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Black Friday online spending hits record numbers

Spending on Cyber Monday is expected to be even greater.

Online shoppers spent a record $9 billion on Black Friday.
Alina Bradford/CNET

Online spending on Black Friday notched a record $9 billion this year, according to data from Adobe Analytics, as the pandemic forced deal-hungry consumers to avoid crowded stores on busy shopping day.

Consumer spending on the internet surged 21.6% on the day after Thanksgiving, turning in the second-largest day for online spending in US history, behind last year's Cyber Monday, Adobe found. This year's Cyber Monday is expected to be the largest online shopping day in US history, with Adobe predicting shoppers will spend nearly $11 billion.

Black Friday looked a bit different this year, due to the pandemic. Many stores opted to skip the traditional opening on Thanksgiving night leading up to the big day, instead rolling out some of their best sales online for the past couple of weeks. The changes were put in place to help prevent shoppers from gathering inside stores, potentially causing the spread of coronavirus.

Read more: Finding the best Cyber Monday deals

Even consumers' shopping habits on Black Friday were a bit different this year.

"New consoles, phones, smart devices and TVs that are traditional Black Friday purchases are sharing online shopping cart space this year with unorthodox Black Friday purchases such as groceries, clothes and alcohol, that would previously have been purchased in-store," Taylor Schreiner, a director at Adobe Digital Insights, said in a statement.

Black Friday shoppers spent on average $6.3 million per minute online, or $27.50 per person, Adobe found. Consumers made $3.6 billion in purchases through their smartphone, a 25% increase over last year, accounting for 40% of total online spending. Curbside pickup of merchandise increased 52% as online shoppers looked to avoid stores.

Top selling electronics included Apple AirPods and Watches, Amazon Echo, and Samsung TVs, Adobe said. Other products in high demand this year included  Hot Wheels, hoverboards and Lego sets.