WASHINGTON: US consumers shopping over the holiday weekend preferred online destinations to bricks-and-mortar stores, according to data from the National Retail Federation.

A survey of 4,330 consumers about Thanksgiving weekend shopping plans indicated that 44% went online while 40% shopped in-store.

Black Friday was the most popular day for shopping activity both online (74%) and offline (75%); Thanksgiving Day itself attracted just over one third of consumers.

While more people were shopping this year than last – 154m compared to 151m – their average spend declined slightly, from $299.60 to $289.19, the NRF reported.

This was, in part, due to significant promotional activity. "It was a strong weekend for retailers, but an even better weekend for consumers, who took advantage of some really incredible deals," said Matthew Shay, NRF President and CEO. "In fact, over one third of shoppers said 100% of their purchases were on sale."

Adobe reported that more than $5bn was spent online on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, with $1.2bn coming via mobile.

NRF data showed that Saturday was the second most popular day for shopping online (49%) and in-store (40%). Separate figures from the National Federation of Independent Business indicated widespread support for Small Business Saturday, with 112m people spending $15.4bn in local independent shops and restaurants.

Cyber Monday is likely to have seen a small increase in the number of consumers shopping, up from 121m to 122m on NRF figures.

"Millions of consumers shopped over Thanksgiving weekend and reserved a portion of their budgets exclusively for Cyber Monday, knowing that there will be digital deals that are too good to pass up," said Shay.

Most of those (98.6m) will have shopped from home with around four in ten doing so first thing in the morning to grab bargains.

Data sourced from NRF, NFIB, Adobe; additional content by Warc staff