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E-commerce in the spotlight as Black Friday goes Digital

Online spending hit a record of almost $4.5bn during this year’s Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales in the United States - a statistic which highlights the worldwide growth in e-commerce and shortage of cyber security professionals.

Following the mass media coverage of chaos breaking out in supermarkets and department stores during last year’s events, many shoppers opted to buy their bargains online, according to the Adobe Digital Index.

$1.73bn and $2.74bn was spent online during Thanksgiving and Black Friday respectively, compared to $1.8bn and $10.4bn (down from $11.6bn in 2014) spent in retail stores.

Early data from IBM shows that traffic from mobile devices drove 54% of views to its retail sites on Black Friday – up more than 16% year-on-year. More significantly, IBM and Adobe both revealed that mobile purchases accounted for more than a third of their overall sales.

With shoppers logging on to find the best deals, email marketing proved the most successful method of driving sales. Data from Custora revealed that email drove 25% of the traffic that produced Black Friday transactions, compared to organic search (21%), direct traffic (17%) and paid search (16%).

The growth of the US e-commerce market is expected to add further to the worldwide supply shortage of cyber security professionals. According to Cisco, more than 209,000 cyber security jobs in the US are unfilled, with postings up 74% over the past five years.