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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Black Friday Online Sales Total $816 Million, Cyber Monday Next

Black Friday saw $816 million in online sales, making it the heaviest online spending day to date in 2011 and representing a 26-percent increase versus Black Friday 2010, according to ComScore, a firm that measures digital data. Thanksgiving Day (November 24), while traditionally a lighter day for online holiday spending, achieved a strong 18-percent increase to $479 million.

Overall U.S. retail e-commerce spending for the first 25 days of the November – December 2011 holiday season, totaled $12.7 billion, a 15-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year.

“Despite some analysts’ predictions that the flurry of brick-and-mortar retailers opening their doors early for Black Friday would pull dollars from online retail, we still saw a banner day for e-commerce,” said comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni. “With brick-and-mortar retail also reporting strong gains on Black Friday, it’s clear that the heavy promotional activity had a positive impact on both channels.

Now the attention turns to Cyber Monday (tomorrow), a marketing term created in 2005 by online retailers after learning that online shopping activity increased the Monday following Black Friday. ComScore says 80 percent of retailers are having special online promotions that day. Last year sales exceeded $1 billion and it expects to see that figure shattered.

As the online channel increasingly influences offline-shopping behavior, consumers turned to Black Friday sites on the web to conduct research in advance of the day’s events, the Reston, Va.-based firm said. Bfads.net led the pack with 3.9 million unique visitors from November 21 to 25, up 51 percent versus last year, comScore said.

Fifty million Americans visited online retail sites on Black Friday, representing an increase of 35 percent versus year ago, comScore said. Each of the top five retail sites achieved double-digit gains in visitors vs. last year, led by Amazon. Walmart ranked second, followed by Best Buy, Target and Apple.

“It is telling that the top multi-channel retailers also showed strong growth in visitors, demonstrating the importance of the online channel to the retail industry as a whole,” Fulgoni said.

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