WATCH | Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it's all about Black November now. Retailers are capitalizing on their online shopping habits to catch them when they're in the mood to spend.
UPDATE 6:22 p.m. EST:
In a bit of protest-related news, Black Lives Matter protesters have marched through the Westlake Center in Seattle while chanting, "Black lives matter, not Black Friday."
Videos of the protest have circulated on social media.
UPDATE 4:00 p.m. EST: While foot traffic thinned out a bit on Black Friday, retailers had reason to cheer as total online sales for November surged to $29 billion by Friday morning -- a 4.7% online sales growth for the period, per Adobe Digital Insights.
Thanksgiving Day online sales reached $1.93 billion, falling just shy of the $2 billion estimate, which Adobe attributes to the deep discounts being offered earlier than usual.
Going into the weekend, retailers are set to bring in big numbers.
UPDATE 3:45 p.m. ET: Target sold 3,200 TVs per minute in the hour after opening Thursday.
UPDATE 1:20 p.m. ET: Black Friday shoppers were so eager to snag deals that it caused a "shopping jam," making Macy's website crash momentarily.
Click, add to cart, buy ... please hold.
UPDATE 1:00 p.m. EST: Fueled by retail gains, U.S. stock markets hit records on Black Friday.
U.S. stocks haven't been the only ones feeling cheerful this month. Consumer confidence has climbed since the election ended. And this relief is translating into sales on Black Friday, as pie-fueled shoppers hunt for bargains.
“Two years ago, foot traffic was up, but people didn’t have a lot of shopping bags and there seemed to be more lookers than buyers. This year is the reverse: There are a lot of bags, people are shopping, and it’s a festive atmosphere and happiness among people," JLL Americas Retail CEO Greg Maloney told FOX Business.
UPDATE 12:05 p.m. EST: Amazon has unveiled its Cyber Monday deals.
Per CNN Money, the e-commerce giant will roll out 75,000-plus offers Monday that will last throughout the week, like:
- 50-inch 1080p LED TV ($145)
- 50-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart TV ($249.99)
- Amazon Fire TV ($74.99)
- Sonos PLAY: 1 compact wireless speaker ($149)
- Nest Cam indoor security camera ($163.98)
For now, the most popular item may be a Mermaid Tail Blanket.
UPDATE 11:40 a.m. EST: Iconic department store Macy's saw thousands of shoppers at its New York flagship on Thanksgiving, but CEO Terry Lundgren has his eye on mobile.
Consumers are shopping online more than ever, but they're also relying on tech when they're shopping at brick-and-mortars.
"That combination of using technology and the experience of being inside the store is the way the consumers are shopping today and [it] will continue to be so in the future," Lundgren told CNBC Friday morning.
UPDATE 11:20 a.m. EST: Online sales could be massive. Like $3 billion massive.
Retailers geared up for hordes of shoppers in stores on Black Friday and bargain hunters did come out in force on Thursday night. But, a swath of Americans skipped the lines altogether and made their purchases online.
In fact, shoppers looking for mega-deals online had spent $1.15 billion before they sat down for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, Fortune reported, citing Adobe Digital Insights data. That's a 14% increase from last year.
The National Retail Federation expects 137.4 million Americans to shop this weekend.
Just took a guy out with a crossbow at Bed, Bath & Beyond.— Downtown Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) November 25, 2016
But all jokes aside, American shoppers helped set some serious records on Thanksgiving.
Target had its biggest online shopping day ever, the company said in a statement. Sales broke the stores Cyber Monday records from last year and traffic to the website grew by double digits compared to a year ago. Plus, more than 60% of online sales came from mobile devices.
The most popular items? TVs, Apple products and gaming systems.
"We had a record-breaking day on Target.com and traffic to our store was strong," CEO Brian Cornell said. He expects the momentum to continue through the weekend and Cyber Monday.
Walmart also saw high traffic numbers coming from mobile sales on Thursday.
In fact, 70 percent of traffic to Walmart.com on Thanksgiving and early Black Friday were straight from mobile, which is a relatively new trend retailers have been eyeing in the last few years.
At Macy's in New York, thousands went shopping in search of Black Friday steals. At 5 p.m. ET, an hour before the store opened its doors on Thanksgiving, 16,000 people were in line. The hot sellers? Fragrances, tech gear and clothing.
With retailers offering steep discounts weeks in advance, will consumers just move online?
For some retailers, opening on Thanksgiving is still a priority, but others disagree.
Traditionally, Black Friday has been a day for doorbuster mega-deals. But consumers having been migrating to e-commerce (because let's be real, shopping from the comfort of your couch can be real nice). And retailers have been advertising deals earlier and earlier in true Black Friday creep fashion.
“Online discounts are earlier and a lot bigger than last year," an Adobe Digital Index analyst told Reuters.
So, Black Friday has been losing some of its edge.
"I have never seen Black Friday morning so calm," Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group, told the Associated Press (AP).
Though, that's not necessarily bad news for retailers. Cohen, for instance, told AP he believes sales over the weekend will still outshine last year's numbers. And the NRF is calling for overall holiday sales to go up 3.6 percent for November and December, which is higher than last year.
Already, per Adobe data, consumers have spent $25 billion online shopping this month.
Shoppers are spreading their budgets across online and in-store, and spending early.
Though spending has cooled from last year, the NRF still predicts consumers to spend $935 on average this holiday season. A small amount of consumers started as early as September crossing off items from their gift lists.
As holiday deals expand and the lines between online and in-store continue to blur, for retailers, catching consumers when they're in the mood to spend is like getting everything on their wish lists.
"By offering deals throughout November, it allows consumers to buy everything they're looking for for a great value and engage with retailers more than once during the season," Ana Serafin Smith, senior director of media relations for NRF, told Circa.