Online Shopping Reaches Record Thanksgiving Highs

African-American woman shopping online
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 Getty Images/JGI/Jamie Grill

Thanksgiving 2020 marked a strong weekend for holiday retail shopping, with online sales reaching record highs, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

From Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, 95.7 million shoppers did their buying exclusively online, according to the annual survey released Tuesday by the organizations. The sum represents a 44% increase over 2019 as well as a record high for online-only shoppers according to the NRF, which has been collecting this data since 2017.

Although overall Thanksgiving weekend shoppers—online and off—dipped by a marginal 3.2 million year-over-year, total Black Friday online shoppers, including those who shopped both virtually and in-store, reached a record 100.6 million, said Prosper’s executive vice president of strategy Phil Rist during a press conference Tuesday. Saturday online shoppers, meanwhile, grew by 17% year over year, according to the report. 

“As expected with the coronavirus, consumers shifted their shopping behavior both in-store and online throughout the five days,” said Rist. 

The holiday shopping season is far from over. The NRF predicted in November that U.S. consumers would spend between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion on holiday shopping in November and December, which would be the largest total expenditure on record. 

“What we've seen in terms of holiday spending from Thanksgiving Day through to Cyber Monday is consistent with our forecast for a strong overall holiday season,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay during the press conference.