Black Friday Kicks Off Holiday Shopping Season

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It's a chance for retailers to kick-off the holiday season and shoppers get ready to knock elbows or more to get a prized gift or possession at the cheapest price possible.

The biggest shopping time of the year is upon us.

"I think Black Friday has started off people's Christmas shopping, there's quite a lot of shopping bags knocking about".

Cyber Monday began in 2005 as a way to promote online retail, and the annual shopping day has grown from year-to-year.

Once fringe activist movements like Buy Nothing Day - an anti-consumerism protest held on the same day as Black Friday - have seeped into the mainstream as more people embrace minimalism and choose conscious consumption.

Black Friday brawls shutter malls early, cause festive chaos
Signs advertise Black Friday deals outside of a makeup store at Garden City, New York's Roosevelt Field Mall. And apparently there was a second fight, sparked by a shoe flying over the railing and striking a baby.

Retailers' efforts to create a more strategic, extended event over the long Black Friday weekend are starting to take hold, however.

American consumers spent US$30.39 billion online between November 1 and 22, according to Adobe Analytics data, which covers 80 per cent of transactions made with the country's 100 largest e-retailers. That's an increase of 18.4 percent compared with a year ago. Eastern Time, an 18.4% growth over past year. Online shoppers spent $1.52 billion on Thanksgiving Day, with smartphones accounting for 46 percent of all traffic to US retail websites, according to Adobe Analytics data. "On both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, the gap between mobile traffic and revenue is closing. You had the deals and the steals, but this year we're looking for the feels", the company wrote in a blog post.

The number of customers also shopping on their smartphones surged, accounting for 46% of the traffic on retail websites.

Personalization has become a big trend for retailers and Salesforce tried to measure its impact on sales for the first time. A massive amount WowWee Fingerlings are in stock and now the Black Friday live video show has launched on the Amazon Black Friday Deals Page.

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