Holiday Online Sales Surging

So, how did Black Friday (Nov. 25) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) do this year from a digital perspective?

Breathtakingly well, according to Adobe Digital Insights, which tracks holiday spending (

Nationwide, Black Friday sales totaled over $3.34 billion, a 22 percent increase over Black Friday 2015.

More than a third of those sales — $1.2 billion – were made online. This was a 33 percent increase over last year.

Adobe noted Black Friday 2016 spending crossed the $3 billion threshold for the first time, while online spending on Black Friday crossed the $1 billion mark also for the first time.

If you include Thanksgiving Day, more than $5 billion was spent during shopping on Thursday, Nov. 24, and Friday, Nov. 25.

For those who shopped online during Black Friday, more than half (55 percent) did so from mobile devices.

The most popular items sold on Black Friday? 4K TVs, tablets and Lego Creator Sets.

How about Cyber Monday, Nov. 28?

Bigger than Black Friday, according to the Adobe report (

Nationwide, online spending during Cyber Monday hit $3.39 billion, setting a record for the most online spending in a single day, and just edging ahead of Black Friday’s total.

It was also 10 percent higher than last year.

For the first 28 days of the holiday shopping season (Nov. 1 – 28), Americans have spent just under $40 billion, a 7 percent increase over the same period in 2015.

A report from comScore, another online measurement and tracking company, also confirms the record setting shopping pace this holiday season, but at numbers a bit lower than Adobe’s. (

The most visited online retailers on Cyber Monday: Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Kohl’s and Target.

The top selling items on Cyber Monday: Apparel and accessories, consumer electronics and computer hardware.

Now, you might be saying, “Sure – that’s great for those two days, but it seems to me the holiday shopping season started well before November 1.”

And you’d be right. Retailers, especially online retailers, were offering seasonal deals weeks before Halloween came around.

It is part of what has become known as “Christmas Creep” – an earlier and earlier starting date for the holiday shopping season (

When polled, consumers consistently say they hate it, but they spend like they love it (

And, given Amazon’s phenomenal success with its annual July sale, the idea of a holiday shopping season lasting a few months may soon be replaced by yearlong holiday shopping.

But if holiday shopping is yearlong, is it no longer a special shopping season?

Virtual Dangers

High definition cellphone cameras and GoPro style video recorders are bringing first person perspectives to a dizzying array of location videos.

And I do mean “dizzying.”

On YouTube, you can be dangling from the edge of a skyscraper or walking across a narrow mountain path or climbing a towering rock. The videos are such that watching them makes you instinctively want to grab something to hold on to or start climbing down.

Here are a handful of videos that put you in high, risky places without the actual risk of falling:

Towner Hanger

Mountain Path

Mount Huashan Hiking Trail

El Camino Del Ray

Keith Darnay is the Tribune’s online manager and has worked in the online world for more than two decades. His site is at

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