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Here's How to Profit From Blockbuster Holiday Sales

By Joe Tenebruso - Dec 1, 2019 at 7:00PM

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Online retail orders are surging -- and these stocks are poised to benefit.

The holiday shopping season has started with a bang.

Online shoppers spent $7.4 billion on Black Friday alone, according to data collected by Adobe ( ADBE 0.77% ). It's the biggest online sales total for Black Friday in history. 

The strong Black Friday sales performance follows a record-setting Thanksgiving. Online sales on Thanksgiving Day jumped 14.5% year over year to $4.2 billion, according to Adobe. 

Better still, Adobe projects that online sales on Cyber Monday will surge 18.9% to a record $9.4 billion. 

People surrounded by mobile devices and shopping bags

The U.S. consumer is alive and well. Image source: Getty Images.

Adobe says consumers are growing more comfortable making purchases on mobile devices, which is helping fuel the growth in online sales.

"With Christmas now rapidly approaching, consumers increasingly jumped on their phones rather than standing in line," Adobe Digital Insights analyst Taylor Schreiner told CNBC.

In all, online spending during the November and December holiday shopping period is forecast to surpass $140 billion, according to Adobe. 

These companies -- and their investors -- should benefit

Adobe noted in its report that the e-commerce giants experience a sales boost that's nearly twice as large as their smaller competitors during the holiday months. Thus, ( AMZN 1.25% ) should be a clear winner here. The e-commerce behemoth holds a dominant share of the online retail market in the U.S., and it's no doubt profiting from surging online holiday sales.

Target ( TGT 1.47% ) and Walmart ( WMT -0.50% ) also stand to benefit. These two retail giants have invested aggressively in their e-commerce operations in recent years. Whether it's faster shipping or convenient in-store pickup options, Target and Walmart are giving consumers more ways to shop. Notably, Adobe says 37% of shoppers are planning to use buy-online-pick-up-in-store options this holiday season, which should give Target and Walmart an edge over their less online-savvy traditional retail competitors, as well as some of their online-only rivals.

Finally, PayPal ( PYPL 0.90% ) is an under-the-radar winner here. Smartphone shopping will be responsible for nearly half of the growth in retail holiday sales this year, according to Adobe. This should be a boon for PayPal, as the digital payments company is a key enabler of mobile device sales. PayPal's One Touch feature allows people to quickly and easily make purchases on their smartphones with the click of a button. And the more mobile payments that PayPal facilitates, the more revenue and profits it earns for its shareholders.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Stock Quote
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
$139.93 (-0.50%) $0.70, Inc. Stock Quote, Inc.
$3,550.75 (1.25%) $43.68
Target Corporation Stock Quote
Target Corporation
$247.43 (1.47%) $3.59
Adobe Inc. Stock Quote
Adobe Inc.
$675.02 (0.77%) $5.17
PayPal Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
PayPal Holdings, Inc.
$186.56 (0.90%) $1.67

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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