November 30, 2009

Black Friday Online Shopping Up 11 Percent

Black Friday saw an 11 percent increase in holiday shopping from last year, with consumers spending some $595 million online.

According to analytics firm comScore, Amazon.com and Walmart.com had the highest level of online visitors. Visits to Amazon.com were up 28 percent, followed by the online sector of Wal-Mart Stores Inc , which grew 22 percent. Both companies are already rivaling for market share this holiday season, as each slashes prices on merchandise.

Around $10.57 billion has been spent online in the United States for the holiday season since the first of November, representing a 3 percent gain, according to comScore

"This is a very encouraging start," said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni in a statement.

Earlier this week, the company said it believes total holiday e-commerce spending will be up by 3 percent to $28.8 billion from $28 billion in last season when shoppers drastically cut their spending in the face of global economic crisis.

Fulgoni said the strong Black Friday online sales reflects the lure of retailers' online discounts, even on a weekend famous for getting shoppers to physically enter stores.

"While this acceleration in spending suggests the online holiday season may be shaping up slightly more optimistically than anticipated, it may also reflect the heavy discounting and creative promotions being put forth by retailers that now encompass the use of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter," he added.

The Monday following Thanksgiving is typically considered the official beginning to the online spending season, when consumers are back to work and using the speedy Internet connections at work to shop online.


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