Editors' pick: Originally published Nov. 24.
Updated from Nov. 25 with new Adobe sales data.
U.S. consumers have stepped up big-time to shop so far this holiday season.
Online sales for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday reached $5.27 billion, up a strong 17.7% from last year, according to new data Saturday from Adobe. Black Friday set a new record by ringing up $3.34 billion in sales, an increase of 21.3% year over year.
A good portion of the online shopping is being done on mobile devices. Black Friday became the first day in retail history to notch over $1 billion in mobile sales at $1.2 billion, up 33% from a year ago.
The results are based on aggregated and anonymous data from 22.6 billion visits to retail websites.
"Shoppers hit the buy button at unprecedented levels as conversion rates were up nearly a full percent across all devices in the evening hours on Black Friday," said Tamara Gaffney, Principal Analyst and Director at Adobe Digital Insights in a statement.
Top-selling products tend to be expensive, notes Adobe, including Samsung 4K televisions, Apple (AAPL) iPads, Macbooks, electric scooters, Sony's (SNE) Playstation virtual-reality goggles, Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox gaming console, and the Sony Playstation 4 gaming console. The early spending binge by consumers is also being fueled on bigger discounts vs. last year on tablets, toys and appliances.
Adobe predicts Cyber Monday will generate $3.36 billion in sales, up 9.4% from a year ago.
"It was interesting this year that around Election Day, people weren't spending as much -- visits to retailer websites were down," said Becky Tasker, Managing Analyst at Adobe Digital Insight in a phone interview. "But after Election Day, things normalized and people came back."
The upbeat early read on holiday shopping shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.
"I continue to be very optimistic on our position for the holidays," Target (TGT) Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell told TheStreet on a conference call with reporters Thursday evening. Most encouraging, said Cornell, was that people were shopping multiple departments after scooping up the typical Black Friday doorbuster deals. Cornell's sentiment was echoed by Macy's (M) long-time CEO Terry Lundgren.
"I got to the opening at Herald Square in New York City at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving and it looked as strong as I have ever seen it at anytime," Lundgren said to TheStreet in a phone interview on Friday.