Maddy, left, and her friend Maggie, last names not given, sit with their shopping bags at Union Square in San Francisco, . Black Friday, historically the starting line of the retail industry's crucial holiday buying season, isn't quite the one-day spree it used to be. Some retailers have pushed their biggest Black Friday door-buster deals into Thanksgiving Day and spread other promotions to even earlier in the seasonHoliday Shopping Black Friday, San Francisco, USA - 25 Nov 2016

Mastercard’s SpendingPulse, a data aggregation solution, released key findings from national U.S. retail sales across all payment types — and results so far revealed record-setting online sales of 16 percent year over year.

Its latest SpendingPulse report observed all online shopping since Nov. 1. The primary e-commerce shopping period has officially wrapped up due to shipping deadlines.

Findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, in tandem with survey-based estimates for other payment forms such as cash and check, the company said.

SpendingPulse reported that e-commerce saw the largest share of holiday sales ever, tracking at more than 11 percent, according to the study. Notable growth categories include department stores and specialty apparel, which both saw “big gains” online in 2017 at 13 percent and 14 percent growth, respectively. Jewelry online sales grew a modest 3 percent, but the sector anticipates last-minute in-store sales, the report said. Electronics and appliances accounted for 23 percent of online sales and home improvement at 20 percent.

Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president of market insights at Mastercard, said, “Not only did e-commerce make a major mark on the 2017 holiday season, but online sales have been growing in the 15 to 20 percent range all year-long. The always-connected consumer has found a match in e-commerce, where stores never close and the consumer has an endless amount of stores and goods to choose from.”

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