Black Friday is known for its frenzied mall shoppers, but it's turning out that a big chunk of sales are coming not just from door-busting but from phone tapping.
"Black Friday was ... the first day ever to see more than $2 billion in sales coming from smartphones alone," reported Abobe Analytics, which found that total online sales for Friday and Saturday hit a record $6.4 billion.
While those numbers are only a small share of what Mastercard Inc. (MA) expects to be the total $23 billion spent on Black Friday, it marks a dramatic shift for an event that was once considered a reason to hit the stores right after turkey is cleared from the plate.
Several major retailers did not respond to requests for information about their sales for Black Friday, but some experts predicted earlier that merchants who combined in-store and online technology would fair better than those who didn't.
Walmart Inc. (WMT) , Kohl's Corp. (KSS) and Target Corp. (TGT) both indicated in press statements that their technology did help spur sales. Target said more guests shopped using the Target app and that "ordering more than double compared to last year," while Walmart said its Black Friday store maps on the Walmart app "helped prepare many customers for their trip to the store" and that within the first hours of Black Friday, the retailer "rang up hundreds of thousands of transactions" using its Check Out with Me technology.
"Additionally, millions of customers shopped Walmart.com" during Black Friday's rolled back online hours, said the company, refraining from releasing further details.
Kohl's said its Black Friday saw a "record day of e-commerce sales on Thanksgiving," and that 80% of traffic online came from mobile devices and that more shoppers than in the past ordered online, and picked up in-store.
Many retailers -- such as Walmart and Target -- have shifted their selling strategies to use apps to spur sales and offer free shipping or in-store pickups for online orders, too.
"Consumers who didn't want to shop in stores nonetheless flocked there to pick up goods with click-and-collect orders growing 73% from Thursday to Friday," reported Abobe, "a sign that retailers are successfully bridging online and offline retail operations."
Many retailers also started their Black Friday early with online deals, and that strategy has appeared to boost online sales as well. Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 25, online sales reached $50.6 billion, which is a 20% rise over last year's numbers.