Thanksgiving Day Online Spending Up Nearly a Third

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Thanksgiving Day is on its way to being one of the fastest growing retail days in online shopping history. That’s the takeaway offered by Adobe Digital Insights, the research arm of software maker Adobe, that tracks transactions from 80 to the top 100 U.S. online retailers.

As of 5:00 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving Day, U.S. consumers had spent $1.75 billion at online stores, representing year-over-year growth of 28.6%. Adobe researchers expect online retail sales for the day to reach a record $3.7 billion, up by 29% year over year.

Since the beginning of the holiday shopping season on November 1, the researchers expect online sales through November 22 to total $38 billion, 18.6% higher than sales through the same period last year. Online sales have exceeded $1 billion a day every day since November 1 and sales topped $2 billion on three days, including the holiday itself.

Smartphones drove more than half the traffic to online retailers as of 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Smartphones’ share rose from 46.1% a year ago to 54.4% this year while desktop share fell from 44.3% to 36.5% and tablet share dropped from 9.6% in 2017 to 9.1%.

Desktops still drive the biggest part of revenue, however, with 52.8% of dollars spent compared with 36.7% for smartphone spending and 10.5% for tablet spending. Less happily for online retailers, $4.3 billion in potential revenue was lost when smartphone shoppers abandoned their laden shopping carts.

Up to the day before the holiday, the best selling product was Apple’s iPad. Numbers two and three were Amazon’s Fire TV and Roku streaming products, respectively. Hatchimals were the fourth most popular product and L.O.L. Surprise was fifth.

Adobe will update its Adobe Analytics website later Friday morning with final data for Thanksgiving Day and initial data for Black Friday.