Buyers Don't Wait for Cyber Monday

Black Friday deals give an early start to online holiday shopping.

by staff writer
- Nov 30, 2009

Bargain hunters preferred to stay in their pajamas on Black Friday and snatch up deals from the comfort of their homes—and their computers—rather than head into the cold for door-buster deals.

In fact, on a day that is typically one of the busiest of the year for brick-and-mortar shops, buyers spent $595 million online—an 11-percent increase compared to 2008. Meanwhile, Black Friday store sales rose a mere 0.5 percent, totaling $10.66 billion, according to ShopTrak, a company that measures traffic in stores nationwide.

"Black Friday, better known as a shopping bonanza in brick-and-mortar retail stores, is increasingly becoming one of the landmark days in the online shopping world," says comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni. He adds that the $595 million total represents the second-busiest online spending day of the holiday season.

Amazon was the top destination for online bargain hunters on Black Friday, attracting 13.55 percent of all U.S. retail visits. Wal-Mart followed, drawing 11.18 percent of bargain hunters, according to news reports.

eBay provided a visual representation of Black Friday on its Holiday site, with a U.S. map that tracked more than 1 million eBay transactions over the course of the day.

Cyber Monday… and the subsequent weeks will be the real test for how online retailers fare this season

People spend more online

Per person, online shoppers also increased the amount they spent by 35 percent per order compared to last year. That number dropped by about 8 percent for brick-and-mortar shoppers, according to the National Retail Federation.

"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," comScore's Fulgoni notes. "Cyber Monday… and the subsequent weeks will be the real test for how online retailers fare this season. That said, this is a very encouraging start."

The bargain hunting continued Monday when more than 96 million Americans were expected to shop for online deals, up from 85 million last year.

"Americans appreciate the convenience of shopping online, which doesn't require standing in line, circling for a parking spot, or even changing out of your pajamas," notes Scott Silverman, executive director of, a branch of the NRF. "Online retailers have been working overtime to make sure their Cyber Monday promotions are enticing, so shoppers can expect incredible bargains on popular holiday items, percentages off entire Web sites, and a lot of free shipping."

About the Author

Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

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