Shopping Bags on Black Friday
A woman carries retail shopping bags on Nov. 25, 2016, in New York City. Getty Images

[Correction: This story originally included a typo, reporting that sales reached 2.48 million. The correct amount was 2.48 billion. The story has been updated.]

Black Friday is traditionally the big discount day for retailers to get a jump start on the holiday season. But the real action this year took place online, not in brick-and-mortar stores. A rise in online sales helped to bring about one of the best turnouts for the annual shopping day in the last few years, according to reports.

Customers that shopped online reportedly spent $640 million by 10:00 a.m. EST, with mobile sales leading the pack.

Sales expectations for Black Friday were initially low in 2017. Sales reached $2.48 billion in 2014, $2.74 billion in 2015 and $3.34 billion in 2016. These numbers trailed behind Cyber Monday, which has earned steadily higher sales throughout the course of the last few years. Black Friday sales in 2017, however, reeled in $3.54 billion as of 8:00 p.m. EST — a 15.6 percent increase from 2016.

Mobile shoppers drove sales to a record $1.4 billion, which included $980 million from smartphones and $400 million from tablets, according to Adobe Digital Insights. This represented 38.9 percent of revenue this year.

"The strong online performance of Black Friday this season shows that consumers are moving further away from leaving their homes to do holiday shopping," Taylor Schreiner, director at Adobe Digital Insights, said in a statement Friday to International Business Times. "Mobile, in particular, has ramped up in a significant way, driving $1.4 billion in online revenue on Black Friday alone."

Added Schreiner, "The fact that nearly a billion dollars of this came through smartphones shows that hesitancy around shopping on smaller screens has begun to dissipate."

Some stores reportedly proved to lean more on the empty side as Black Friday has become less of a draw for consumers. Shoppers that did trek into local stores were on a hunt for big-ticket items, including televisions. Samsung 4K TV, an LED flat-screen television that has Smart TV capability, was a sought-after product at Target on Friday.

Cyber Monday sales are expected to reel in $6.6 billion in sales. This would be a major leap from last years' sales, which garnered $3.45 billion overall.

Approximately 69 percent of Americans — about 164 million people — were expected to shop during the five-day period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

"This year, we updated our survey to more accurately capture consumer behavior throughout the entire shopping weekend — Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a Nov. 14 press release. "Consumers will benefit from competitive promotions both in stores and online lasting the course of the weekend, allowing them to find the best gifts at the lowest prices."