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“Cyber Monday” has been a tradition in the U.S. for more than a decade, as workers return to their desks after Thanksgiving and try to snag gifts and deals in their spare time. But the rise of mobile shopping means that many people may have already gotten plenty of deals this year.

Photo: Julie Clopper /
Photo: Julie Clopper /

Black Friday online retail sales set a new record of $3.34 billion in the U.S. this year, according to data from Adobe. That was a 21.6 percent year-over-year increase, driven in large part by record mobile sales of $1.2 billion, an increase of 33 percent over Black Friday last year.

The takeaway: Shopping on smartphones and tablets is becoming easier and more ubiquitous, changing purchasing habits and blurring the traditional lines between the designated days of the holiday shopping season. Mobile traffic was responsible for 55 percent of traffic to retail websites on Black Friday, and 36 percent of sales, according to Adobe’s data.

According to research firm comScore, more than 70 percent of e-commerce spending from desktop computers has been through transactions with free shipping. That points to the rise and influence of the Amazon Prime membership program, with its core benefit of free two-day shipping, which has led Walmart and other retailers to follow suit with similar programs of their own.

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Adobe, which measures online transactions through its retail marketing technology, last week had been predicting that Cyber Monday would still top Black Friday for U.S. online shopping. But after stronger-than-expected Black Friday results, the company hedged a bit on that prediction.

“Shoppers hit the buy button at unprecedented levels as conversion rates were up nearly a full percent across all devices in the evening hours on Black Friday,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst and director for Adobe Digital Insights, in a statement this weekend. “With the full day total coming in at $3.34B Black Friday may have just dethroned Cyber Monday’s position as largest online shopping day of the year.”

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