Black Friday's online sales rise over last year

Cybershoppers spent $648 million this past Black Friday, up 9 percent from the same day last year, according to new data from ComScore.

This year's Black Friday saw a healthy rise in online sales, according to stats out today from ComScore.

Cybershoppers collectively plunked down $648 million online on Friday, a gain of 9 percent over the same day last year. Thanksgiving, a day where people typically spend more time filling their bellies than emptying their wallets, saw a solid 28 percent rise in cybersales from last year, hitting $407 million.

Overall, the online holiday shopping season has been robust so far, according to market researcher ComScore, with $11.64 billion spent at e-commerce outlets from November 1 to 26, a gain of 13 percent from the same period in 2009.

"Although Black Friday is known for the flurry of activity occurring in brick-and-mortar retail stores, online shopping is increasingly becoming the refuge of those preferring to avoid the crowds and long lines," ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a statement. "The $648 million in online spending this Black Friday represents the heaviest online spending day of the season-to-date and a solid increase over last year's Black Friday."

ComScore

Among the top online retailers, Amazon.com grabbed the highest number of vistors on Black Friday with a 25 percent rise over last year, ComScore said. But results among other heavily visited sites varied from 2009's Black Friday. Target's site enjoyed a 9 percent gain in visitors, while Best Buy's site saw just a 1 percent rise and Walmart.com saw a 1 percent decline.

More consumers prepped themselves in advance of Black Friday, according to ComScore. To find the best online deals ahead of time, people turned to sites like Black-Friday.net, which saw 3.1 million visitors from November 22 to 26--up 42 percent compared with 2009. BlackFriday.info welcomed 2.7 million visitors, while Black-Friday2010.com experienced the greatest growth with 1.5 million visitors, a jump of 478 percent from last year.

IBM's Coremetrics marketing company echoed the positive news provided by ComScore but asserted that online spending on Black Friday actually rose almost 16 percent over last year, with both social-networking sites and mobile devices helping shoppers find the best deals among retailers.

The National Retail Federation also vouched for a healthy spending weekend, both online and offline. Results from its survey out today said that 212 million shoppers visited stores and Web sites over the weekend, up from 195 million last year. Total spending hit around $45 billion, with the average shopper spending $365.34, up from $343.31 last year.

What were people busy buying on Black Friday, both on the Internet and in the stores? Consumer electronics were among the most popular items, according to initial results of a survey by the Consumer Electronics Association, which of course is good news to the organization.

Among folks who went shopping on Friday, 58 percent bought some type of consumer electronic device, second in demand only to clothing. Portable MP3 players, video game consoles and accessories, and computers (notebooks and tablets) were the hottest items. The CEA is forecasting that the average holiday shopper will spend $232 on consumer electronics this season, up 5 percent from last year.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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