Online Spending Jumps 42% on Black Friday

During the first 24 days of November this year, total online retail spending (non travel) reached $8.31 billion, marking a 23 percent increase versus the corresponding days in 2005, according to data released by comScore Networks Sunday.

Black Friday, known for being one of the busier offline consumer shopping days of the year, saw particularly high online sales with $434 million spent, up 42 percent versus last year, according to the Reston, Virg.-based company that measures digital data.

“Consistent with news reports of heavy traffic to leading retailers’ Web sites—which in the case of resulted in an outage at the site—comScore found high levels of online retail spending on Black Friday this year,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks. “It’s clear that many consumers opted for the convenience and sanity of shopping from home in order to avoid mayhem at the malls and to take advantage of the extremely attractive deals being offered online. This growth figure is especially encouraging for online retailers when taking into account that much of the country saw beautiful weather on Friday.”

An analysis of traffic to online comparison shopping sites revealed a distinct surge in visits on Black Friday, according to comScvore. Visits to the leading shopping engines collectively rose 21 percent on Black Friday, versus the average number of daily visits during November., however, saw a triple digit increase in visits on Black Friday and during the preceding three days, as consumers took advantage of the site’s ability to help them pinpoint bargains available at local offline retailers.

“Clearly consumers are increasing their use of online resources to drive their offline shopping,” Fulgoni said. “On Black Friday, when many consumers were drawing up their ‘battle plans’ for finding in-store bargains, it appears that the savviest among them had already used the Internet to price items for purchase at local stores offline. We expect this trend to continue during the holiday season.”

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