December 3, 2019

Cyber Monday purchases via smartphones hit a new record this year. They accounted for 33 percent of all sales, totaling $3 billion — the first day in history with sales through smartphones that high — a 46 percent growth, reports Adobe Analytics. Most visits to retail sites were via smartphone, at 54 percent.

Shopping via smartphone is "outpacing and very much driving overall growth of online sales," reports TechCrunch. Even so, larger purchases that require more research, such as furniture and appliances, are more frequently made on a desktop, per Adobe.

"Consumers are reimagining what it means to shop during the holidays, with smartphones having a breakout season," said Adobe Digital Insights' principal analyst Taylor Schreiner in a statement.

Throughout the holiday season, Americans will spend $14 billion more via smartphones compared to last year, says Adobe, making smartphones the driver of half of the increase in sales this season. Adobe predicts on Christmas Day, consumers will make more purchases via smartphone than desktop for the first time ever.

Overall, consumers spent $9.4 billion on Cyber Monday alone, $1.3 billion more than last year, per TechCrunch. According to Adobe, the top 5 most popular purchases in the U.S. on Cyber Monday were L.O.L. Surprise dolls, Frozen 2 toys, Nintendo Switch, VR devices, and Samsung TVs. Taylor Watson

July 30, 2019

Every election cycle boasts its share of strange candidate merchandise, and the 2020 presidential election is no different. This time around, five Democratic candidates have stood out with some unique items to lure potential voters.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee — who has made combating climate change his signature issue — is selling two of his books in his campaign store. One is "Elvis & the Elves: The Mystery of the Melting Snow," a children's book written and illustrated by Inslee. The book follows Elvis, "a clever elf who loves the snow," as he solves the mystery of climate change with his elf buddies. Spoilers: It's the oil industry's fault.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has decided to go a more practical route, offering a "Feel the Bern Fanny Pack." The bag is emblazoned with a cartoon silhouette of Sanders' signature glasses and white hair, and at $32, you don't need to be a billionaire to afford it.

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) don't agree on much, policy-wise, but they do share an affinity for decorative bandanas. Warren's branded bandana is actually a pet handkerchief to endorse "Bailey for first dog," while O'Rourke's bandana design features little dogs, skateboards, pencils, and the names of all fifty states.

Former Maryland congressman and noted slide-enthusiast John Delaney's store is the wildest, containing stress grips, pencils, playing cards, golf balls, and "Memory" erasers, classic pink erasers adorned with Delaney's logo. The website instructs customers to "simply place one eraser beneath your pillow before falling asleep," and in the morning buyers will "have forgotten all of the pain, invective, division, and incoherent ramblings of our 45th president." The erasers are available for purchase with or without the Delaney logo.

The rest of the 2020 candidates' stores aren't particularly noteworthy, mostly hats and t-shirts, but that may change closer to the general election. Keep an eye out in case Marianne Williamson begins selling crystals, or Bill de Blasio adds his logo to checkered Vans. Steven Orlofsky

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