Black Friday deals attract a record 154 million shoppers

More than $5 billion ($5.27 billion) was spent online by the end of Black Friday, a 17.7 percent increase year-over-year (YoY).

"While perennial Black Friday tech strongholds such as televisions, videogame consoles and laptops dominated shoppers' baskets, it was also a breakout year for emerging tech", said DuBravac.

Lea Bishop shops online starting on Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, but this year found many retailers had extensive pre-Black Friday deals.

Consumers shopped approximately evenly between brick-and-mortar stores and online outlets, according to NRF. "Cyber Monday deals have become something that smart shoppers rely on, and this year is no different".

Tamar Gaffney, director and principal analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, said that Black Friday has just beaten Cyber Monday's record when it comes to online shopping, the latter is supposedly the year's biggest online shopping day.

The National Retail Federation on Sunday estimated that 108.5 million Americans shopped online, well above the 99.1 million who hit the stores. "But Cyber Monday may not have as much gas left in the tank".

In-store foot traffic jumped by nearly two-thirds in the US on Black Friday, according to data revealed today by Google. Shoppers who do their Christmas shopping through Target online are getting a bonus this year.

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"This was all based on actual consumer shopping habits in 2005", said National Retail Federation Vice President of Digital Retail Artemis Berry of Cyber Monday.

Tasker expects Cyber Monday to generate at least $3.36 billion in revenue - up almost 10 percent from past year - bringing the Thursday-through-Monday online total to more than $10 billion.

All of this makes clear why retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville has invested more money and resources in their online stores, including finding ways to more tightly integrate their online and physical stores.

"More people are doing it than ever", she said.

Friday, 116 million people visited online retail sites, with 52 million coming through desktop and 90 million through mobile, while 26 million checked both.

According to the NRF, 50 percent of consumers that shopped in store indicated that they were compelled to do so the deals were too good to pass up.

Whatever the answer, media buyers and planners will need to help get the word out about it.