Early Holiday Shopping Trends Highlight the Success of ECommerce

Every year, there is a great hullabaloo about "Black Friday creep," that is, retailers' bumping up their opening hours earlier and earlier over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to lure more shoppers to sales events.

This year, Macy's  (M) drew particular ire as it said that it would open on Thanksgiving Day, not content to wait until the day after.

However, it appears that retailers' efforts to snag customers for Black Friday aren't as effective as they would have hoped. Americans are apparently staying home to eat those turkey leftovers as they shop online.

The profits are record-breaking.

This year, online shopping broke all Black Friday records, with ecommerce sales shooting past $3 billion for the first time, according to Adobe.

This result underscores the growth of online shopping and suggests strongly that investors should look for ecommerce related stocks. 

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Amazon  (AMZN) led the charge, with online sales reportedly surpassing those made on last year's Cyber Monday, the "official" online shopping day. But other bricks-and-mortar retailers, including big-box discount retailers such as Target  (TGT) and Walmart (WMT) , are reporting large upticks in their online sales, as well.

Even troubled retailer Macy's, which lags behind when it comes to ecommerce, is reportedly seeing an influx of digital shoppers on its site.

Surprisingly, much of the online shopping is being done via mobile devices.

About 30% of all sales were completed on smartphones, which also contributed to 47% of browsing, according to Adobe.

Coupled with continued Cyber Monday promotions, the weekend is expected to rake in record amounts of revenue for the companies taking part.

But an increasing bulk of that revenue is coming from digital sales, not from visits to the mall.

About 99 million Americans ventured out to shop over the weekend, but that number is down from last year for the first time ever, and 109 million spent their money online, according to the National Retail Federation.

Ecommerce is clearly the wave of the shopping future. And the holiday season is just getting ramped up, with many of the year's busiest shopping days still to come in the weeks before Christmas.

There are plenty of continued profits left for the major ecommerce companies, especially Amazon and Walmart.

Investors should continue to watch these online shopping stocks for any price dips. As Americans continue the trend of shopping online rather than in bricks-and-mortar stores, the companies in the vanguard of ecommerce will continue to reward investors.

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The author is an independent contributor who at the time of publication owned none of the stocks mentioned.

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