Cyber Monday trumps Black Friday when it comes to online sales

For many Americans, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are as important and patriotic holidays as the Thanksgiving feast that precedes them. It appears that this year, this sentiment was more true than ever, as sales figures from last Thursday, November 29, through to Monday, December 2, were almost 17 percent higher than a year earlier. 

The real success story took place on Cyber Monday, when purchases jumped 16 percent from the same period a year ago, accounting for roughly $2.3 billion in total – the fifth consecutive day of record-breaking online sales recorded. Internet purchases accounted for 42 percent of retail activity and, according to Adobe's Digital Index, which tracks online buying power, roughly 18 percent of these transactions took place on mobile devices, which is up a whopping 80 percent over last year. 

"We continue to see a dramatic movement of the new digitally savvy consumer as Cyber Monday once again proved to be the star of this holiday shopping season," Jay Henderson, strategy director of IBM Smarter Commerce, told Fox Business News.

Cyber Monday has officially surpassed Black Friday as the busiest shopping day of the holiday season in terms of online shopping activity. There were almost 32 percent more consumers perusing their favorite websites on Monday compared to Friday, although how much they spent was 5 percent higher the day after Thanksgiving – a sign that the best deals for consumers went to those who waited until after the holiday weekend.

While retail activity may have surged after the holiday, the long-term health of the national economy is still up in the air, and individuals who have been smart about saving for retirement need to consider asset protection should we dip into another Great Recession.