Shoppers using smartphones under the dinner table have made Thanksgiving one of the biggest days for online shopping

smartphone shopping online

  • Smartphone use for both browsing and shopping online has exploded this Thanksgiving.
  • They have contributed 54.4% of all traffic to retail sites so far on Thanksgiving Day, versus 46.1% last year, and they facilitated 36.7% of all sales this year versus 29.1% last year. 
  • Mobile shopping has helped make Thanksgiving one of the largest sales days online by revenue for retailers.
  • The use of phones may be due to retailers offering sales on a day with many familial obligations as so-called “Black Friday creep” continues to impact all of online shopping. 

Thanksgiving Day hosts are seeing a new uninvited guest over for dinner in recent years: Black Friday sales.

Smartphone use for both browsing and shopping online is exploding this Thanksgiving, according to Adobe Analytics. Shoppers are predicted to spend a record $3.7 billion online by midnight — up a whopping 29% when compared to 2017 — thanks in large part to smartphone shopping.

This year, smartphones have accounted for 36.7% of all sales, up substantially over the 29.1% share in 2017.

Read more: Thanksgiving has suddenly become one of America’s favorite days to shop online

“Mobile stole the show Thanksgiving Day with smartphones representing more than 50% of traffic to retail sites, as well as record amount of revenue,” Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights, said in a prepared statement.

Smartphone shopping has been increasing dramatically in recent years, especially on Thanksgiving. The holiday is becoming one of the most popular days to shop online. Shoppers now have the means — thanks to the proliferation of smartphones equipped with stores’ apps — and the opportunity, as retailers make their stores open earlier and earlier.

Many online sales started earlier this year, which may have contributed to the drastically larger numbers. Walmart started its Black Friday sales online the night before Thanksgiving, while Amazon has been offering Black Friday sales for the entire week leading up to the vaunted day.

Retailers’ apps have also gotten much better, according to a customer survey by Synchrony Financial earlier this year. 

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