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Black Friday

Consumers break spending records on Black Friday

Shoppers spent $7.4 billion to kick off the holiday shopping season

Consumers spent a record-breaking $7.4 billion during this year’s Black Friday, according to data from Adobe Analytics. 

Adobe, which looks at sales at 80 of the top 100 online retailers in the nation, found that purchases of computers, tablets, and smartphones accounted for many purchases. Top electronics included Air Fryers, Apple’s AirPods, and Samsung televisions. 

Consumers spent an average of $168 per person -- an increase of 6 percent over last year. 

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    Experts predict attractive car deals for Black Friday

    More consumers can expect to find a new car under the tree this year

    Automotive experts say consumers may find some of the best new car deals of the year during Black Friday sales.

    With auto sales in a slump, dealers are offering more incentives to move vehicles off the lot. And if you think seasonal car commercials showing new cars being given as gifts are unrealistic, late year sales statistics suggest they ring true. Last December's new car sales were the highest of 2016.

    Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis at Edmunds, expects strong demand this year for SUVs, which may make sedans a more attractive buy.

    "America's love affair with the crossover SUV has only strengthened in 2017, which has negatively affected the popularity of cars," Caldwell told ConsumerAffairs. "We'd expect to see more generous deals for the slow moving passenger car segment until automakers are able to bring production levels in line with the new reality of demand."

    This year, consumers most likely will continue to seek out deals on trucks and small SUVs. Those segments have consistently led sales for much of 2017, aided by relatively low gasoline prices.

    November deals

    According to research from Kelley Blue Book (KBB), there are some especially good lease deals throughout the month of November. For example, consumers can lease the 2017 Acura ILX for $199 a month with $2,499 due at signing.

    On a purchase, you can find a 2017 Hyundai Sonata for under $21,000 with $3,350 cash back. Kia's popular small SUV, the Sorento, goes for around $27,000 with zero percent financing to qualified buyers, plus $1,000 cash back.

    Research shows that Black Friday ranks high among holidays as a time for new car shopping. While Presidents' Day sales have been common for decades, dealers have only recenlty started capitalizing on Black Friday as a time to draw in consumers with special deals.

    This year's Black Friday deals may be especially attractive because automakers have had to roll out greater incentives, both in the form of cash back and in low rate financing.

    "Incentives reached near-record levels in October, so we expect automakers to continue to sweeten savings as the year winds down," Caldwell said.

    Black Friday shopping tips

    To get the best deal during a Black Friday sale, consumers should do plenty of research ahead of time. Check to see which makes and models are offering incentives, and use that information to compare prices.

    Try to take test drives before Black Friday. You'll likely encounter some sales pressure to buy on the spot, but promise to return on Black Friday. Remember that large crowds on Black Friday will create delays in getting behind the wheel if you wait until then to test drive.

    Make sure you read the fine print. When considering the dealer's price, make sure it's the out-the-door price and includes all the fees and extras.

    Automotive experts say consumers may find some of the best new car deals of the year during Black Friday sales.With auto sales in a slump, dealers are...

    Online sales power Black Friday

    Overall sales surged, while in-store sales declined

    Early indications suggest 2016's holiday sales will outpace initial projections by a wide margin. Sales got off to a red hot pace over the extended Black Friday shopping weekend, with more purchases moving to online channels.

    One of the first sales reports comes from Adobe, which tracked $5.2 billion in spending over Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a 17.7% increase over last year. At the same time time, brick-and-mortar sales were down from last year.

    Black Friday sales alone smashed the old record, logging $3.34 billion, beating last year's mark by 21.6%. Adobe reports Lego Creator Sets, electric scooters from Razor, Nerf Guns, DJI Phantom Drones, and Barbie Dreamhouses made up the five biggest sellers in the toy department on Black Friday. Apple iPads, Samsung 4k TVs, Apple MacBooks Air, LG TVs, and Microsoft Xboxes were the top sellers in the electronics department.

    More mobile purchases

    Adobe reported mobile platforms drove the majority of visits to retail websites on Black Friday and accounted for 35% of sales. It found large retailers experienced twice the growth in online sales as small retailers since the start of the holiday shopping season.

    Rakuten Marketing reported similar findings. It said its data shows mobile sites got 56% of the traffic on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Black Friday's online spending beat last year by 41%.

    “Shoppers hit the buy button at unprecedented levels as conversion rates were up nearly a full percent across all devices in the evening hours on Black Friday,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst and director, Adobe Digital Insights. “With the full day total coming in at $3.34 billion, Black Friday may have just dethroned Cyber Monday's position as the largest online shopping day of the year.”

    How big will Cyber Monday be?

    Of course, that remains to be seen. Holiday shopping site BestBlackFriday.com reported that many ecommerce sites started their Cyber Monday specials on Sunday evening, suggesting the sales total could surpass projections. It notes that Apple, Dell, Best Buy, and Target are offering free shipping with no minimum order size, which could spur sales.

    Among the hottest Cyber Monday promotions, it has identified Target's 15% off nearly everything in-store and online during the day, as worthy of consumers' attention. It also calls attention to Walmart's over 50% discount on Samsung HDTVs.

    Assuming Cyber Monday smashes estimates, the nation's retailers could be on pace for a record holiday sales period.

    Early indications suggest 2016's holiday sales will outpace initial projections by a wide margin. Sales got off to a red hot pace over the extended Black F...