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Smartphones steal Black Friday dollars, as mobile sales break records

Lauren Thomas
Many shoppers are sticking to the sofa and shopping deals from their smartphones this holiday season.

Shoppers amassed at retailers across the country to shop deep discounts on Black Friday, but many stuck to the sofa and shopped deals from their smartphones.

Adobe Insights, which measures 80 percent of online transactions at 100 major U.S. retailers, said mobile transactions are "hitting record highs" this holiday season.

"The big story this holiday season is in mobile shopping," Mickey Mericle, the vice president of Adobe's Marketing and Customer Insights division, said.

"Shoppers looking for discounts are getting better at using smartphones to quickly close the deal, and we are seeing better mobile conversion this season at over 10 percent growth."

As of 10 a.m. ET on Black Friday, Adobe said 61.1 percent of shoppers' visits to retailers' websites stemmed from mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. Those devices were driving 46.2 percent of total online revenue, as consumers had already spent more than $640 million by Friday morning. That's an increase of 18.4 percent compared with a year ago.

Meantime, Adobe found fewer purchases originating from desktops.

"On both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, the gap between mobile traffic and revenue is closing," Mericle added.

A separate survey by Salesforce also found more shoppers migrating to mobile devices to ring up purchases on Turkey Day.

Shoppers placed 48 percent more orders on phones on Thanksgiving Day, surpassing computers for the first time ever and accounting for 61 percent of total traffic. "The mobile share of traffic to retail sites was head and shoulders above any other device," Rick Kenney, head of consumer insights at Salesforce 's Commerce Cloud division, said.

"Thanksgiving will likely bump Cyber Sunday off the medal stand to become the third-biggest shopping day of the season, trailing only Black Friday and Cyber Monday."

This year, shoppers are shifting to the web on their phones in search of a more seamless, painless retail experience, research compiled by mobile marketing platforms Branding Brand and Leanplum has found. Greater convenience with 24/7 access, and the ease of sharing links on social media with family and friends, are driving purchases on smartphones, the firms said.

As more consumers opt to shop via a smartphone or tablet device, it's crucial retailers have an easy-to-navigate mobile platform in place to handle their requests.

Companies including Target , Macy's , Kohl's and Nordstrom have all been seen making investments in their mobile apps.

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