software maker Adobe, which analyzed 400 million visits on some 2,000 American shopping websites.
Early Black Friday sales, which began on Thanksgiving, reached $1.06 billion, up 18% from last year, according to Adobe.
Technology giant IBM also found similar numbers for overall online sales as it looked at 800 merchant websites.
It said online sales jumped 19.7% on Thanksgiving and 19% on Black Friday, with orders averaging $135.27, a 2.2% increase compared to last year.
Online shoppers may have been wise to avoid stores, with reports of fistfights, a stabbing and a shooting as people elbowed their way through crowded shopping floors to snatch heavily discounted items.
Sales from mobile devices accounted for 24.2% of the total, according to Adobe, with purchases from tablets representing 15.6% of those sales and purchases from smartphones representing 8.6%.
Similarly, IBM found that mobile devices accounted for 21.8% of sales.
According to Adobe, of the $3 billion in total online sales over the two days, $417 million was done on iPads and $126 million was done on iPhones, while Android phones were used to buy $106 million in purchases and Android tablets accounted for $42 million.
IBM said tablets were used for 14.4% of online sales, against 7.2% on smartphones. On average, tablet users each spent $132.75 and smartphone users spent $115.63.
The company also found that iPad and iPhone users spent more, shelling out an average of $127.92, compared to $105.20 for users of Google's Android system.
Adobe agreed that Apple users spent more than people using Android devices.
Purchases made from Apple devices accounted for 18.1% of total online sales, against 3.5% for Android devices.
IBM and Adobe did not examine purchases made in stores.
An estimate of total Thanksgiving weekend sales -- including both online and in stores -- is expected Sunday. - Rappler.com