Holiday shopping season off to shaky start

Many of the nation's stores are reeling following lackluster Black Friday shopping as the National Retail Federation reports Thanksgiving weekend sales dropped 11 percent to $50.29 billion, compared to last year's $57.4 billion. Many started discounts before Black Friday and Walmart, the world's largest retailer, even started discounts the week before the big shopping day.

"I think this is a really strange retail season," CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger said on "CBS This Morning."

She said those unusually early sales may partially explain the lower numbers.

"I think that may have siphoned off sales from the Thursday of Thanksgiving Day through the weekend," she said.

By Sunday, shopper traffic was down 5.2 percent to $133.7 million and the average shopper spent 6.4 percent less than last year.

Schlesinger noted online traffic on Thanksgiving Day increased while activity on Black Friday was down.

"[Consumers] spent less money per item, and retailers are really hoping the elongated season makes up for the drop," she said.

Online shopping did see a marked boost, however: Thanksgiving Day sales increased 25 percent to $1.33 billion and sales on Black Friday increased 24 percent to $2.4 billion.

For Cyber Monday, while fewer people are expected to shop online, they're anticipated to spend $2.5 billion, an increase from last year.

And while mobile tech has taken the retail world by storm, with nearly every store toting their own app, Cyber Monday shopping will mostly still take place on home computers. The National Retail Federation predicted that 84.5 percent will use their home computers, 19.3 percent will shop on mobile devices and 12.2 percent will use their work computers.

Schlesinger also pointed out that despite its name, Cyber Monday is not the premiere day for online discounts. Thanksgiving Day is number one, with average discounts of 25 percent, while Monday's deals will be about 20 percent.