A record number of Americans shopped online on Thanksgiving Day that translated into sales figures never witnessed before. As much as $4.2 billion were spent on online shopping this year making it the best Thanksgiving for retailers.

This year, Thanksgiving online sales increased 14.5% from last year, according to data released by Adobe Analytics. This certainly is good news given that weak forecast by retailers ahead of the all-important holiday season had dented the confidence of investors over the past few weeks.

Moreover, the figures will also boost the confidence of retailers, who have been suffering for the past few months.

Thanksgiving sales on a record-setting spree

Online shopping
Online shopping Pixabay

This is also the first year that Thanksgiving shopping exceeded the $4 billion figure. However, it failed to surpass the estimates of analysts, who had predicted sales of $4.4 billion.

In spite of a weaker sales and revenues outlook, changing tastes and habits of consumers and slowing global economy, shoppers have spent a staggering $57.2 billion online between November 1 and November 28.

An increasing number of Americans are shopping online instead of visiting brick-and-mortar stores. This has seen all physical stores shifting focus towards e-commerce. The first few hours of Thanksgiving this year saw online sales of $2 billion.

This year's online sales spree was lead by smartphones that accounted for almost 50% of the total revenues from online sales. Smartphone sales witnessed an increase of 24.4% compared with last year's figures. Moreover, retail giants like Amazon, Walmart, Target Corporation, Kroger, Dollar Store and Macy's combined saw a whopping 244% surge in sales, while smaller retailers registered 61% jump in sales.

E-commerce takes the game away

lack Friday
Black Friday Pixabay

So far this year 40% of the shoppers have gone for online purchases instead of visiting physical stores, per Adobe. Black Friday online sales too are likely to hit a record high.

More than 165 million people are expected to be shopping over the weekend, per Adobe. As of 9 a.m. EST, online sales had already crossed $600 million, an increase of 19.2% from 2018 and are likely to cross $7.2 billion.

Black Friday over the past few years has emerged as the biggest shopping days in the United States. Online shopping seems to be preferred by all not only in the United States but also across the globe.

Interestingly, Alibaba also registered record sales this year on Singles' Day.