Americans spent $816 million online this Black Friday, representing a 26% increase from $648 million in 2010, and making it the heaviest online spending day to date in 2011, according to November analysis from comScore. Data from the analysis indicates that Thanksgiving Day also achieved an 18% year-over-year increase in spending, rising from $407 million to $479 million. Overall online spending for the holiday season to-date (from November 1 to 25) rose to $12.7 billion, marking 15% growth from $11.1 billion in the corresponding shopping days from 2010.
According to earlier November data from comScore, online retail spending reached $36.3 billion in Q3. This represented a 13% rise year-over-year and made it the 8th consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and 4th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth rates.
Deal Sites Prosper
Consumers turned to Black Friday sites on the web in increasing numbers this year to conduct research in advance of the day’s events. According to the latest comScore research, which analyzed several Black Friday deal sites for the five days ending Black Friday compared to the corresponding days last year, bfads.net led with 3.9 million unique visitors, up 51% from 2.6 million last year. TheBlackFriday.com, which followed with 3.2 million visitors, posted the strongest year-over-year growth, rising 137% from 1.4 million in 2010. And while BlackFriday.com showed a slight decrease of 7%, blackfriday.fm and gottadeal.com both posted visitor increases of over 30%.
Amazon Most Visited
50 million Americans visited online retail sites on Black Friday, representing an increase of 35% from 2010, with each of the top 5 retail sites achieving double-digit gains in visitors compared to last year. Amazon led the pack again, with 50% more visitors than any other retailer, with Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and Apple trailing.
According to Experian Hitwise, total visits to Amazon.com reached 22.3 million this Black Friday, up 10% year-over-year, ahead of Walmart, which dropped 1% to 18.7 million.
Total Visits Inch Up
Data from Experian also indicates that total US visits to the top 500 retail websites increased 2% this Black Friday compared to 2010, receiving more than 173 million US visits, down marginally from Thanksgiving Day, which posted 9% year-over-year growth.
Among the categories driving the growth in traffic on Black Friday were Department Stores, up 3%, Video & Games, up 8%, and House & Garden, up 12%.
For more on Thanksgiving e-commerce, visit MarketingVox for the Cyber sales lessons of Thanksgiving 2011.
NRF: Weekend Sales Soar
Meanwhile, according to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BigResearch, a record 226 million shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 212 million last year. Digging deep into their holiday budgets, the average holiday shopper spent $398.62 this weekend, up from $365.34 last year, with total spending reaching an estimated $52.4 billion. Additionally, shoppers also checked out retailers’ deals online, spending an average of $150.53 on the web – 37.8% of their total weekend spending.
More than half of the weekend shoppers bought clothing and clothing accessories, and gift buyers were also drawn to promotions on electronics and computer-related accessories over the weekend. Nearly four in 10 (39.4%) bought electronic items, up from 36.7 percent last year. Additionally, shoppers stocked up on home d?cor (21.3%), gift cards (23.1%), toys (32.6%), and jewelry (21.8%).
About the Data: The NRF survey, conducted Nov. 24-26 by BIGresearch, polled 3,826 consumers. It notes that the definition of “Black Friday weekend” includes Thursday, Friday, Saturday and projected spending for Sunday, and estimates shoppers, not people.