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Two of the year's biggest shopping days took place last week.

Here are the Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales stats you need to know.

And for more on all the shopping madness, check out our roundup of all the stats published prior to Black Friday plus a look at one retailer that made $70,000 by selling absolutely nothing.

Black Friday sales dropped year-over-year

Numbers from ShopperTrak indicate that on Thursday, retail store sales dropped to $1.8bn from more than $2bn in 2014. Friday witnessed a decrease of more than $1bn as sales fell from $11.6bn last year to $10.4bn. 

US online sales neared $4.5bn

Those decreases are being attributed in part to consumers opting to log on to the web than deal with long lines in stores. 

According to the Adobe Digital Index, which is based on data from Adobe's retail clients, total online sales in the United States on Thanksgiving and Black Friday hit a record $4.45bn.

Friday's sales grew by 14% year-over-year to reach $2.74bn despite the fact that by Adobe's estimate Thanksgiving-Day sales jumped by an even larger amount (25%) to $1.73bn. 

Thanksgiving offered the best deals

According to Adobe, Thanksgiving offered consumers the best deals, with products being discounted by an average of 26% as compared to a 25% average price drop on Black Friday.

The reason for the slight disparity? Analysts say better Thanksgiving deals were offered in an attempt by retailers to win over consumers early so that they can be converted to repeat purchasers more easily later in the holiday shopping season.

Mobile and tablets accounted for more than half of traffic by some estimates

Data from IBM highlights just how important mobile and tablet devices are to online retail.

According to Big Blue, mobile and tablet devices accounted for well over half (54%) of traffic to its retail clients' sites on Black Friday, up more than 16% year-over-year.

Perhaps more importantly, IBM saw these devices accounting for over a third of purchases (35%), an increase of 35%. Adobe also saw mobile driving a similar percentage of Black Friday sales (37%).

Email drove more sales than any other channel

The old-school channel might be underutilized by many marketers outside of the retail industry, but email is still absolutely crucial to holiday shopping season success.

According to Custora, email drove a quarter of the traffic that produced Black Friday sales.

That beat out organic search (21%), direct traffic (17%), paid search (16%), affiliates (12%) and social and display ads, which each drove under 2% of traffic that resulted in sales.

Website performance was a lot better, but still far from perfect

App performance platform provider Dynatrace tracked the performance of major retail websites as part of its Retail Home Page Benchmark.

On Black Friday, the average retailer home page took 5.3 seconds to load, with the slowest site taking over 13.5 seconds to open. 

Apple, Amway, Stapes, Costco and PC Connection were the top performers and all delivered home page load times of under 2.5 seconds.

While some retailers like Neiman Marcus and Newegg experienced technical difficulties and outages, Dynatrace said that performance was markedly improved from 2014 among the top 10 performing retail websites.

Average order value off slightly, tablets beat desktop

IBM estimates that average order value (AOV) on Black Friday 2015, at $127.84, decreased slightly from 2014, when estimated AOV was $129.37.

For the first time ever AOV from tablet sales, estimated to be $136.42, beat out AOV from desktops ($134.06).

Patricio Robles

Published 1 December, 2015 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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