What holiday shopping letdown?
By the end of Cyber Monday, nearly 40% of the population -- 126 million U.S. adults -- will have shopped for holiday gifts, the Consumer Electronics Association estimates.
Clothes have been the most popular gift purchases, with tech gifts such as tablets and smartphones coming in second, followed by toys. Two-thirds (66%) of those shopping bought clothing, while more than one-third (35%) bought electronics and 32% bought toys, according to CEA's Black Friday report. The organization surveyed 622 adults on Friday and Saturday.
About 39 million U.S. adults shopped on Thanksgiving Day, 35% more than last year, the CEA survey found. And Cyber Monday predictions suggest that about 18% of consumers will join in, the highest participation in three years, CEA says.
"Consumers appear to have responded to retailers' strong push to get them in the stores and online early this year," said CEA chief economist and senior director of research Shawn DuBravac in a statement accompanying the report. "The dust is still settling, but early indications point to a weekend of record-breaking online sales and a healthy appetite for key tech products."
Online tech sales are expected to have set new records, CEA says, with more than half (55%) of those who bought consumer electronics products buying them online.Tablets were the most popular device purchased Thursday and Friday, bought by 29% of tech shoppers, followed by headphones (24%), video game systems (21%), smartphones (19%) and laptop/notebook computers (17%) .
Overall, online sales set new records, according to Adobe, which analyzed online shopping sites. On Thanksgiving Day alone, consumers spent more than $1 billion, with 21% of all Thanksgiving online sales being conducted through tablets and smartphones.
Those online sales might have helped offset what was expected to be a slower Black Friday. Pre-holiday estimates from Nielsen found fewer shoppers (about 13% of the population) planning to go to physical stores on Black Friday. Interest in bricks-and-mortar shopping on Black Friday has dropped each of the last four years, from 17% last year and 20% in 2010, Nielsen says.
Walmart alone said it sold 2 million TVs during its Black Friday sales.The retailer also sold 2.8 million towels, 1.9 million dolls, 1.4 million tablets and 300,000 bicycles.