With many people choosing not to venture out to physical stores to buy gifts, this past holiday season saw a record-breaking $188.2 billion in U.S. online purchases, which represents more than 32% growth from the year before.

According to Adobe Analytics, average daily online revenue exceeded $3.1 billion during the holiday season from November through December, up from $2.3 billion in 2019.

For the first time, every day of the holiday-shopping season exceeded $1 billion in online sales, fulfilling expectations that the coronavirus pandemic would push consumers to spend a record amount of holiday items from the safety of their homes.

"Online and curbside sales have kept many Minnesota retailers in a position to keep their operations going during the pandemic, and never more so than during the holidays," said Bruce Nustad, president of the Minnesota Retailers Association.

Online sales, whether they are delivered to consumers' door or picked up curbside at stores, will likely continue to play a large part of the retail experience in Minnesota throughout this year, Nustad said.

Online-revenue levels increased over Thanksgiving week and then set records Black Friday and Cyber Monday at $9 billion and $10.8 billion, respectively, according to Adobe.

"In light of the pandemic, digital has become the primary way for people to connect, work, be entertained and shop, helping set online spending records for the holiday season," said Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights, in a statement.

Schreiner predicted online spending will stay high at least for the early part of this year.

During the holidays, groceries, appliances and books saw major spending boosts compared to more incremental jumps for toys and jewelry.

Smartphones were an important way for consumers to shop; phones accounted for 40% of the holiday season's online growth compared with 11% growth year-over-year, according to Adobe.

For the first time ever, more than half of daily online spending on Christmas Day came from smartphones.

Adobe Analytics is scheduled to release its final holiday numbers data Tuesday.

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495

Twitter: @nicolenorfleet