Everyone spent their Thanksgiving dinner shopping on their iPhones under the table -- and it's great news for retailers like Walmart and Target

  • Thanksgiving online sales have already reached $US1.5 billion.
  • Almost half of all traffic to retailers’ sites is coming from smartphones.
  • Last year, Walmart and Target Thanksgiving Day smartphones sales were crucial to kicking off the retailers’ holiday shopping seasons.

Americans have already spent more than $US1.5 billion online on Thanksgiving Day – and almost half of shoppers are on their smartphones.

As of 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, 46% of all traffic to retail sites on Thanksgiving was from smartphones, according to Adobe Analytics data. That’s a 17% increase from Thanksgiving Day last year.

That means, for the first time, Thanksgiving shoppers are spending more time online shopping on their phones than on their computers. Desktop and tablet traffic both dropped compared to last year.

Ignoring friends and family to shop on your iPhone is becoming something of a tongue-in-cheek Thanksgiving tradition. The New York Times’ product review site Wirecutter tweeted on Thursday: “Thanksgiving is for your family, not for shopping… So please be discreet while you do it on your phone”.

Still, just because everyone is ignoring their families to troll retailers’ websites doesn’t mean that people are spending the most money on their iPhones. According to Adobe, smartphones sales make up a 30% share of revenue so far today. That’s a 22% increase from last year, but still falling short of desktop sales, which accounted for a 57% share.

Last year was also a record year for smartphone shopping on Thanksgiving.As of 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day 2016, mobile sales had reached $US449 million, an increase of 58% from 2015.

In 2016, both Walmart and Target highlighted smartphone sales as key to a successful kick off to the online shopping season. According to Walmart, 70% of traffic to the retailer’s website during the Thursday kick off of its Black Friday promotion came from mobile devices.

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