Smartphones were a driving force as holiday shopping kicked off and e-commerce continued to surge this season.

The mobile trend that started early on Black Friday continued throughout the day, with Adobe Inc. finding that nearly $1.9 billion in revenue came from mobile devices on what has historically been the busiest day for the U.S. retail industry, a 16.9% increase over last year.

That means mobile accounted for 36.9% of Black Friday’s record-setting $5.03 billion in online revenue. More than $1.3 billion of those online sales came from smartphones alone, comprising 26% of total online revenue.

The $5.03 billion in total online sales for the day after Thanksgiving is up 17.0% from $4.30 billion that Adobe measured in 2016. Online sales grew 17.8% to $38.3 billion during the Nov. 1-24 period, compared with the same time last year, Adobe says.

Mobile wasn’t the only star this weekend as desktop sales also increased, according to personalization platform Monetate. Consumers’ comfort shopping on bigger screens led them to spend more on desktop, averaging $173.92 per order on Thanksgiving, a higher average order value than any other platform and a 5% increase over last year.

While Black Friday set another record, Adobe still predicts Cyber Monday online sales will be higher, at $6.6 billion.


Online sales for what is called Small Business Saturday were up 10% year over year to $320 million as of 10 a.m. Eastern on Saturday, Adobe said

Online shopping hit its peak in the earliest hours, according to e-commerce platform Shopify.

“We saw a large increase of sales starting around 9pm ET on Thanksgiving and hitting a peak of over $1,000,000 a minute just after midnight on Black Friday,” says Shopify vice president of product Satish Kanwar. “These spikes were due to big sales kicking off as brands started off Black Friday with a bang.”


More than 10,000 orders were placed every minute during that time frame, compared with 2,800 orders per minute at the Thanksgiving Day peak around 9 p.m. Eastern, with shoppers getting that expected early jump on some deals.

Discounts and free shipping were both up in this year’s Black Friday purchases, according to e-commerce technology provider Salesforce. Orders were discounted by an average of 28%, while 85% of orders shipped for free, both figures up one percentage point on last year. Salesforce also found that personalization paid off for retailers: While just 6% of shoppers looked at product recommendations, those shoppers accounted for 30% of all revenue.

Many of these increases were amplified for smaller online retailers. Workarea, which has a client base of many small- and mid-size retailers compared to Adobe’s 100 largest retailers, saw Black Friday mobile revenue increases of 28%, while desktop revenue rose 18%. Mobile traffic accounted for 64% of overall traffic for Workarea’s clients, as opposed to 54.3% in Adobe’s findings.


“The leaps in mobile sales and mobile average order value are promising indicators of a turnaround by retailers,” says Darren Hill, CEO of Workarea parent company WebLinc. “Consumer demand for better mobile experiences such as page load time and smoother checkout has been there for years. This year’s early holiday numbers tell us that shopping on phones is improving enough that consumers are making more purchases than last year.”